Friday, July 26, 2013

Leaving Africa

Tonight we leave Africa.  It has been a wonderful month and God has been so present.  Please pray for us as we fly out tomorrow to spend a few days in London with a friend and then return to the states.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bella and Sebastiao in the Volta Region

Needless to say our children have thoroughly enjoyed their time in Ghana.  They have played with kids, learned new games, eaten interesting food, studies birds, chased goats and been chased by goats.  Here are just a few of their pictures.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Here is a video our partner TheoVision has put together about our time working with their new clinic, Tree of Life.  I love the video, but the accent of the narration is so beautiful to listen to.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Volta Region of Ghana

We are back from the Volta region of Ghana and WOW let me just say that God is amazing, Ghana is a beautiful country and the Ghanian people are utterly inviting.   We went to three different communities where HCJB Global's partner TheoVision has listening clubs each week.   Each community had its own personality and unique qualities.  We truly felt your prayers and God's hand on us as we worked each day.  6 days straight of leaving at 7AM and working until 3 or 4 was draining, but through God's grace and power we finished as well or even better than we began.  In just 6 days the clinic saw around 700 patients who met with loving Christian doctors who took time to listen to their concerns and then received free medications, glasses and/or counseling if necessary and the children from each school heard stories of Jesus's love and salvation while learning crazy games and songs.  Our mobile lab worked well and we were able to positively identify a mountain of malaria.

A basic clinic day began with a quick devotional led by one of  summer interns before we left our hotel each day.  The travel time to the villages was around 30 minutes and then  we would begin.  We were able to set up our tables under shade trees in each village which really made a difference and then you had to anchor things down to prepare for the wind gusts, which we didn't complain about.  Each village was asked to help organize the area as well as identify the sickest among their community to be seen first.  The second day in each community the crowds were always larger because word had spread.  We traded off for morning Coke breaks (a favorite part of my day) and lunch breaks so that the clinic continued to run all day until either everyone was seen or we had reached our maximum for the day.

The TheoVision staff that accompanied us on the trip, along with their missionaries in the area, were a joy to watch and learn from.  They are all very soft spoken, calm men of God and they had God's wisdom on so many occasions when the crowd would get rowdy or upset because everyone couldn't be seen that day.  Because the local language was
Ewe we were not able to communicate with most of the people and the doctors, pharmacy and vitals used a translator.  The most wonderful part about partnering with a national ministry is that we all need each other and just like Jesus says, one part is not more important than the other parts.  All of the parts need to be working for the entire concept to work. Without TheoVision already having listening clubs in these villages and already having contacts, we never would have been invited in.  Without the communities organizing the day and wonderful women cooking lunch for us each day we would not have been able to work at all and without nationals to counsel in their first language the patients would have only gotten part of the healing they needed.

We now have two more weeks left in 3 different areas.  The joy of the Lord has been our strength and we can only hope to be a blessing to those we come in contact with.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Off to the Volta Region

Well tomorrow we set off bright and early for the Volta Region of Ghana.  We won't have internet all week, but will have plenty of pictures for you when we get back.  Please pray for us this week as we travel.  Pray for a safe trip, for the clinics to meet peoples physical and spiritual needs, for the children who come to feel God's love and for our children to have patience with Joe and I when we are busy and be flexible when we really can't control how the day goes.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from our Saturday at Till's Beach-  Isabella and Sebastiao's first beach trip!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lab in A Suitcase

I was very excited to get to Ghana to see HCJB Global's very first Lab in A Suitcase.  I had read the description of it and see the pictures, but getting to unpack everything and put it together was wonderful and a little terrifying- especially since I have been more of a mom in the last 10 years than a scientist.

I Wish I had taken a picture of everything before I took it out of  the box, but here is a picture of the suitcase and all the equipment before I organized it.  The entire system can work with a solar panel that was included and we are hoping will work for the clinic since electricity is very expensive and not always available.  
Here is the final set up.  You may notice in the window, the blue rectangle is the solar panel.

This is the hand cranked centrifuge that came with the system. It is amazing how long 5 minutes can feel when cranking it with urine samples.  

This system is not meant for clinics, normally, but in this case it was the perfect solution.  The clinic will have several days a month for caravans to the surrounding communities and this will allow them to run basic labs both within the clinic as well as out.  It will be a blessing to see how this ingenious system supports what the doctors are already doing for the people.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

First Clinic Day

Today was our first clinic day and Wow! We are tired.  Our first 3 days of clinic are here in the city of Accra working with a radio partner of HCJB Global, TheoVision.  Last year HCJB Global partnered with TheoVision to build a clinic here in Accra.  There are 2 HCJB Global physicians who will be coming this fall to begin work in the brand new clinic for 9 months to a year until they can get it staffed with Ghanian physicians.

.  Our task for the next 3 days is to do a small (All things are relative) clinic and kids club to introduce people to the clinic.  Most of my time here in Ghana will be working with the children, but while at the TheoVision clinic I get to also set up the lab and try to get a few test under way.

Joe and Steve Nelson each saw about 45 patients today in 7 hours.  The interns did a wonderful job taking vital signs, working the pharmacy and playing with the children.  The Ghanian people are so warm and love to laugh at us as we try to speak "correct" English or worse yet, their native language of  Twi.  I thought Ecuadorians were kind and patient with foreign speakers, but the Ghanians are proving to be even more so--- thankfully for us.  Joe is picking it up fairly quickly and even received a language lesson from a gentleman we met while out on a walk Monday morning.

 The highlight of the day is our 11:00 Coke break!

Monday, July 1, 2013

First Day Adjustments and Meeting the Team

Good Evening from Accra,  we arrived last night at about 8:30.  All of the flights were great, all of our luggage got here safely and the house we are staying in is very nice.  As a side note, if you haven't ever flown on KLM and get a chance to- take it!  They really know how to take care of passengers and the food was pretty good.  This morning we met for lunch with the Ghanian HCJB missionaries and the one intern who had already arrived.  We ate at a Turkish restaurant and it was wonderful- we are always excited to try new food and Joe even took a dare to eat a hot pepper, wish we had gotten a picture of that. 
Fortunately for us, HCJB has missionaries here in Accra working with Radio ministries.  The leaders of the team grew up as missionaries in African countries and are a wealth of information.  The team also includes a family from the UK and a guy from the states, but we will fill you in on them later (i.e., when I get a chance to get pictures of them.)  Joe and I just have to go where they tell us to when they tell us to and don't have to worry about planning much which is a huge switch from our normal lives-  it is such a blessing.  
Tonight we met the rest of the team, except for one who just flew in.  There are 9 interns plus the 2 sets of families and single guy from Ghana,  Dr. Steve and Dorothy from Quito, our boss Sheila who is the Vice President of Health Care from HCJB Global and the 4 of us.  We had a pancake supper tonight and just got acquainted.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Leaving Ecuador

Good afternoon, from our last day in Ecuador for 7 months.  We leave tomorrow for Ghana for a month and then the states for 6 months and we "think" we are ready for the new adventure.  Preparing our house to be gone for 7 months was strange and I think it is just now sinking in for all of us that we won't be back here for a long time.  Please pray for us tomorrow (Friday) as we travel from Quito to Guayaquil to Amsterdam to Accra.  Please pray that we won't have any problems with immigration leaving Ecuador or customs or immigration entering Ghana.  Please also pray for us as we adjust to Ghana and that we can be of help to the missionary families there we will be serving alongside as well as good examples and leaders for the summer interns while remembering that our first priority is to show God's love and salvation to the Ghanaian people.  We will try to post as often as possible but look forward to seeing all of you who are in the states in August.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Parkview's First 2 Days in Shell

Well, it has been a crazy first 2 days here in Shell.  It has rained non-stop and the group has worked non-stop as well.  Enjoy the pictures and don't believe anything you hear about leg wrestling.