Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chidamoyo update

Here is an email from an amazing missionary in Zimbabwe.  You'll have to read this and imagine what the days are like for Kathy.
Please pray for Kathy and the hospital in Chidamoyo.  Also pray for the people and please consider giving to this mission.  Looks like there is a link below where you can give through  Or you can give through Countryside Christian Church, in Wichita, KS.  Please let me know if you are praying or if you give and I'll let Kathy know when I email her soon.  I'm sure she would love to hear the encouragement.

Grace and Peace,
Coram Deo!!!

Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:40 PM
Subject: Chidamoyo update

Life in Zimbabwe continues to be a struggle.  Every day you see people just struggling to stay alive.  A new greeting has happened here.  Instead of Good morning—it is "How are you?" and the answer is "Hungry."  We noted yesterday to be a Zimbabwean means you are hungry all the time.    How sad that we have to deal with this all the time.  The question is how do you help people when everyone needs help?  We do our part by trying to help as we can.

Cholera continues to be with us and just when we think it is easing up another 10 people walk in wiped out.  As of this afternoon 468 people have been treated in our cholera ward!  We have visits by the Red Cross and local health officials every other day or so—they do bring us some supplies which help.  We have 3 nurses this week that are here to help with the cholera ward.  Today they brought us 50 kg of mealie meal (corn meal) to help us with feeding all of these mouths!  Many of our friends in the US and UK have responded and sent food via or sent money direct to Sebastopol for food to be bought.  Thank you, thank you!

As of yesterday they printed a 100 trillion dollar note here.  Remember just in August they took 10 zeros off our currency and already we are back to 100 trillion!  The funny part is that legally you can only get your salary out of the bank per month and no one makes that much money so how can you ever get that bill to use?  It is worth 6 loaves of bread!  So the next time you buy bread remember you too are a trillionaire (in Zimbabwe)!

After a very busy week at work we were all looking forward to our Friday night prayer time and movie for the community.  We are playing the Indiana Jones movies and they love the excitement of them.  We have over 100-200 people that come to enjoy this each week.  Friday night is usually pizza night for dinner and I invited over two of our staff to join us for dinner.  Just as we sat down I got called to the hospital.  A pregnant woman presented with eclampsia—seizures due to high blood pressure in pregnancy.  She had been seizing since 4 a.m. and they had put her in a ox cart about 2 p.m. and brought her to the hospital.  Our driver on his way home from Karoi found them about 12 miles from here and brought her the rest of the way in, arriving at 7 p.m..  We immediately went to work on her as she was in a coma and the baby was dead—but we stabilized her and took her into theater for a C/Section.  During the C/Section she started bleeding and a common complication, stopped clotting her blood.  We have no blood or blood products and so we prayed a lot and held pressure on the incisions.  We were able to close her up but she continued to ooze blood.  We took her to her bed and finally got home about 11 p.m.  What a way to end an exhausting week.  Then I decided to check my e-mails before bed (because the electricity was on!)  and Major who was in Harare wrote to tell me he had been trying to buy X-ray films from the company we usually use and they wanted $1780 for a box of 100 films!  I went to bed that night wondering how my patients could afford that, how we could afford that and totally feeling tired and overwhelmed with trying to live and work in Zimbabwe.

I finally went to bed near midnight thinking I could finally sleep in since I had no visitors to get up and cook for and at 6 a.m. there was a knock on my door.  The kitchen people were looking for the keys and had gone to Mereki's house (where they are to get the keys from)  but no one answered so they thought they should wake me up to tell me—my answer was "go back and pound harder!"  Trying to go back to sleep I finally gave up and decided to check the e-mails—because, surprise the electricity was still on! 

The first e-mail was from Major saying he thought he wrote the X-ray film price was in US dollars but in fact it was in Rands (1/10th the price of US dollar).  Wow—did that make me happyJ!  Then the next e-mail was from new friends in Eureka, CA who told me they were taking the next 2 Sundays to take a special offering for Chidamoyo from their congregation.  One of the ladies in the church had a son and his partner that were with me recently.  He is a cholera expert and his partner a resident in Family Practice in Boston.  She had matched them up with me and we put them to work for their 10 days here.  Based on his reports sent home  ,his mom went to work raising awareness of our plight and the people's plight in Zimbabwe and has caused all of this to come into place!  She has done such a great job I asked her to come and take over our government and whip it into shape!

The next e-mail was from a church in Ames, Iowa.  They have a commitment that whenever they spend money on a capital expenditure to give 20% of that expense to outside their church mission projects.  This Sunday they are presenting a check to Chidamoyo Hospital for $10,000!  Boy I keep hoping they build on and on to their church!

Then finally there was an e-mail from a woman who runs our UK Trust in England.  She was happy to tell me that they have raised enough funds for an electric washing machine for our hospital! 

How can I be overwhelmed with the problems here when so many people are praying for us, giving to us and concerned for us—God is so great and powerful.  All these things really brightened my day and many others that I was able to share with too!

When I arrived at the hospital and found our patient from last night awake and talking to me that also proved to me how great God is!  Against all odds she is alive and improving!  Not through our work but through God's power. 

I just wanted to share all this great news with you and thank you for your continued love and care and concern.

In His Service, Kathy

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