Here is an update from Chidamoyo Hospital in Zimbabwe. Please pray for Kathy and the people who work at the Hospital and for the people they help. Sounds like the Government needs to be put back in order. Maybe we can loan them our president since they love him so much. :-)
Subject: Chidamoyo Hospital Update
Hey there it has been a long time since I sent out an update and thought you might be wondering where we are! Happy new year to all of you! We have started the New Year in Zimbabwe unsure where it will take us but knowing God is in control and we will go where He wills us!
Although there is food in the stores and some industries are working, overall we haven't seen much improvement or hope. The government continues to fight among themselves and nothing gets done. Prices in stores have more than doubled in the past 2 months. It is now $6.00 for 2 dozen eggs, a small piece of meat is $5.00 and dishwashing soap is $3.50 a bottle! People that work for the government makes about $130/month—nurses and teachers' $150/month. Transport to Karoi from here is $5 and to Harare $15 one way! The civil servants (90% of people working in Zimbabwe) walked off their jobs 8 days ago and said they are not going back until they get the minimum living raise of $500/month—the government has offered a $7/month raise starting in April.
We have not received any drugs or supplies from the government in 6 months. Currently we are running out of TB Drugs (there seems to be a shortage in the whole country) and IV fluids. When we went to get IV fluids at the government pharmacy store in Chinhoyi they said they needed the request signed by the PMD office. We went there and they said "we are on a go slow we can't sign your paper!" If cholera were to hit today we would not be able to save a single patient as we have less than 50 IV's in stock. All we do is keep asking and praying for more supplies. We see that things in the health sector are even worse than our worse year of 2008! We keep working and hoping that something might get better, but in Zimbabwe we know from experience things only seem to get worse!
We have had a good rainy season in our area and my maize from my field will produce more than 1 ton of maize! I am eating roasted maize from it already! Unfortunately, most of the rest of the country is in another drought! We also had some areas near us lose everything to heavy hail 2 weeks ago. We wonder how the people will be helped when the government has nothing!
Our patients have no money and so they continue to barter for their services! This week someone brought a new mosquito net for their drugs. We had just been involved in a program with World Vision to give out nets to stop malaria. When we told her if she sells her net to us then she will get malaria and die she said, oh I have 3 more at home! Since people have run out of their crops until the next harvest in June we are receiving more chickens, goats and pigs. More meat for the patients so they are happy!
Wow—everything seems so depressing but we have so much to be happy for…
We were happy to sell 22 tons of soybeans this week that we had collected in our barter program over the last year. We are in the process of selling the sunflower seeds and the peanuts and we are hoping to earn enough money to purchase a second hand 5 ton lorry (big truck).
Our industrial washing machine is up and running! After 42 years of hand washing everything at the hospital, this is truly amazing and the laundry people are so excited to do their job each day now.
Last month we started 206 new people on ART—drugs to treat HIV/AIDS. This was our highest ever month and we are thankful for a new nurse, Alvin, we have trained to work with Lori and me so we can have more time to get more people on this program.
We have a container that is packed and will be picked up on the 22nd of February from Sebastopol. We are really looking forward to those supplies and equipment!
We had a men's fellowship for our churches in our immediate area last week and 80 men attended! They had a wonderful morning of singing and preaching and encouragement!
We are so thankful for all of our supporters who give to keep us going. This week I wrote my forwarding agent Sue 2 times and said send more money and she was able to! We need to order fuel and that is $10,000 and we needed to pay off a major service and repairs for our Land Rover of $3,000! God seems to provide just as we need it—thank you to all of you our supporters!
Thanks for your encouraging emails and prayers. We need them all. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming, but helping people change their lives one at a time is all we can hope to do!
In His Service, Kathy
We're not put on this earth to see through each other, but to see each other through. Mike Lipkin