We had another great day of VBS "Hero Central"! The children have been wonderful, learning about the Beatitudes, blowing bubbles, making badges, and playing games. We also attended Mercy’s and CRC devotions today. We ended the night reading bedtime stories to the CRC children. 😊
The October mission team included film maker Charlie Kendall, Floris UMC associate pastor Barbara Miner, educators Minister Gloria Daniels and Minister Jackie Chaney, and Dr. Carol McIntosh, who is an Ob-Gyn and HCW Board member. The team was also joined by Allen and Patty Morell, the partner church representatives from Osterville UMC.
The team participated in medical outreach and service at Mercy Hospital; filmed a series of short videos about the CRC and Mercy; and collaborated with local schools attended by CRC students. The team members also visited the children they sponsor, and even signed up to sponsor a few more.
You can view two of Charlie's videos and the team's photos below.
The Summer Team has been busy with teaching school, assisting at Mercy hospital and making repairs. Yesterday we had some children from the community join us unexpectedly for school. I was asked to teach this little group of seven precious children. Team mate Barbara gave me some books, some colored paper (not just white paper) and pencils (very sharp pencils, I must add). We read the book, A Giraffe and a Half. For those of you that don’t know this story, as I didn’t, it is a rhyming book.
I knew we might be in trouble when I realized as we started the book that the children did not know a giraffe. There was a rose on his nose that they knew as a flower – didn’t quite rhyme. There was a whale biting his tail that the children only knew as a fish – again, didn’t work with the rhyme theme. So, most of you who know me, can imagine how much fun I had reading this book with them. I can tell you, they all know now the special creations of a rose and a whale. It was certainly a whale of a tale!
After the story-telling was finally finished, each child was able to choose their color of paper and was given a sharp pencil to draw any parts of the book. They all looked up at me, mouths open. I started drawing on my paper for them and then they got busy. We all had giraffes, flowers, whales and a snake eating cake on our papers. We knew the flowers on our papers, although all very beautiful, were not roses because they didn’t smell like a rose.
We decided to go out on an expedition to the library to find pictures of whales. On the way, still in the Child Rescue compound, my precious children sited several whales (yes, on land). I just loved to see their imaginations unleashed! They ooohed and aaahed over the photographs of the whales in the encyclopedias.
We talked about how all of us together plus our reunified older student (who had joined us while drawing and was instrumental in translating for us) could all fit into the belly of a whale. I wish you could have seen their mouths drop and eyes bug-out on that one. What a fun, fun day! Praise God from whom all blessings flow and the joy of enrichment for His precious children.
God is good; all the time! Glory to God, Amen!
In His service,
May team, day 8
The team awoke to the sounds of roosters crowing, birds chirping and the children of the residential program getting ready to head off to school. Shocking weather forecast for today: hot and humid. We did get a little rain in the afternoon, but not enough to cool things down.
Although our days are usually packed with countless tasks which need our attention, we did get a chance to watch in awe the work of a local tree trimmer (note photos below) remove a large tree that could do extensive damage to the CRC or Mercy Hospital if not addressed. The gentleman was standing well over one hundred feet off of the ground, with no safety ropes, swinging a hand axe, only in Africa.
Jessica and Bill B. did morning rounds with Dr. Kannah at Mercy Hospital visiting eight patients ranging from pre-op to labor and delivery. Jessica (physician assistant) supported Dr. Kanneh with two hernia surgeries later in the day.
Ken B., Bill B., Leo F. and Dave H. spent their day testing various options for delivering reliable internet connectivity to Mercy. Challenges remain (which means it still isn’t working), but the team remains confident.
Ilene and Vickie G. continued their quest to finalize work on a spreadsheet that will be used by Mercy personnel to streamline the tracking of drugs and their usage. Vickie spent most of the day working in the Mercy Pharmacy and Drug Storage Room (it should be noted that this room is air-conditioned and probably why she spent so much time there) and has developed a keen understanding of their organization and layout, and is hoping to dramatically increase their productivity.
Bill H. started his day at the CRC morning devotion/staff meeting to which Mercy’s Business Manager and Matron were invited to begin consideration of initiating similar meetings at Mercy. Bill H. also met with Kim Sprout to discuss ideas for maintaining the progress developed this week with both the Mercy and CRC staffs. Finally, Bill H. met with Jinnah (Mercy Hospital’s Business Administrator) to review the draft interview matrix.
Illene H. assisted in developing a spreadsheet format of the final version of the interview matrix to greatly simplify the evaluation of the results.
Kim Sprout took Bill B., Jessica and members of Dr. Kannah’s team on a tour of the Bo Government Hospital. The tour included visits to their Maternity, X-Ray, and Operating wards, and the team at Bo Government Hospital were very gracious and forthcoming with advice and suggestions on how we could best work together.
Ken B., Leo F. and Dave H. spent part of their afternoon configuring the laptops in the Streams of Knowledge classroom with the latest anti-virus software.
We ended our work day with the residential children in the great hall for Wednesday’s Devotions. It was the first time the new speaker system was unveiled, and the CRC staff and children went out of their way to dedicate the speakers to God’s glory.
With one day of work remaining, we are all conscious of the work left to do, and nervous we will leave anything left undone. Lord please bless this team as we do the work you have placed before us.
(Filed by Leo Fox)
By Pastor Jason Duley, Galilee United Methodist Church (reposted from Facebook)
“Every time I think about how we started the Child Rescue Center, I almost break into tears,” Bishop John Yambasu told me at dinner in Freetown last night.
The orphans and abandoned children that he and the UMC rescued after a civil war looked a lot like the children fishing last night in the ocean across the street from our restaurant table.
The thought brought tears to my eyes, too. The work in Africa is moving like that. Have you ever spent a week with a lump in your throat? I have been struggling to hold back tears as I’ve met the children in the community, the church, the CRC and Mercy Hospital.
“This work is really a miracle,” Bishop Yambasu said as he told the story of the CRC and his personal call from God to help. I feel that call as well.
What a blessing to take part in everyday miracles! As I realize that we are rescuing kids just like these, saving lives and souls—when I am close enough look them in the eye—it touches my heart.
Many children remain on the streets of Bo. Saturday evening prayers concluded with an eight year old boy singing in a strong but humble voice: “Lord bless the children on the streets, O God, that’s not where they should sleep.”
He has recently been a street child, but is now safe with us.
I invite you to pray, just one prayer today, for the children of Sierra Leone. My heart is with you in it.
— in Freetown, Sierra Leone.