Praise to GOD "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we
ask or imagine, according to His power..."
Christmas is Mali looked like new traditions for me this year. On Christmas day, the ladies at the church wake up early and cook for the entire congregation. I went with Julie at 5am this year to help the ladies cook. It was quite a fun time learning how to cook the holiday staple here “en-za-may”, and celebrating with my local friends. The tradition is that everyone at church buys and tailors the same "christmas cloth", so the majority of the church is matching on Christmas day :)
Christmas was also very special as we were able to celebrate with the patients at the hospital. Dr. Dan loaded up the van with all the patients we could fit and drove them to church. It was so fun to interact with them outside of the hospital and see their faces light up with the feast prepared. Even more, I’m so grateful for the chance for them to hear the message of the gospel. I pray each one of these sweet patients, who have each captured my heart, will grow the know the power of Jesus and His love for each of them.
I can’t thank each of you enough for sending and donating breast-pumps! We went from only having one and sharing it between every mom at feeding times, to having enough for just about every mom to use their own while their preemie is in the hospital - because of your gifts! I’ve seen more mom’s helped to produce milk which is the best thing for the tummies of these tiny babies. We aim to help them continue use breastmilk and not be discouraged to keep pumping.
Helping Babies Breath:
Every other Friday I have been helping a Pediatrician here teach “Helping Babies Breath”. It is a simple neonatal resuscitation course created for 3rd world countries to teach how to resuscitate and keep a baby breathing when it is having trouble in the first minute of life, with limited resources. We are trying to instil confidence in all the staff (not just pediatrics) to have the tools and training to keep a baby breathing when it is struggling. Most of the staff is receptive and eager to learn, and we have seen some lives saved and staff feeling confident after the course. Prayers for that to continue!
When I first arrived in Mali, I felt as if God had laid “orphans” on my heart. I wasn’t even sure in what context, or if there were even many orphans here, so I began asking around. I saw several of our babies in the unit were orphans and asked what options they had. There is an orphanage a ways outside of our town, but no place for orphans directly in Koutiala. I visited this orphanage outside of town run by Catholic nuns and it captured my heart. I so loved how these kids were being cared for, and I journaled to God asking how I could be of help for orphans in our area. It felt like something much to big to even think about or tackle, but God moves in incredible ways.
Right before I left for Texas, a local
Malian pastor who works in our hospital - Pastor Enoch - dropped off a report on Dan’s desk asking for help. He is 75 years old and has recently taken 5 orphans/street kids into his house when they had nowhere to go. He wrote in his packet his vision for an orphanage or a place here in Koutiala for “the least of these” and any of those forgotten with no homes can go to school and grown to know the Lord. I couldn’t believe how God had been softening our hearts for the same mission. I have since visited these precious kids and have grown to love them. They attend a church nearby where Enoch is the pastor under the shade of a small tarp, and after church we all go eat at the pastors house together and
spend time with the kids.
Pastor Enoch has developed a proposal specifically asking for funding for a home for orphans in Koutiala. He is asking for bedding, mosquito nets, food, clothing etc. The government has already granted him land to build this home and he just now needs funds for the building. Knowing the American dollar goes a long way in Africa, I have offered to help connect him to funding and help in any way I can. If you are interested in giving to these orphans or want to know more specifics, please let me know and I will send info!
Checks for the orphans can be sent to:
Team Healthcare, Inc.
4 Fidelian Way
Towaco, NJ 07082
Memo Line: Orphans
*Write “orphans” in the memo line and I can pull the money out here directly to give to Pastor Enoch!
My dear orphans… On this earth you may be fatherless but while we pray for you to find earthly family, we also pray you come to know this truth… “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such [you] are!
1 John 3:1