Operation Smile–May 2017

Another month has gone by, with lots of interesting happenings to share with you! Thank you for making it all possible! We will dedicate this newsletter to all the sacrificial loving mothers whom we celebrated this month of May.

1           Operation Smile

Operation Smile

Operation Smile

S., one of our friends who donated large quantities of medication for our center and helped towards the purchase of the ambulance, is the head of Operation Smile for DRC, of which another friend (who helped sponsor the high school) is also a board member. I felt led to volunteer to help on the first couple days of Operation Smile which took place at the Ngaliema Clinic. S. gave me some posters to put up in Kikimi so any cleft palate children or adults could also get operated on. As this was only a few days before the beginning of the project, only two patients presented themselves, a baby and an older man. The ambulance brought them to the clinic in town where they spent a whole week.                                     

 The ambulance brought everyone from Kikimi to Ngaliema Clinic in town.

The ambulance brought everyone from Kikimi to Ngaliema Clinic in town.

Florence was able to be there with the staff of doctors and counselors to receive training on how to counsel mommies who give birth the cleft palate babies. She was very motivated to learn as much as she could so help save lives, as recently we had one such baby born, but when Florence went to invite his parents to bring him to Operation Smile, she found out the baby had died, because the mother had refused to nurse him. This was heartbreaking. There is still much superstition around cleft palate babies, parents believing they are children of the devil that must be left to die. This explained to us the reason why we had never seen children with a cleft palate in our school. So very, very sad!  In the end, the baby we brought could not be operated because his hemoglobin count was too low, but he is on their list for the next time around, hopefully in 6 months’ time, and Florence will be following up on him, checking his diet and his blood count regularly, to ensure he will be ready when the time to operate comes again. 

This baby will get operated next time around

This baby will get operated next time around

The older man got operated and was so flipped out and so thankful! Even before he heard the results of the preliminary tests and whether or not they would be able to operate on him, just meeting so many others who had the same condition as he, was wonderful for him. We can only imagine what rejection he must have suffered all his life because of his handicap, and how therapeutic and liberating this whole experience has been for him, on top of being operated on. 

Before..

Before...

and after... (lip still swollen just after the operation)

and after... (lip still swollen just after the operation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operation Smile provided free surgery for the patients, including their room and board at the clinic for 10 days. We are very thankful that our medical center is now on their list of beneficiaries and we will be happy to volunteer again next time around. Being able to lend a hand was a wonderful experience, and we were also able to pray for many patients while they were waiting patiently for the outcome of the tests.

2           Food Distribution

After a few logistic obstacles that needed to be overcome, we are finally getting 250 loaves of bread a week for the kids. Another contact added drinks and biscuits to their regular food donation. As you can see on the picture, the children are very happy about it and even sang and danced! (see video clip https://youtu.be/JCuBIbqCKpM)

Thank you Pain d'Or for this yummy bread!

Thank you Pain d'Or for this yummy bread!

and thank you SOKIN for the drinks and biscuits

and thank you SOKIN for the drinks and biscuits

 

3    Orphan Care

Fatu, orphaned from a young age, lives with her grand-mother. Thanks to Yvan's sponsorship, a new mattress was purchased for them, as well as a brand-new outfit. Further action will be taken to improve their living conditions. 

Fatu and her grand-mother with mattress and new outfit

Fatu and her grand-mother with mattress and new outfit

 

3    Medical Center

Another baby born this month, mommies coming for prenatal check-ups, babies and mommies coming for post-natal care and normal flow of patients coming for medical care and assistance.

New born baby

New born baby

Thankful mommies coming for pre and postnatal check ups.

Thankful mommies coming for pre and postnatal check ups.


4           Village Development

Solar panels: We installed two more solar panels, added two batteries and upgraded the regulator to one of greater capacity. This is now giving us plenty of electricity for both the medical center and the school. We recently spent the night there and had the fan running all night and could recharge our phones and computers, whereas in the capital we continued to suffer from a prolonged power cut.

Unpacking the solar panels

Unpacking the solar panels

Roof installation

Roof installation

Two more batteries

Two more batteries

New regulator

New regulator


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar panels

Solar panels


5           Incubating Micro-Enterprise/Women Empowerment

The girls in tailoring training who are in their last year are making uniforms for the school children. They were also very proud to show us the skirts they had just learned to make.

School uniforms made by our tailoring class

School uniforms made by our tailoring class

Learning to make skirts

Learning to make skirts


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6           Just for Fun

The usually jammed Mokali road has now become a walking street as vehicles can no longer drive the last couple kilometers which have been destroyed. We nicknamed it “The Champs Elysees of Mokali”.

Walking down Mokali road with Florence, on our way back from Kikimi.

Walking down Mokali road with Florence, on our way back from Kikimi.

7           In the works

-          Following a friend’s desire to dig a well in Kikimi, we have been doing some research and studies which are very promising. Will tell you more about it next month. Please pray for all the needed funding to come through, as we would like to do a well for the village as well as for our center.

-          Our school has been chosen to serve as an examination center for the TENAFEP (6th grade final examination) which will take place in June. Please pray our kids will do as well as the last couple of years.

 

What is trust? Well, I think I know,
It’s having faith to just let go.
It’s walking by faith, not by sight,
It’s hope in dawn, in dark of night.
It comes in when your faith runs out,
It holds on when you start to doubt.
It knows, God knows what He is doin’
When you’re sittin’ there a stewin’.
And it’s not domineering,
Cause it knows the One who’s steering. 
It’s believing He’s in control,
When tests and trials rend your soul.

-          It’s not leaning to your own understanding,
Nor is it pushy and overdemanding.
It doesn’t fear what man can do to you.
It brings peace, unity, harmony—love too!
It’s hope in light at the end of the tunnel,
When your soul is being poured down the funnel.
It’s accepting the place that He’s put you in,
Then doing whatever’s required with a grin.
It’s even accepting the way you are made,
And then not questioning the part you’ve played.
I think it’s faith when you’re stretched to the limit
And you still have confidence that God is in it.
—Philip Martin

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