Winter in Africa​

July 1, 2022

Most people in America think of Africa as always being hot. As I write this blog, I am sitting in my heavy winter parka. It is mid-afternoon, and the temperature outside is about 40º degrees Fahrenheit, but it is in the low 50’s inside my office. When that goes on hour after hour it can be bone-chilling cold.

Beth and I have had a good experience here the last month and feel that we have accomplished a lot of good things. We came this time to mainly be an encouragement to Dustin and Alex, and it turned out they needed us more than expected as they were both down for a week with Covid for their second time. Praise the Lord that Dustin’s neck pain continues to improve. He is now 12 weeks post cervical fusion. Hopefully, he will soon be able to fly his plane again. Ordinarily, we would have all flown to Swaziland this trip to connect with our ministry partners there, but that will happen another time.

Upon arrival we attended a three-day Rotary District Conference in Bela Bela which is about two hours North of our ministry base. Rotary has been a great benefit in helping us serve the children here in Africa. They have assisted us in drilling wells, building many toilets, and feeding thousands of children. When I was practicing medicine in Iowa, I never felt that I had time for all of their meetings and volunteer work, but for the past 15 years my relationship with Rotary has been an amazing blessing helping us accomplish the work that God has called us to do here in Africa.

Last week we hosted Dr. Comfort Manyame who is a PhD soil scientist working with Corteva in Iowa. He is originally from Zimbabwe and in addition to being a skilled scientist, he is a highly skilled music composer and performer. He is part of the worship team at Des Moines Reach Church, a wonderful church that has supported our ministry for many years. Comfort led three praise and worship concerts. The first one was with our Celebrate Recovery group on Friday evening, then on Saturday he put on a concert in connection with a sporting event at our beautiful Sports 4 Christ sports complex. On Sunday morning he led our entire church service at Mountain View Hope Christian Church. All who attended were blessed by his music and preaching.  We would love for him to return every year.

This week we also helped our first medical student of the year from University of Iowa get started with his one-month clinical rotation in anesthesia at Mokopane Hospital. There is a shortage of medical providers here in rural South Africa, and our students assistance is much appreciated by the hospital staff. Even more important our Iowa students get an excellent experience working in a rural African hospital seeing diseases that they would likely never see in America.

I always enjoy celebrating American Independence Day when I am in Africa to share a bit with my African friends about my home country. We are also looking forward to returning back home to Iowa and our beautiful bike trails.

Please pray with us that Beth and I will remain faithful to the calling He has placed upon our hearts, and we trust that He will continue to supply all our needs to continue blessing the children here in Africa.