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God continues to give us encouragement that we are where he wants us to be during the ongoing political unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. The political situation remains in a stalemate, with sporadic conflict occurring on the roads around the hospital. The number of COVID-19 patients and the severity of their illness have been less than we expected at the beginning of the pandemic. Our patients can travel to the hospital, so it remains busy.
One highlight for Nancy these past eight months has been the weekly Bible study she is leading with three busy female internal medicine residents. They meet after work; the meeting day changes each week, depending upon their call schedule. Coordination is difficult, but they are all eager to attend when possible. All of them speak French as their first language, so some days the Bible study also becomes part English lesson. Due to social distancing, they meet outside on our front veranda, spaced six feet apart. No shaking hands or hugging allowed, which is difficult, but becoming normal. It is very encouraging to be able to meet and study God’s word, even during a pandemic.
The oxygen system for the hospital is being shipped from Italy and will arrive the first week of September. We have identified a contractor to oversee the installation of the system. This will be a major advance in our ability to treat the sickest of the patients we receive. This is especially timely with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to have it installed and functioning by the end of October.
We are making major progress with the construction of the hydroelectric system. We are currently moving the turbine and other equipment from Douala up to the hospital. The intake dam will be complete in a few weeks. After the dam is finished, we will construct the turbine house and begin the installation of the penstock pipe. We will also build a second diversion dam at the back of the hospital property to supply additional water so the system can operate throughout the dry season.
We are receiving many oncology patients, so this aspect of the hospital care continues to increase. The care is complex and is difficult for patients to access and afford, but because of the reputation of the hospital, patients travel here despite the difficulties. We are planning to introduce radiation therapy here at Mbingo so that patients will be able to receive comprehensive treatment for their cancer in one location. We were just notified that we will receive a large research grant in conjunction with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston that will allow us to build the bunker and install the linear accelerator that has been donated.
Since our home assignment had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic, let us know if we can connect with you and your church through a Skype or Zoom meeting. Thus far, we have met with four of our churches in this manner, and it has worked well.
Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership.
- Protection from the COVID virus
- Wisdom to make wise decisions with the large projects underway
- Safety during conflict
- Good health
- Beginning construction of the hydroelectric project
- Ordering the oxygen system for the hospital
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
Dennis & Nancy Palmer
Psalm 5:11 (ESV)
Mbingo Baptist Hospital, PMB 42, Bamenda, NW Region, Cameroon
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