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Dear Family and Friends,
About a dozen years ago, with the retirement of our senior missionary surgeon, Dr. Helen Marie Schmidt, I was asked to take her seat on the Hospital’s Management Committee. This committee, which comprises a group of some 12 individuals, meets monthly to review the needs of the hospital as well as to render decisions pertaining to the hospital’s various departments and staff. Over the last two decades BBH has expanded considerably. The hospital now has 260 beds and nearly 650 employees.
For the first time during my tenure here in Banso, the hospital administration elected to summon committee members to a prayer retreat for the initial meeting of the year. So, last month members gathered in the parlor of a house located on the hospital compound – yet outside the hospital premises – to review the year just passed and petition The Lord concerning the year ahead.
We expressed thanks for having been spared the Ebola threat – with 2015 marking the end of the epidemic which came as close as neighboring Nigeria. We remembered Dr. Martin Salia – a friend and colleague – who had worked assiduously among us in BBH for several years and who succumbed to Ebola while working in Sierra Leone. We were thankful that Boko Haram, which remains active in the northern part of Cameroon, has not made incursions to the south. We offered thanks for the privilege of providing health care in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ, asking that the hospital might serve as a light in the darkness around us.
There were many petitions as well. We sought the Lord on behalf of marriages among our staff – some of which are floundering. An assistant administrator prayed that we would not succumb to tribalism – ever a temptation in a setting where individuals desiring employment or advancement might seek to curry favor along tribal lines with those in authority. We petitioned The Lord for our staffing needs, which seem to be ever increasing – that He would bring to us those of His choosing. After rounding up with a petition for wisdom for our leaders, the administration was thanked for their sagacity in starting the year before The Lord.