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We are currently in the US for a few weeks, attending three conferences and working on some personal issues in preparation for our eventual retirement. We are continually amazed at the change in communication over the past few years. I remember the first phone call we made from Mbingo in 1979, when we traveled several hours to find a working phone. We usually communicated by letter which then took months to receive a response. Now we are continuously in contact with the staff at the hospital and are able to participate in decision making from where ever we happen to be.
The situation at the hospital is unchanged. There is a lot of unrest all around, but the hospital remains safe. More patients are coming for care and many of the wards are now full. The crisis is bringing many challenges. Keeping the equipment operating and supplies coming is an ongoing problem. Mbingo is currently the only major hospital operating in the area, so the care provided is very important. We trust that God will continue to protect the hosptial and staff so that we can continue with our work.
A new assignment that Nancy and I are spending much of our effort on presently is the newly authorized Baptist Institute of Health Sciences. This is a University level Institute that is officially recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education of Cameroon. Through the Institute, our residency programs are now officially recognized. We also are working toward upgrading the training of many of the other staff in the Health Board, especially in nursing. We hope that the Institute will allow our medical programs to have a much wider impact on the quality and spiritual impact reaching throughout Cameroon.
On our way home in early March, we joined a tour to Israel that was led by Pastor Larry Burd. The trip was truly life altering. Someone has said that the trip changed their image of the gospels from black and white to color. So much of our speech is based on Biblical images. I am reminded of the trip almost daily through reading in the gospels or hearing some talk. We are really grateful to have been able to visit Israel.
Dennis and Nancy