Some give by going, others go by giving, and everyone serves by praying.
Report from Mwandi
A teleconference was held by the American Partners of the Mwandi board on December 20. The finances are in good shape, and this coming year should be a good one as Simba House is well booked. The proposed budget for 2017 was approved. Approved were Operating Expenses of $68,500 to cover Site Manager, Hospital Administrator, accountant, and associated insurances. Capital Expenses of $140,000 were approved for solar project, perimeter fence completion, UV water purifiers, replacement of endowment funds, and building maintenance.
Doctor Isaac Tembo is almost always away from the hospital now that he has been named the District Medical Officer for the Mwandi District. He is not living up to his commitment. This leaves only one barely competent doctor to administer to the patients. Much discussion about this situation and our continued involvement ensued. UCZ will be confronted about their inability to live up to the Memorandum of Understanding we have with them. Some individual donors are upset about Tembo’s continued absences.
The good news is that Isaac Tembo, a newly minted doctor, has returned to Mwandi Hospital as the medical officer in charge. Isaac’s education was financed in part by donors in the U.S. Isaac is a native of Mwandi and has long expressed his wish to remain there and serve in the hospital. This will add a longer term of service and a greater personal sense of responsibility to the operation and efficacy of the hospital.
The guest limit in Simba House will probably be increased from 12 to 14 if it does not require the addition of more staff. This will be determined by our site manager.
The bylaws were amended to establish a vice-chairperson who would fill in for the chairperson when needed and eventually succeed them when the chair’s term expires.
The American Board meets in October in Milwaukee at Emanuel Presbyterian Church. They will wrestle with a number of issues. Hiring a replacement Hospital Administrator will no doubt top the agenda. We have a candidate that is well liked and technically capable but is young, and there is concern he may be intimidated by some of the staff. His compensation and that of Lawrence Kamba, the Project Manager, will also be discussed. Verna Case, the chairperson of the board, has recently returned from a month in Mwandi with a group of Davidson College students. A lot of her time was spent evaluating the status at the hospital and assessing the probable changes that may occur with the departure of Keith and Ida Waddell. All the above and more will be on the agenda for the fall meeting.
The Honduras Agape Foundation (HAF) team found much accomplished on the October trip. Although the number of mission trips is down this year (mainly due to Zika), much has been accomplished. Your continued support and prayers have advanced some very exciting projects.
The Honduran government now requires a minimum 8th grade education but does not provide funding to make this a reality. In response, with support from HAF, the community of Teoxingalas has a classroom building nearing completion for a new seventh and eighth grade.
HAF assists 58 Agape Promise (AP) students. Four AP students will graduate from high school this year and all have plans to further their education. The Education Committee approved funding 13 students in the Post-Sixth Grade program.
The Education Committee also coordinates support for six university students. With the help of sponsors, HAF provides full tuition support. We are excited to plan for our first university graduation ceremony next year. Laura will graduate from dental school in May 2017. Laura is giving back by working with HAF dental mission teams.
HAF is embarking on a new project to further improve education for the AP students – an Agape Promise Learning Center. This will be a place with computers, resources, and tutors to help students complete their education. A structure has been identified that can house the center and the current HAF office and medical center. The current structure is cramped with our offices, student computers, medical supplies, and a make-shift medical office. In Arena Blanca the kindergarten building was in very poor condition. It was repaired to the delight of the children and parents.
In La Montañita, a small building was remodeled and now provides rooms for a kindergarten and a medical clinic. There has been continued medical support for the villages. HAF provides medical exams and secures prescribed treatment during the Medical Brigade visits. Each village was re-supplied with medications, suture kits, blood pressure cuffs, nebulizers, etc. On one visit to Tejeras, it was observed that the health of the children was at risk due to worms. Tejeras is now included in our medical visits.
HAF has funded two water projects. In Nueva Esparanza, the water system had degraded. New distribution lines were laid. To protect the water source from erosion and agricultural pollution, the village purchased the wooded land surrounding it. Tierra Amarilla’s water storage tank was degraded and leaking. With help, the villages replaced it. Now, both villages have clean, secure water. During a mission trip last March, the village of Arena Blanca had no running water in the entire village. HAF is assisting this mountain village’s effort to obtain a water storage tank.
For more information about Honduras Agape Foundation and its various programs, or if you have an interest in supporting areas of greatest need, please contact Tom Britt.
Please leave your contributions for ACTS in the baskets in the narthex wings.
July - canned salmon and tuna
August - macaroni and cheese
ACTS Needs Volunteers!
ACTS needs volunteers in many areas
- which one is right for you?
Call 803.649.3800 for more information.
Mission: Provides temporary and emergency aid, in the name of Jesus Christ to persons in need in the Aiken, SC area
Opportunities: Receptionist, interviewer, sorting and filling clothing orders, filling food orders, picking-up furniture, working Senior Food distribution, praying for the ministry
Mission: Provides quality, affordable housing to partner families in need by binding together volunteers, businesses, local government, professional/social organizations, and churches.
Opportunities: Various tasks associated with construction of houses, services on various committees, various tasks at the ReStore and in the office
Mission: Dedicated to improving the quality of life for impoverished, uninsured residents of Aiken County by providing ongoing healthcare in a professional setting.
Opportunities: Volunteer pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, physicians,nurses, receptionists, (checking patients in and out, answering phones, ordering/checking medications, and data entry)
Mission: As a therapeutic childcare center serving 110 children everyday between the ages of 2 and 6, Children's Place works toward the vision of a safe and nurturing environment for every child in Aiken County
Opportunities: Reading to the children, helping with homework after school, and answering the phone
Mission: Dedicated to meeting the needs of the poor and disadvantaged in our community by first providing basic needs of food and clothing and then providing education and training in areas needed to secure and retain employment.
Opportunities: Preschool readiness; after school mentoring of children and youth ages 5-18; GED tutoring; and introduction to vocational skills (to name a few).
We are a Stephen Ministry Congregation.
First Presbyterian Church
224 Barnwell Avenue NW
Aiken, SC 29801