Going to see the hospital in REAL LIFE!

Here we go!  It looks like it is going to be a long flight!

It has been about a month since we posted anything because life has been pretty busy!  We are so thankful that we got to go to Nyankunde in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Samaritan’s Purse for the dedication of the new maternity ward!  Even now, it almost seems like a dream!  The whole time Livvy & I were raising the money for the hospital, we would talk about what we thought it would look like or we would talk about it as though it was already helping people.  Little did we know, it was already helping people!  The problem is that it was in really bad shape and there were many things that were needed.  There was only one sink in the whole maternity ward and it didn’t even work that great.  The roof was in terrible shape and in some places the ceiling was caving in.  There had been a lot of damage from the war.  But this is all they have in the DRC.  Even now, some of the remaining wards are still in pretty rough shape!

The tiny brick building to the left is the old outhouse
They had to take the roof off and then redo all the walls
With some of the money we raised, they were able to add on to the hospital!
The old maternity ward had only one sink that wasn’t in great shape so they dug up the floor and added plumbing
The old walls were in rough shape
When they took off the roof and gutted the building, you could see from one end to the other
This is the outside wall of the old maternity ward in Nyankunde


Dr. Cooper started to send us some pictures of the hospital being worked on in late June of this year, (2015).  It was so exciting to see that there was a real building and that it was starting to change!  At that time, we thought the pictures were all we would ever see of the hospital and we were very happy with that.  In fact, it was really hard to look at the pictures and not share them with everyone because we were so excited to just see it!  It was so amazing seeing a building getting worked on!  When we got the email from Samaritan’s Purse telling us that the building was going to be finished in October and asking if we would like to go for the dedication ceremony we were so excited!  It seemed like Christmas and your birthday and every other wonderful day all rolled into one moment!

We immediately started getting things like passports, (which actually became a huge trial for getting mine!  It came right at the very last possible moment, but God did get it to us on time!)  We got a million shots to be able to travel out of the country and we started to get ready for a huge adventure!

I will write another blog post about going to the Samaritan’s Purse organization in Boone, NC before we flew out to Nyankunde, but right now, let’s keep going on talking about the Congo!  We took four planes to get to the DRC.  When I write about Boone, I will also try to write a little bit about Uganda.  That was also a stop on our way to the DRC.

When we landed in Nyankunde we were so excited to go see the new maternity ward!  We stopped in a missionary house to eat some food, but Livvy & I were very anxious to just go see the maternity ward!  It really was beautiful!  Compared to the other buildings, it is stunning because it is freshly painted and has a bright blue roof with solar panels on it.  There are now some private rooms, as well as 30 beds for moms who have just had babies.  There is electricity in the whole building at night now.  The doctors used to have to do deliveries by the light of their cell phone! There is a new outhouse and it has showers that work!  The old one was really run down and dilapidated because of the war and the showers in it didn’t work.  There is a new operating room and the delivery room has been updated.  There are now sinks in every patient care area, which will make an enormous difference for how the doctors can care for the moms and babies because it is much easier to wash their hands between each patient!

This is the sign at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the hospital complex
This is part of the new addition to the maternity ward.  There are two private rooms for moms now
This is the new delivery room.  They can do two deliveries in here at the same time
This is the new operating room in the maternity ward!  The very first baby born in the new ward was born by emergency C-section in this room!
This is the back of the maternity ward.  There are 4 new washing sinks in the back for caregivers to wash clothes.
There are extra large sidewalks so the caregivers have a place to sit.This is me and Livvy in front of it!
Here is a better view of the hospital with the new outhouse to the left.
This is the new outhouse and shower building at the Nyankunde hospital.
That is a new sink in a little room that was renovated to become a medication room.
This is a new sink in the room where the doctors take care of the new moms.
This is one of the moms in labor
This was one of the new babies that was born while we were there.  We prayed with his mom.
We gave out cupcakes to all the new moms
This little baby was named after me.  Her name is Gabriella
Meet Gabriella.  She was the first baby born in the new maternity ward!
I am holding Gabriella and Livvy is holding a little boy named Micheli.

This was the very best part of going to the Congo!  Livvy and I LOVED holding the new babies!  Every time we went to the ward we would hold as many of the babies as the moms would let us hold!  As we look at these pictures now, it is almost like we are a little bit homesick or something.  To think that God is saving the lives of moms and babies every day now, and that these babies will grow up to become people who could also make a difference in the world is a very exciting thought!  We love it that the missionary doctors in the DRC get to talk to the new moms about Jesus every day!  We are just very, very thankful!