KRB Update #2194 – Impfondo & DRC
Keith R. Brinkman 07 December 2013
Greetings from the nation of the Republic of Congo. I wish to give you a short update on our historical event with our patient selection/surgical screening in the capital of this country on 06 November. After countless hours of preparatory work on the part of many, we had a successful patient selection – we had allocated 300 surgical slots for those from the Brazzaville, Plateaux and Pool areas. We provided 294 people with their screening cards for the appointment for final approval from our surgeons. I served as the Site Commander for this screening and had the great support of amazing screening and security teams and great cooperation with all the local officials – see below photo.
Photo: on the right – outside when I went to the crowds to search for additional patients
Just this week, our team has done screening in two interior cities – Oyo and Ouesso. They are en route back to the capital by land and I will join them on Sunday. We will fly with Mission Aviation Fellowship to Impfondo, town in the north eastern section of the Republic of Congo with a population of around 20,000 people lying on the Oubangui River. It is the administrative capital of the district and region. Our venue is the Pioneer Christian Hospital (Hospital Evangelique le Pionnier) – a 60 bed general mission hospital and the referral center for a greater population base of 300,000 people. You can be a part of this event with your prayer:
* Patients from in and around Impfondo come for the screening on Tuesday (10 December) – nothing would hinder those God has purposes for with us at this time.
* Security and safety for all involved – peace and order * Good weather with clouds and no rain
* All the logistics of air travel, accommodations, ground transportation, meals, etc. * Our partners in the government, local Christian hospital, local churches and local organizations.
DRC Assessment: With permission from the managing director on board, I joined for two weeks in November the Assessment Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo – which is the much larger and better known Congo here. Three of us traveled from the ship, two from the US and two from Switzerland as we came together as a team.
Mercy Ships already has a protocol agreement with the government. A recent detailed port assessment of Matadi (up the Congo River) had already been accomplished. Our team was to work on relationship building, with the hospital assessments and logistical arrangements. It was challenging and fulfilling. The people are friendly and loved when I used my limited Lingala (one of their major languages). They need us and want us in their nation and so I believe that sometime in the future we will have a Mercy Ship there.
Photo on the left: Port of Matadi on the Congo River and next with the Mayor of Matadi