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New Jersey Comes South

We recently had a visit from ten members of churches in the New Brunswick, NJ Presbytery, including several from my (Dr. Wolf’s) home church in Kingston, NJ. It was a delight having them here and we experienced many great activities together. Some of the team members have been down here multiple times in the past and several were first-timers. But, they all worked hard and we hope everyone had a fulfilling and enjoyable time with us and our staff in Gatineau.

NJ team and our staff in front of the clinic. Bottom left to right: Scott Hodge, Ninfa Mueller, Juanita Ashby, Cherlie, Whitney Charbonneau, Janet Rubinstein, Sharon McAnuff. Top row: Katie, Guy-Johns, Adrien, Gemi, David Raduzycki, Emily Raduzycki, Tom Lee, Miller, Pastor Sharyl Dixon

Everyone on the team spent some time with us in the clinic. Sharon McAnuff, a retired nurse, put her skills to good use with Cherlie in the triage room, doing patient vital signs and weights.

Sharon helping Cherlie with patient assessments

Architect Tom Lee was here with us for two weeks and he and the two other men in the group – David Raduzycki and Scott Hodge – completely set up and organized a brand new workshop for us. We just completed an addition out the back of the storage depot, and there is now ample space for all those lovely power tools and carpentry materials. We’re hoping this dedicated workshop will be used not only by visiting carpenters, but as a venue for doing some vocational teaching with Haitian carpenters, who are less skilled with power tools.

David building a counter in the new workshop

Several members of the team went with our Community Coordinator, Gemi Baptiste, to a community about 30 minutes from the clinic. There, they did some health teaching, gave a Bible lesson and spent time interviewing and learning from the local community members. They asked questions of our Water and Sanitation Promoters and this allowed the Promoters to show off their knowledge to the community. At the end of the week, Cherlie and I went with the team to another community where we did some health teaching, answered lots of questions and had Pastor Sharyl bring greetings from the churches in NJ. The team was thrilled to be treated to a taste of fresh coconut water!

Ninfa and Juanita eating the inside of the coconut after drinking the coconut water.

Sharon receives instructions from Jules, one of our Promoters, on how to eat the inside of the coconut with a “spoon” made from the outside of the coconut shell.

One of the very important events of the NJ Team’s week was a meeting that we held with 40 pastors and lay pastors from the Protestant churches in the area around the clinic. We wanted to meet with them to let them know that we will be referring some of our patients to them for discipleship and Christian fellowship, especially those who pray with us and accept Christ as their Savior. Pastor Sharyl Dixon and members from Kingston Presbyterian Church greeted them and Pastor Sharyl fielded some questions from the pastors regarding church activities, theology and practices in the US. It was a good beginning for us and we hope to have more meetings and seminars with the pastors in the future.

Pastor Sharyl in the midst of the pastors in our meeting with them at the clinic

Dr. Wolf addresses the pastors in our meeting together.

A few months ago, we made history when we held two Vacation Bible School (VBS) sessions for young children in the area around the clinic, with the help of the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver. They did such a great job and the children had such a great time that we were almost afraid to try it again for fear of not meeting up to our own expectations! But, try it we did with the NJ Presbyterian group. We had about 30 youngsters come to the clinic for Bible stories, crafts, games and fun two afternoons during the week. Here are some photos from the exciting event:

Painting a welcome sign for the VBS sessions

Juanita helps some of the boys with a game during VBS

Pastor Sharyl shares a Bible story with the VBS children, with the assistance of Daniel, the translator.

Children sitting in a circle at the start of VBS

VBS children holding up their crafts at the end of the last day

Here are some happy faces from the two-day VBS event:

While the NJ team was there, we were also blessed by a visit from several members of a hospital group from Sioux Falls, South Dakota called Avera. One of the group members was a family physician named Dr. Patty Peters, who did patient consultations with us in the clinic all week. We were grateful for her help and expertise.

Dr. Patty Peters relaxing at the end of patient consultations

Avera Team members (left to right): Sherry Gorman (computer expert), Shari Platek (RN), Kathy English (RN, mission team coordinator), Dr. Peters (family physician) and Bill Bradfeldt (pharmacist). Missing in the photo was Bob Voglewede, retired, former VP of Missions for Avera.

We’re excited about the expertise and resources that Avera brings to our ministry and are anxious to see what the Lord has in store for all of us in the future!

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