Believe it or not today we had a broken pipe with water everywhere! So the team has been scrambling to get everything repaired, cleaned up and ready for inspection tomorrow! After a long and hard days work, we are finally ready. We have done everything that we know how to do and many have prayed and played a part in getting us to this point. We rest in the knowledge that everything is in the Lord’s hands and we trust that He has a purpose for everything that He allows.
We ask you to please hold us in prayer, especially over the next two days as we are finalizing all the details for our first official visit by the Health Department which is scheduled for TOMORROW!! This is supposed to be a preliminary visit where they point out any flaws or errors we have with the clinic requirements (design, construction, contracts, operation manuals, etc…) and then gives us the opportunity to make corrections before the official inspection. But wouldn’t it be awesome if there were no corrections or changes to make and we could get fast-tracked to our final approval?!! PRAY CHURCH!!!!!!!
The team in Bocachica has been working so hard to get everything lined up for our upcoming inspection by the Health Department! This has required many hours of research, paperwork, creating manuals, personnel files, signing contracts and more!
One of our most recent victories was the installation of a new transformer which will be able to handle the electric load that the clinic will produce. Perhaps where you are from all you have to do in a case like ours is to turn in a request to the local electric company and they take care of the rest. Here we have to hire the electrician, purchase the transformer and all the supplies needed for the installation, get everything officially approved, arrange and hire a barge to carry everything out to the island, arrange, hire, and transport the forklift, hire the workers, provide meals and so goes the list. But THANK THE LORD, we were finally able to see this looming task accomplished! We thank the Lord for His provision of finances, contacts, strength and grace to see it through!
We’ve gone a few months since our last update so in order to catch everyone up with the latest, here is a month-by-month overview of what has been going on with us ever since:
In late November, ministry directors, Jorge and Karen, headed back to the USA for some medical check-ups. Unfortunately what was intended to be a few weeks stay has turned into another year-long journey as doctor’s discovered that Karen has had a relapse of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which was first diagnosed when she was a young teen. Karen is now undergoing chemotherapy and if all goes well, she and Jorge hope to be back in Colombia full-time by the beginning of 2017. In the meantime, Erika continues to do an excellent job of leading and directing the ministry in their absence.
The Cruzate Family returned from 6 weeks in Iquitos, Peru where they were attending a YWAM school of leadership development. After almost 13 years serving with Proyecto Libertad, Samy and Marley are considering moving to the city of Pereira to help launch a new mobile worship team with the YWAM base there. They are still praying about this decision and about the timing but they are excited about the possibilities.
Jorge was able to travel back to Cartagena for almost a month and a half to help tie up some loose ends and to spend the holidays with our staff.
Just a few days after ringing in 2016 we welcomed our first volunteers for the new year.
Shawn, from Colorado, came for a month to help us tackle our long list of mission maintenance projects! This was a specific answer to prayer and also to the SOS we issued back in October! We thank the Lord for Shawn and his servant heart.
Our biggest focus during the month of January was tackling an ever-growing list of maintenance projects that desperately needed attention: deteriorating walls, rotting stairs, and termite infested paneling, just to name a few.
Meanwhile, Elisabeth has been working hard on all the paperwork required by the Health Department. We are getting so close to finishing this process and having our clinic officially and legally registered! And last but not least, check out the new hand-rails installed at the clinic:
We had a great week with a short-term mission’s team from Hope Lutheran Church from Minneapolis, MN, led by our long-time friend, Ben Sollie, who is now on the pastoral staff at Hope. This group was also an answer to prayer and a direct answer to our October SOS!
We started out the month by welcoming our first ever volunteer from Lithuania:
This month we also hosted a group of 13 German volunteers for 5 days. They are volunteering in different parts of Colombia with a sending organization called “Weltwärts” and came to Bocachica to meet together for a time of debriefing and retreat.
Jorge was able to return to spend the month of March with our staff. He was able to work with Elisabeth on finishing up the clinic paperwork, help host the German group, and take care of a few other items of official business. He will be returning back to the USA on March 31st as Karen prepares to start her second round of chemo.
It is so exciting to see the Lord using the clinic to bless the community of Bocachica. This past week was very busy, especially since there are a lot of colds and flu going around. Currently we are attending to patients three days a week but our desire and goal is to eventually have medical care available 24/7. We are praying earnestly for full-time medical professionals to join our staff! In addition to another doctor, we need a nurse, a bacteriologist, a pharmacist, and a physical therapist.