As we started into 2016 we thought it would be good to look back and see what God has provided in the last year. This will be longer that our normal newsletters so please bear with us. If you don’t have time to read the entire thing jump to the bottom and see what is coming for 2016! So here is the Gibbs 2015 year in review!
Worked on fund-raising for the Clinic to Hospital change-over. We also purchased many items that we needed to bring back to Nigeria with us. We had a Days for Girls Event at Edinbrook Church on January 18, where volunteers sewed, cut, and put kits together for Gembu!
We were able to have medical supplies donated that will more than fill a 40 foot container. We visited Dan’s parents at Bibleville in South Texas. Our old admin building was gutted and he process began of turning it into a “hall”, or conference facility.
We left on March 18 to return back to Nigeria. Upon arrival we started the application process to receive a duty free waiver for the medical supplies. March 26 saw a fairly peaceful presidential election in Nigeria. Tina spoke with the AWANA missionary in Jos and scheduled our Pastors’ forum for September 5 and worker training for October 5-9.
We continued talking with churches and church leaders about the possibility of them being involved with the AWANA Clubs.
The month started with tension and the town being shut down as well as a bit of violence in many areas. The Hall was finished, this has been a fantastic took for training leaders, it will seat 120 people.
Tina started working with CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) so that she can reach all of the Christian churches in our area. She also started working on learning efficient was to sew the Days for Girls kits and how best to train others, and worked on refining her reproductive health talk for girls and women. She also started a weekly bible study with some teen girls. Dan worked with the clinic and pharmacy developing systems to help make sure supplies remain in stock and are we are not over-stocked.
Dan spent many hours developing a data base system for our pharmacy. This is the first phase in computerizing the Life Line Centre. Tina spent two days at a Children Ministers Retreat and presented the AWANA program to them.
Tina did a radio program introducing the area to AWANA. We went to go to Abuja as we needed many supplies, to get our closing documents in to USAID, investigate equipment for the hospital, and for Tina to attend the workshops and trainings with Celeste Mergens, the Founder of Days For Girls. Dan worked with the Nigerian leadership of The Global Leadership Summit to schedule and event at GECHAAN.
We found out that the application for our duty free waiver on the container had been misfiled and may have been lost. We distributed about 100 invitations to our AWANA Pastor’s training meeting. Donations are much appreciated so that we can train future leaders. Tina started working with some young women teaching them how to cut out the materials and sew the Days for Girls kits. We visited two fairly remote communities and met with the leaders to help assess needs as we are applying for a small grant to help with this. Our focus this time was to visit schools.
The AWANA missionary, David Mark and Esther his helper made it here on September 5. We had 71 people here from 66 different churches! All denominations came together to learn how they can reach children. On September 5th
Dan’s father passed away and we traveled back to Pine River, Minnesota for his memorial service. While in the States we helped Dan’s mom, Elsie, with a number of legal, banking and other issues. We also stopped by and visited our friends at Global Health and received some medical equipment that will enable us to test for cervical cancer and a couple of other items. We met with a class at Bethel University that was doing a project on the efficiency of our clinic. In addition, we were privileged to meet with Bethel Students interested in missions and missionaries on furlough from Converge in a forum.
We arrived back in Nigeria on October 1, and in Gembu on October 4 just a couple of hours before the AWANA missionaries arrived from Jos for our weeklong Seed Planters Conference. We had 40 participants from 31 different churches and denominations. We spent the week learning how to run an effective and fruitful AWANA program.
We had 30 churches start running their own AWANA Clubs. A new nurse was hired. Dan worked on Global Leadership Summit Details, and trying to figure out the status of our duty waiver and how we should proceed in that direction as well as some food distribution with local partners and World AIDS Day. Tina was still working on training Days for Girls seamstress to help with upcoming church women’s club trainings and work days. She had Typhoid a good share of the month. We went to Abuja to purchase delivery beds and medical equipment as well as stock up on supplies that we can’t get in Gembu. We also got to spend Thanksgiving with two other missionary families in Abuja.
On December 1 we had World AIDS Day. The new Pharmacy and the Clinic Guard house were started. We previewed all of the Leadership Summit Videos and planned the schedule over Christmas break. Our leadership team also finished the GECHAAN revised mission statement: “Glorify God, providing sustainable community services to Nigeria, specifically the Mambila Plateau, with the intent and purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God through the demonstration of compassion and the love of God in the lives of its staff.”
It is amazing what God has accomplished in just one year!
Here are just a few things that we know are happening in 2016 that we are very excited about:
we hired 2 additional nurses, and had the AWANA follow up meeting. Art came to visit and check on how everything is working and to help us move forward. We found out that all of the paperwork for the duty waiver had been lost and we re-submitted. The Leadership Summit was held in and we had 37 leaders from area churches and businesses. All that attended were very pleased with the information and are looking forward to inviting many more to the next event in November! And in January we had our first baby born at the hospital on the new delivery beds!
we will start 24/7 service in the Hospital! We are also planning on a visit from an Architect that will help us with building planning. This is a huge undertaking that requires much logistical planning, please pray as we move forward that this can be a smooth start.
we will occupy the new pharmacy! Also, we will take a step of faith and break ground on a new building that will house our Operating center and Maternity center. A couple gave GECHAAN $10,000 at the end of December that will be used to start this building. This will take us through the foundation and get the walls up on the first floor. We are praying that by the time this is accomplished that God will provide the funds to move on to the second level on this building. We have room in our current building for 18 beds. The second level of this building will give us space for an additional 32 beds!!!! This building is desperately needed to that we can provide the quality of care that is needed. Please pray with us that donations will come in as we build so that the construction will not need to stop until the building is up! If you can help us financially with this project please click here to go to the giving page.
Another week long intensive training for new AWANA Leaders. We plan on adding at least 2 additional nurses and 1 nursing assistant.
May, June, July
– Sometime in May we plan on making a visit to the US to help Dan’s mom get moved into an apartment and take care of any other issues. We will try to visit as many churches as we can while we are in the states. Then sometime in July we will return to Nigeria.
In the last half of the year we will hire some additional staff, especially in the area of surgery for the clinic. We want to finish the new building so we can be moved in and operational by 2017. We will hold the Global leadership Summit in November. We will also have several AWANA follow-up meetings and possibly another week long intensive training for new leaders.
We praise God for the work accomplished in 2015 and the accomplishments to come in 2016.