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February Newsletter

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February is almost over and we are constantly amazed at how quickly the days, weeks, and months go by here! Here is a recap on the past month in Gembu.

As many of you are aware, we had a bad lightning strike here in Gembu in October of last year which caused a lot of damage. We want to say a big thank you to all that have given extra to help out with restoring electrical items. The only thing that is yet to be repaired is all of the solar/inverter items.  This disaster has forced us to evaluate the entire electrical issue. We have come to the conclusion that at this time it is too costly to get back to using batteries to “store” electricity for overnight use.  I won’t bore you with all the numbers but it is just not cost effective. For now, we will continue to use a generator 24hours a day. We have many solar panels, so we are now evaluating equipment that will allow us to take advantage of the sun during the day to generate electricity and move to use the generator during the dark hours. Without running chargers during the day to charge batteries off the generator we have also determined that we now are generating excess electricity. So, the other thing that we have decided to do is sell this excess to homes in our neighboring community. We believe that we have enough capacity at night with the small generator to power about 40 homes. Those 40 homes will generate enough income to pay for the fuel to run the generator for 12 of the 24 hours each day! Mid-February we hooked up two homes for testing and it is going well. We plan on supplying power to another 10 by March 1st.  This has also given us an opportunity to put street lights on the poles so our street going into town is completely lit providing extra safety for staff and patients that need to come and go after dark.

The new Staff housing was completed this month. There are 4 - 1 bedroom apartments and 6 - efficiency apartments.  The doctors are moved in and we will be moving a few more staff in now with space for new staff that we hire. GECHAAN now has a staff strength of 84 and will pass 100 before year end.  This does not include the “contractors” that we use for construction or the skills trainers that work in the TTP Program. Most times we have at least 10 and sometimes over 30 people additional working around the compound.

Things are really moving along well at the Hospital. We now have 3 university-trained doctors on staff. At the end of February, one of the long-time staff of Gechaan that has worked in the consulting department is going to retire. Daniel Fumlack will be missed and we wish him the best on the next phase in his life.  Daniel was the staff highlight person from December. The blood bank is moving along, it has been a bit challenging to solicit for donations because there has never been a blood bank in town so people are a bit untrustworthy of what we are doing. But, we are getting the word out and we have been able to have blood on hand and the word is spreading.  We have been trying to computerize the hospital system for a couple of years now and have had many challenges, but we are very close to having the system up and running. We will spend the month of March in test mode and if all goes well we should be live in April!  We have been without a Lead Pharmacist and Lab Scientist for over a month now. Please keep this as a matter of prayer as we search.

Many have appreciated the addition of a Chaplain in 2018. Francis is dedicated to patient care, making ward rounds with the Doctors and meeting with families.  Pray for all our staff in the Hospital as they share the good news of Jesus with those that come.

The Prep Classes are moving along well and we are to the point of working through multi-step word problems and developing those critical problem-solving skills needed.  Please pray for our students and their teachers!

We currently have over 100 students weekly in our afternoon reading classes.  We have changed our strategy with our more advanced readers so that we can take everyone that wants to come and will be able to increase our capacity without decreasing our effectiveness. We have had many new students each week that do not know English and have never been to school.  We are blessed to get to be the ones to introduce them to the joy of reading and writing.

We march forward with Days for Girls and are selling kits and talking to any group of women or girls on reproductive health.  We are shipping kits to about 3 different areas of Nigeria right now and are so thankful how this continues to touch women and girls in their everyday life.

We are in the middle of the election process in Nigeria. Last week it was announced that all elections would be pushed back 1 week so this weekend is the Presidential/National Elections and in two weeks we will have State/Local Elections. This can be a time of great turmoil so please keep Nigeria in your prayers.

As Converge approaches their new fiscal year we have been notified that we will need to raise a bit of additional support. We have lost a few supporters over the last couple of years and not picked up as many. The biggest deficit is because of increases in health insurance rates.  Converge has worked hard to keep them steady over the years, even changing providers last year but rates still go up. Please pass the word and make it a matter of prayer that the needs will be met! If you are able to help please click here to invest in the ministry. support us.  

This month’s bonus comes from a Mom whose son just finished the prep classes and is beginning his apprenticeship:

“First and foremost, I would like to thank GECHAAN and her donors for coming up with the Technical Training program (TTP). This program has impacted a lot on the community, especially in my life, my son and family.

Before I came to know about this program, I’ve been in confusion and worry since the demise of my husband his father about the future of my son Faith. He had already been initiated into drugs, alcoholism and idleness. He never cared about his appearance and health any longer. He neither spend time at home nor assisted in the domestic chores. He dropped out of school and was not willing to get back on it. I have cried and prayed day and night. I couldn’t put more pressure because I also was unable to provide adequately for him. 

One day he got home and started telling me about the GECHAAN TTP which I neither knew about nor understood it. I said well if you think it’s good why not give it a try. Then he brought a form home and told me they GECHAAN people needed to see me. I agreed and went with him.
I was told everything about the program and I agreed to help in any way possible. So that’s how it all started.

Today am a happy mother seen my son taking his bath regularly, looking neat and having something to do. He no longer wants trouble. He suddenly became humble and helpful with the domestic chores. Above 
all he has given up on drugs and those bad companions he had back then. This program has actually impacted on him positively both physically, morally, socially and in fact even spiritually.
In fact, I lack words to express my gratitude and joy. May God Bless GECHAAN TTP and her donors.”

If you want to read a summary of 2018 and some future plans you can download our "State of the Union" update here.

In His Service,

Dan & Tina Gibbs
Standing Beside                       
Visit our website at www.StandingBeside.com
 

 

Dan & Tina Gibbs Missionaries to Nigeria

Download PDF of newsletter here.

Prayer Points:

TTP (Technical Training Program) development, students and teachers

Hospital Staffing

Hospital Staff sharing the Gospel

Wisdom in all we do.

Funding

Please let us know how we can pray for you!
 
 

Financial Report:

 
Our Personal Support is currently 95%!! 

Click here to support us.

Please Give to the Project funds!

Click here to give to the Project Funds.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT

Funmi Taiwo Funmi has joined the team in the Community Relations Department.  She has been a volunteer teacher working with Tina over the last year.  She continues in this role and in addition, will be searching for and applying for grants.  Further into the year, she will also take over the role of directing the AWANA program.

Please pray for Funmi as she helps move the organization forward as well as the many hours of volunteering teaching classes that she does.
 



 

 

 

 

 

 
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