Monday, December 5, 2011

Aissa update!

Hello everyone!

The little bird just recently underwent an additional surgery! In the nearby village of Pette, a visiting maxillofacial surgical team repaired a small defect, or hole just under Aissa's right eye. Below is the email message sent by Andy, a missionary at the Meskine hospital.

"Just to keep you updated. Aissa went back to Mouda today. Carsten(the surgeon at the Meskine hospital)is pleased with her progress. She can shut her eye now. There is still a small hole where tears are coming out but Carsten hopes that this will close in the next few weeks - if not Dr Lesley (the visiting maxillofacial surgeon) will be here until January and back again next summer.

Aissa was really happy while she was in Meskine. When she left she waved and said goodbye to lots of other patients and staff and so did Jean's wife. (Aissa's dad recently remarried) She seemed to have bonded really well with Jean's wife but was pleased to be going back to Mouda. Jean came to see her Sunday which really pleased her and he is excited to have both the girls back home for Christmas. Emmanuel the social worker is also pleased how well Jean is following up with Aissa and her sister and coming to get them and returning them to the orphanage.

Carsten will be seeing Aissa before she goes home for Christmas in a couple of weeks and he has left detailed instructions with the nurses at Mouda. The bandages have been off for a number of days so all Mouda need to do is keep it clean.

Thanks, Andy"

Big girl:)

Aissa and her new stepmama.

Going home!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Global Missions Health Conference

Each year Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky hosts the Global Missions Health Conference. One of the largest medical missions conferences in the nation, it exists to inform, train, and equip health care professionals and students to use their medical skills on both the international and domestic mission field.

This November I was invited to attend on behalf of MCWA. Along with our President Kenny Dunaway and the Director of Administration Cheryl Yennie, I spent the weekend talking with conference attendees about the Meskine hospital. It was amazing!

Below is a youtube photo slideshow of the event. I will also post pictures of our adventures on Flickr which can be accessed by clicking my photo link.


This church was HUGE! It looked like an airport:)

Posing in front of our booth. Kenny and Cheryl allowed me to decorate!

The ever-lovely Cheryl, the irrepressible KENNY and moi!

Aissa update

The little bird is doing so well! After moving to the Bethlehem Foundation orphanage this July, she quickly settled into her new home :) She started school in September and recently enjoyed a successful visit to her village over Christmas. Thank you for your prayers!

The little madam sporting a new butterfly t-shirt and her little sister, Aissatou.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Aissa update

Below is Andy's most recent email update on Aissa;

"Kari and I took Aissa and her sister to the Bethlehem Foundation today. As we walked up to her house in her village she ran to greet us. Both her sister and her seemed very happy to leave - Aissa had lost some more weight but was otherwise in good health. They were warmly greeted at Mouda and we left them without any tears, looking a little apprehensive but glad to be there. They will live at Mouda now, Jean will visit them there and then they will go back to the village during school holidays.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Aissa update

Below is the email message I received from Andy, one of our MCWA missionaries after his visit to Aissa's village this afternoon. Emmanuel is the social worker from the Bethlehem Foundation where we hope to send Aissa to school.

"I went to Aissa's village today. Aissa is doing well, her ear infection has cleared up on its own and her face is healing really well but she is looking a lot thinner and her arm circumference measurement is down by 1 cm (now 16cm). After Yanga (the nurse) had done his checks she went and got a couple of games and sat there with him happily playing while Emanuel talked with Jean.

Emanuel was very good about finding out information and he could tell some things were not adding up. Then a family member came in. He revealed that Jean was in fact the true biological father of Aissa and her sister.

Yanga remembers some confusion when Aissa was first brought to the hospital and the doctors and nurses being forceful about who was the father and so maybe Jean got scared and decided being the Uncle was a safer bet. Anyway all is now in the open ..... Jean's wife left a few years ago and Jean has been bringing up the two ever since with the help of his mother. In the past he has been away at times in search of work leaving the two girls with his mother.

Emanuel still agrees that the Bethlehem Foundation is the best place for Aissa and her sister and Jean and the grandmother have both given their consent too. Jean actually worked at the Foundation a few years ago, helping with the harvest so he knows of the place. He is keen to accompany the 2 girls there when we take them and is on board with the holiday visits and keeping up the contact with them.

Emanuel thought it would be good for Aissa and her sister to go at the end of the month. August is traditionally a hard time with little food and access to the village can be harder so we settled on Friday 30th of July. I will go and collect Jean and the girls and take them to Mouda and then bring Jean back to the Mokolo Carrefour and put him on a clando for home. The girls will then start living at Mouda and return for visits to the village in the holidays.

It was really good to have Emanuel go with us, he has so much experience in these kinds of cases and now knows where Aissa's village is located so will be able to organize the future contact with the family.

All for now


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hello friends and family,

I received an email this week from Andy and Kari, fellow missionaries in Meskine. Apparently the nurse who was hired to visit Aissa's village found that her skin infection had cleared nicely and her arm circumference had remained stable. This means that she has not lost any more weight in the past two weeks.

This news is so encouraging, thank you for your prayers. Soon, Andy and Emmanuel will visit Aissa's village to see if the family is willing to send Aissa and her sister to school. I will update you as soon as I hear from the team.

Blessings, Sarah

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hello friends and family.

I know you are all waiting to hear the final plan for Aissa’s future. Thank you for your patience. Our team is making this decision carefully, understanding the full impact it will have on her entire life. We are praying to know the will of God and are looking at this situation from all possible angles. It has not been easy, but this process is necessary.

After our meeting today we have stated as a team that we are ‘heading towards’ placing both Aissa and her sister at the Bethlehem Foundation for the school year. Many important questions are still left to be answered however, and Andy and I will make one more visit to the orphanage tomorrow.

In addition, the orphanage’s social worker will be invited to visit Aissa’s village in the coming weeks to ask the family if they are willing to send the girls away for their schooling. This meeting will be very important.

So please, please pray. Thank you.

Thank you CCBC!

Thank you Calvary Chapel of Battle Creek!

Your boxes arrived right on time and I was able to assemble and distribute your goodies to the pediatrics ward before leaving Cameroon!

Thanks to your generosity, each package consisted of crayons, color pages, candy, a toy, hair pretties and an additional item such as a toothbrush or stickers:-)

Aboubakar is 5 years old. Last year, he swallowed lye, an ingredient used for making soap. This chemical burned his esophagus (the pathway between the mouth and stomach) so badly that he can no longer swallow. The hospital has placed a tube directly into his stomach so that he can be fed. Missionaries on our team are currently mixing enriched porridge to be given him through this tube and surgery to open his esophagus is being investigated. Please pray.

She was all smiles... was he:-)

This baby doll liked his stuffed monkey.

Demonstrating proper Pixie Stick technique...

The many precious stuffed animals you sent were delivered to a grateful vaccination team who will use them to entice the village mamas to bring their children in for regular immunizations! In addition, the beautifully knitted baby bonnets and receiving blankets are being kept in the maternity ward. Once a mother has completed all of her prenatal visits, and after delivery in the hospital, she will be given her gift.

Once again, thank you for your generosity and kindness. We are so blessed by your efforts. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


To bike or not to bike, that was the question…

I had recruited Kerri one of our missionaries who speaks fluent Fulfulde to help me say goodbye to my language tutors who live in the village. Now, how to get to her house? The roads were likely to be muddy from rain the night previous and I was way out of practice with this particular mode of transportation!

In the end I decided to be brave. I dusted off the community bike used here on the compound and walked it to the ‘repair shop’ just outside the hospital gate. The ‘shop’ consists of a few guys working on motorcycles under trees which give shade to the oil-stained sand around them, but they have the all-important tire pump, and that was just what I was after. Tires re-inflated I was ready to go, dodging puddles, lizards and chickens on my way to Kerri’s house.

The visits went well. After ducking into two compounds and seeing a total of four women, the conversation often ended in the same way;

“You’re leaving us so soon Sadatou, (that's me) are you tired of us?”

“No, I’m not tired of you at all, I will miss you, but I am ready to see my baaba (father) and daada (mother).”

“Will you come back?”

“I hope to come back to visit friends, but I am not sure if I will work at the hospital. I am still praying to know God’s will”

“You must come back! Do not forget us Sadatou and practice your Fulfude…”

The visits were lovely, the weather was beautiful and as I rode home, mothers greeted me and their children ran waving into the street. Kingfishers flashed from branch to branch in all of their turquoise splendor and the hills in the distance sported a sprinkling of green thanks to the recent rains. A cool breeze blew over the village and I wondered again why I would ever want to leave this place.

It is part of me now.

Will anyone understand this? Will they understand how certain sights and sounds suddenly bring me back to a village in Africa? Will they see how this experience has changed the very person that I am, how I think and react, how I live my life?

There is One who was with me the entire time. He is a constant which never changes, His is a presence that will never leave me, even after I return to my ‘other’ life. I remember this and am comforted. This is all a part of the missionary deal, this paradox of emotions. Soon I will be home to hug my baaba and daada and as difficult as it will be to leave, that will be so, so good.