In April, Jamie Saint (with I-TECH, based in Florida), Craig Hunter (a volunteer dentist), & 1 other dentist that had trained Dungu area medical people to do teeth extractions in November of 2015 returned to do further training on restorative dentistry (i.e. filling teeth, etc.). Nathan & Amini (Mboligihe’s 2 grown sons) spent the entire week with the I-DENT team acting as interpreters. The I-TECH eye team, called I-SEE, also were able to do eye exams, and prescribe & provide eye glasses to many local folks from donated glasses they brought with them. We received glowing reports of the success of the training& clinic time! Praise God for the relief brought to many who received both dental & vision care & were prayed for after their treatment.
We had a wonderful time last Saturday with friends and supporters of Partners in Evangelism International's (PIEI's) missionary to the Democratic Republic of Congo Mboligihe Ndalu and his wife Yoana. The focus of the event was to raise funds for the scholarship program that Mboligihe administers that provides opportunities for needy students to obtain an education. In addition, we were able to update attendees on the ministry activities that have taken place over the past year. Mboligihe prepared a video which provided testimonies of students who have benefited from the program. It can be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2iHqZKdWeY
If you are interested in contributing to this scholarship program, contact Bob Neyland, Chairman of the PIEI Congo Partnership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
PIEI Congo was awarded a grant from Tyndale House Foundation in the spring of 2015 to purchase radio station equipment for a new radio station to be installed in Banda, DRC. The purpose of the new radio station is to reach a predominately Muslim population in northern DRC with the Gospel and to provide other community development and educational programs. Today we received an email from Mboligihe that the new station is now operational! Praise the Lord! An excerpt from the email is included below.
It took a lot of effort to purchase the equipment and get it shipped to Africa. Praise be to the Lord for providing the organization Diguna (a German non-profit) to transport the equipment from Kampala, Uganda to Banda and, most importantly, to help us procure and install the 100 meter tower.
The radio station program content development and operation will be overseen by Mboligihe Ndalu, PIEI's missionary to the DRC. hopefully, pictures will be posted soon.
We have just completed a dental training mission to Dungu, Mboligihe's home town in northeastern DRC. I left Chicago on November 28 and returned on December 12. The objective was to train people to perform basic tooth extraction. It was a phenomenally successful trip! God worked in amazing ways! Our partners at ITEC (itec.org) provided fantastic training and I couldn't imagine better people to partner with. It was totally a God ordained partnership. Working with ITEC trainers Jaime Saint and Craig Hunter, we were able to train eight lay people from different areas in and around Dungu to examine patients and extract teeth. While we were there the trainees examined 169 patients and extracted 618 teeth! I just got a report from Mboligihe that since our returning about a week ago they have seen an additional 277 patients and extracted an additional 1086 teeth. We are sorry that so many extractions were needed but so grateful that we were able to eliminate so much pain. Praise the Lord! As you can see, there is great demand for these type of services.
These trainees will now be able to return to their home area where they plan to practice their new dentistry skills 2-3 days a week on an ongoing basis. Assuming that they do this and file some basic reports indicating their activity, ITEC will likely return in late 2016 to conduct further training regarding restorative (fillings) dentistry and dental hygiene. Please pray that this will happen.
While there I was able to speak four times - three times to the students at the new school founded by Mboligihe and once during their Sunday service on December 6. I was also able to investigate the infrastructure needs for the school, visit and pray with the women of LIBAMA (the women's ministry founded by Yoana), as well as visit the radio station and health center. It was also fun to visit with Mboligihe and Yoana's children, Nathan, Amini and Annie. All three are playing major roles in the school with Nathan being the head of the secondary school, Amini serving as chaplain for both the primary and secondary students, and Annie serving as the school accountant and financial secretary.
Praise God for all He is doing through Mboligihe and his family in Dungu.
Here are some pictures...
Beginning of training
One of our first patients
Praying and presenting the Gospel
One classroom in the new school
Speaking at the school
Visiting the widows of the Women's Ministry
I was able to travel to Kampala, Uganda in April to meet with Mboligihe to investigate the feasibility of hiring an engineering firm to design and build an assembly hall for the new school in Dungu. Mboligihe had obtained a rough estimate of the cost from Invisible Children engineers and we (the U.S. Partnership Committee) had obtained commitments for funding based on that cost estimate. The need for an assembly hall arises from the fact that the school has grown to over 800 students and there is currently no place for them to assemble together for chapel and other school purposes. While there we were able to put together a Request for Proposal (RFP) for detailed design. One of Mboligihe's contacts from Invisible Children in Kampala provided office space and was very helpful in writing the RFP and identifying reputable engineering firms to contact. He was also very helpful in evaluating the proposals that we received subsequent to my return home.
Unfortunately the cost components of the proposals we received were too high to warrant further discussions. However, we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the project and are currently investigating alternative means for completing the project. Those plans will be discussed when Mboligihe visits the U.S. for the annual PIEI meeting in early November.
Another purpose for the trip was to secure supplies for our upcoming trip to Dungu to train selected lay people in basic dentistry in late November. We were able to meet a dentist friend of Mboliighe's and he was able to introduce us to dental suppliers in Kampala. He also agreed to purchase the supplies and arrange shipment to Dungu prior to our trip in November. We are very excited to be partnering with ITEC on this trip. ITEC (itec.org) specializes in bring technology to underdeveloped communities in a way that does not disrupt. They are providing three trainers (retired dentists) to make the trip. By providing training instead of just a clinic we will be developing a sustainable capability. Please pry for us as we make the trip November 28- December 12, 2015.