The last weeks of May we had the joy of hosting Pastor Jerry Taylor, our board member Tim Gilkinson, and groups of men from CityHope church, Celebration Church, and St. Amant church. These wonderful men aided us in completing the new roof on the hospital as well as changing the roofs on other structures surrounding the hospital. During the two weeks of teams from CityHope church, we had mini-teams that formed to accomplish as much as possible during their stay. There were men welding the substructure, men taking down old laminates and putting up new ones, men working on wiring the duplexes, as well as a team painting the interior and exterior of those duplexes.
Nearing the end of the dry season, it was imperative that the teams work quickly to get the new roof on to protect everything from the impending rain. The first group from CityHope church worked long hours to prepare the substructure to receive the new laminates. The first couple of days the men had beautiful warm sunny weather. However, it wasn’t long before the heavens decided it was time to open up again and we received what can only be described as a monsoon. Volunteers raced to the hospital with brooms and started sweeping the water towards the center drain – attempting to keep it from seeping under the door of the back room where all of our supplies were being housed. They swept for hours in the pouring rain until the courtyard of the hospital was filled to the brim with water and there was nothing else that could be done. The rain finally stopped and we were able to clear out as much water as possible. The next few days were as sunny as could be and dried up the remaining water spots. We truly saw the provision and protection of the Lord during this very vulnerable time for the hospital. As we would near the end of our supply pile, another shipment would come in with more materials for the men to work with. By the end of the week, the team from CityHope had finished with the substructure and had begun laying the insulation for the laminates.
The very next week we were joined by another group of men from CityHope along with friends from The Church International in St. Amant. The joke of the week was that the first team had done all the hard work and the second team just came to “cut the cake.” However, their week was no walk in the park! They started working on Sunday morning after attending the early service together through livestream. By the end of the day Monday they had replaced all of the laminates over the OR and recovery area and they were able to start around the “skirt” of the hospital. This group of men was so fun and encouraging. They had many nights of power outages but continued to smile and laugh and play many many card games! All the while the paint team had finished the first duplex and had started on the second. Wednesday of the same week, we welcomed a group of men from Celebration Church in Shreveport to help us put new laminates on outlying buildings around the hospital. By the end of the week we no longer had to worry about a monsoon flooding the hospital because the roof was completed above the second story as well as around the skirt of the first floor! Additionally, the paint team had completely finished painting both duplexes inside and out! Everyone felt so accomplished and the hospital didn’t feel as vulnerable anymore.
At the beginning of the following week the men from Celebration Church began helping us move a few things back into the hospital such as: an exam table, our reception desk, and many of our supplies. Within a few short days we will begin seeing patients again with a provisional setup of the hospital. Not only did the men from Celebration Church help with moving back into the hospital, but they also put new roofs on two of our hammock huts.
What a joy it has been to host so many wonderful men who have given weeks of their time to help us steward well what the Lord has given us. God has been so kind to see us through this time of transition and protect those who have come to serve. We are so grateful for his loving kindness toward us and can’t wait to see how He expands our influence through this hospital upgrade!
Written by guest blogger: McKenzie McLeod