Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What is a "necessary evil?"

I have been thinking about writing this blog for the past week.  Every time I think about what I must say the saying "a necessary evil" pops in my head.  So then I started asking myself  "Just what is a "necessary evil?"   "What evil could be necessary?"  Could any evil really be necessary?   So I have decided that what I need to say is really a "necessary dislike"!  I truly dislike having to write about what I MUST write about.  But here it is anyway.....FUND RAISING.

So here it is...short, sweet and to the point.

There are two financial needs which a missionary needs.  The first need is for personal support.  This support covers items such as food, clothing, insurance, medications, dental work, etc.  The second financial need is for "workfunds".  Workfunds are used to pay for anything needed for the mission work.  In my case this would include medications for mobile clinics, fuel for local travel, Tanzanian workers who help with the mission, vehicle repairs, supplies to assist with mission work, bibles to pass out, etc.

For the past two years, I have been blessed to have my personal financial support provided by my church family.  However, this year my church has had so many requests and new works to assist that they will not be able to continue my personal support after July 31.  Therefore, I am praying for God to help open some new doors for support.  My personal month need is $1,500/month or $18,000/year. 

The workfunds I have been using have been generously donated by several individuals.  However, the donations I have been receiving have fallen short of my $1,500/month budget.

     Internet                       $ 50.00
     Phone                            50.00
     Medication/supplies    750.00
     Driver/Interpreter        100.00
    Vehicle expense           250.00
    Fuel                              300.00

As I stated earlier, I truly dislike requesting help.  But without your help, I will not be able to continue working here at the Chimala Mission in Tanzania, Africa.  I love using the talent God has given me (nursing) to help those in need.  I believe God wants me to be here and will open your hearts (and wallets) to partner with me in this work.  Any amount you are willing to assist me with either monthly, annually or a one time donation will help.  Your donations can be sent to

Chimala Mission
5371 New York Avenue
Arlington, TX 76018

Please be sure to put a note with your donation to indicate that it is for Cheryl Bode's personal support or Cheryl Bode's workfund.  If you need references or any additional information, please feel free to contact me at cheryl.bode@yahoo.com OR my over-seeing congregation New York Avenue Church of Christ at chimalamission@gmail.com.


Friday, June 7, 2013

May work Update

The season has changed quickly in the past 3 weeks from the wet to dry season.  This is the fall/winter season here.  The trees have quickly lost their leaves and the temperatures have become cooler.  Of course, cooler here is not really cold; the nights can get in the mid 40's and then the day temps will get up to mid 70's for about 3 or so hours during the early afternoon.  In the early evenings, cool breezes come down from the mountains.

As the Oklahoma Christian University students left, we welcomed a group of 20 from Harding University in Arkansas.  This group is largely nursing students with a few nurses and doctors with them.  Janice Bingham, the nursing instructor and coordinator for this yearly group, lived here at Chimala for 5 years in the late 90's.  Her experience as a missionary here is of great benefit as she brings her students here to both learn and help here at the Chimala Hospital.  It is a great blessing to have these annual groups come to share their energy, smiles and love of God with those who are so in need.

My days are filled from before sun up to long after sun down with a variety of activities.  As I have mentioned earlier, I am very busy with helping to re-structure and re-organize the registration department.   This is a very big under-taking as we see about 1700 patients each month.  We are making new charts for each and every patient.  The current registration office is VERY small, so we are also in the process of expanding this office.  My goal is to have the entire project completed by the end of June.  Until the expansion is complete, I am refraining from showing you pictures, but I am very excited about the progress to date.

We have finished re-painting all four of the patient wards.  As I mentioned in my last post, the OC students painted the children's ward and the male ward.   Now the female and OB wards have also been painted.  The next project on my list for the wards is new screens for the windows.  As you know mosquitos carry malaria and many are dying from malaria every day here.  The holes in the window screens are big enough for pelicans to fly through.  This does not make for a safe environment for our patients.  We do have mosquito nets for the beds, however, the mosquitos attack them the minute they come out of the net to use the bathroom, get medicine or any other reason.

As I have mentioned before the level of care here is much lower than you would receive in America.  The nurse to patient ratio is often 12-20:1.  In plain words that is 20 patients to one nurse!!!  If you are in healthcare, you can imagine the time it would take to take vitals signs for that many patients with manual B/P cuffs and oral/axillary thermometers.  All of the wards now have temporal thermometers, pulse ox machines and automatic B/P cuffs thanks to generous financial gifts from family, friends and church family.  It is my prayer to continue to help with improvements here at the hospital to help the staff and the patients. 

Along with the physical changes to the hospital, I am praying that by example and my actions everyone I come into contact with can see the Light and Love of Jesus.  I attempt to greet all the staff each day as well as the patients and families as I make rounds at the hospital.  Often there are those "special" patients which we all have.  One 7 year old girl, Rahema, who was diagnosed with cerebral malaria was one such patient.  When she arrived, she was unresponsive, having frequent seizures and high temperatures.  With the help of Hamisi, my interpreter, I talked with her mother and father.  As her illness continued day after day, I would teach her parents and the staff how to turn her and perform exercises on her legs, arms, hands and feet.  After about 2 1/2 weeks, I entered the ward to find her bed empty.  At first I was anxious, but quickly found that Rahema had been taken outside by her mother.  I found them sitting on the side of the walkway.  At first, her mother just held her in her lap along with her baby brother.  A few minutes later, her mother placed her in a sitting postion by her side leaning on her mother...but the touching thing I noticed was that Rahema was holding her baby brothers hand.  The next day Rahema was sitting up by herself.  It was such a sweet yet sad day when she was discharged to home.  She still has a long road ahead of her, but I pray God will bless her health so that she will be able to have a productive life.

There have been a couple of other "special" little girls I have befriended.  The first was Anna.  She was a victim of a motorcycle accident where she sustained an open fracture of her lower leg.  I first met her when she was getting her dressing changed early in her care.  She was frightened and in pain.  I held her head to my chest and told her that she was special and Jesus loved her.  Now she doesn't speak English and I speak very little Swahili, but I was able to tell her God loves her.  She was in the hospital for several weeks due to the frequent dressing changes she needed.  I would go into the ward each day and greet her with a smile and she would usually give me a beautiful smile back.  Another generous church family member from MRCC blessed me with a donation for bibles.  With her donation, I was able to bless Anna with a children's Swahili Bible.  She isn't able to read, but she loved the pictures and her mother was helping her to read it.

If you look closely in the above picture you will see another young girl in the top left corner.  This young girl has also been a patient here for several weeks.  She can read and using her children's Swahili Bible often.  I will tell you her story on another update.

I would like you all to consider donating funds to my workfund through Chimala Mission.  These funds allow me to be able to help many who are in need every day.  My monthly budget is $1,500.  I am currently in need of much help to maintain this budget.  Even if you are only able to donate a small amount, it will be of great help.