Friday, September 26, 2014

From Tanzania to Oregon

The support for the work I do at Chimala Mission comes from many people and many places in the United States.  Most of those who send financial support do not know me personally and neither do I know them.  There is one person who sends support from Oregon.  Just before I left to come visit the states, this lady contacted me to see if I would be interested in visiting her in Oregon.  She told me that she would like to help me raise support by setting me up with places to speak.

At first, I didn't think I could make the time to go all the way to Oregon...I have family to spend time with, I am already making two trip to Texas to meet people and speak, I have several presentations to do in Oklahoma City/Edmond.  There just wouldn't be time.....or would there?

God puts people in our lives for different reasons.  Could this be a door He is opening for me and the Chimala work?  I spend 11 months away from my family, but my dad sat down with me and told me he didn't think I should pass up this opportunity.  So with my families support, I traveled to Oregon for 5 days.

When I stepped off the plane in Oregon, I was met at the gate by a very excited, enthusiastic woman, who would quickly become a friend and sister in Christ.  During this week, I have been welcomed into her home and she has driven me all over this beautiful area.  And it IS beautiful!  The weather has also been awesome!  A wonderful trip overall.

And that is not all!  She had done all the ground work to set me up to speak about Chimala to 5 different churches.  Each church was so welcoming and listened with interest to the work at Chimala. I was able to meet many wonderful and compassionate brothers and sisters in Christ.  I have been able to share the story of Chimala with them and know that God will now work in their hearts.

This has been the most wonderful week and just think if I had pasted it up.  We must always be listening for God.  He will speak to use in many ways and with different opportunities.  I pray that He always gives me wisdom and discernment so that I do not pass up the opportunities which He may be sending my way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Back in the States

I thought it might be interesting for you to know a little about my first weeks back in the states after being gone for a year.  The week before I left Chimala, I was anxious about leaving....couldn't really decide if it was because I was ready to see family and friends or if I was anxious about leaving Chimala.  It is hard to explain.  I love my family and miss friends, but Chimala is now my home and the people of Chimala are my family and friends too.

After 48 hours of travel, I was so excited to see my mother and father!  I do talk to my parents several times a month.  They are a great source of support and encouragement for me and the work we are doing.  I am praying for lots of quality talk time with them both as this is the first time in 3 years that my mother has not been in the hospital during my visit....oops, did I say that out loud?  So praying we continue to stay well!

Then there are my sister, brother and their families.  Need time with them.  AND most of all MY DAUGHTER and grand children.  One of the worse things about living half way around the world is not staying in touch with my wonderful daughter, Bethanie and her family.  My grand children do not even know who I am.  And I know that they will not have time to know who I am before I leave.  However, being able to see them even for a short time helps.

Trips back home are not just a vacation.  Much work must be done to raise support to continue the work.  It has not been easy raising the money needed for my personal support and the support needed for the work which I am involved.  My first week home was very busy setting up appointments to meet current supporters and presentations to hopefully find new ones.  So far I have two trips to different areas of Texas and a week long trip to Oregon.  New fund-raising brochures were made, new business cards and a couple other marketing tools ordered.  The key to raising money, as I understand it, is that you have to spend some money to make more money.  Sure hope these presentations, trips and tools bring in a lot of support.

Then I still need to see the doctor, dentist, get a hair cut, visit the tax man and see the eye doctor.  Whew, the time will go quickly and it will be full of stress.  Would any of these items cause any anxiety?  Oh and then lets add that the car.....the steering wheel is now on the "wrong" side of the car and I am now driving on the "wrong" side of the road.  Also some people here spend (waste) more money than I need to raise.  A big plus, tho, is all the variety of food available and the restaurants!

Now for the reasons coming home cause anxiety from the "leaving" point of view.

At the hospital, we have a new accountant who has only been there for a couple of months.  Still pretty new at doing the accounting and I am trying to help him from halfway around the world.  The CEO of the hospital is retiring and his last day was September 12th which leaves another pretty big whole while I am gone.  Now don't panick, Chad Wagner, the administrator, is there to watch over things...and I know that I am disposable....but I am such a type A personality that I want things to go well and I hate to add work/stress to one of my team members.

Since I have been gone, one of my Tanzanian brothers has lost his wife to a long-term struggle with her health and the water pump/water distribution system has had lots of problems which has led to several days of no water.  Things are being handled, but, again, I wish I was there to help and take some pressure from Chad.

Since I have been writing this blog over several days, I will tell you that I have received around $2,000 in one-time donations from friends.  However, I am running around $1,500 per month short.  Please if you have ever considered helping with a mission work in Africa, I am continuing to look for monthly supporters.  If you are willing to become a monthly partner, please send in a donation to the Chimala address to the right of this post and indicate that you will be a monthly partner.  Finding enough monthly partners who will help me reach my monthly budget will allow me to focus more on the work and less on fund-raising.

Also, the hospital has several "special" updating projects which we will be working on this next year. We will be needing extra funds for the following:

Building over the water purification system (which will protect the equipment and staff during rainy season)
Laboratory improvements
X-ray remodel and updated x-ray developer
Replace more of the old mattresses

Each of these special projects will need help with funding.  If you would like to help with one of these areas, please send in your donation with a note of where you wish to see your funds used.

May God Bless you all and Bless this work as we continue to administer both physically and spiritually to those in need.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Coming to America.....Well actually, I'm here!!

I know, I blog posting leaves much to be desired.  There are many reasons/excuses why I have not been writing more often.  Not sure any of them are reason enough, but the main reason is    S-L-O-W internet.  The second is I work until I drop most days.  I am currently in the US at home for a short visit.  I will be here until October 7th when I begin my long trip back home.  Thought I would take advantage of the faster internet and get you all up-to-date.

I am here for two BIG reasons.  First to visit my family, but most important is to raise support and work-funds in order to be able to continue my work at Chimala.  It has been a struggle lately with my support.  My budget is $1,500 for personal support and $1,500 for work-funds.  In August, my contributions were $975 for personal support and $210 for work-funds.  This is a bit worrisome, but as Jesus instructed us to not be anxious in anything....I continue to trust that He will continue to provide for the needs of the work.  I am just here to do my part in the work and then He will open doors and hearts.

Many GOOD things have been happening during July and August.  Through the generous sacrifices of several people, we raised about $7,000 to "Get our Bathrooms out of the Toilet".   Below are some of the pictures.


Isn't this amazing?!!!!  Thanks so much for your donations and sacrifices.  We have completed the Children's ward and the male ward.  When I return to Chimala in October, we will begin working on the Female and OB wards.  As you can see, the Tanzanians are proud of the work they have been able to do.  Many hours of work have gone into this project.
We are also working on improving our laboratory department.  I do not have any pictures at this point as we are having difficulty finding the needed rock grinder for the built in concrete tables.  More information on this project when I return to Chimala.
The clinics are going very well.  Two of the 5 clinics had over 100 patients in August.  Just to remind you, the mobile medical clinics are held in remote villages where exams, labs and medications are provided at affordable costs.  No one is turned away.  If they cannot pay all of the expenses, care is provided for free or at a discounted price.  If a patient is in need of frequent follow-up for dressing changes, this is provided to them at no charge.  At this time, we have one patient who requires dressing changes 3x a week.  Zabibu is paralyzed from the waste down and therefore, going to the hospital 3 x a week would be a great hardship and very costly for him.
Below is a new patient we began seeing in July.  I call her "Rafiki yangu" meaning "my friend".  She is 9 years old and has been paralyzed from the neck down for four years.  She had cerebral malaria which is a very deadly type of malaria and often produces this type of outcome.  Anyway, her family is trying their best to care for her with no resources.  In order to take her anywhere, the mother carries her on her back!  I had found this old wheelchair in a storage area, so we cleaned it up as best we could and fitted ti to "my friend" the best we could.  Even tho the wheels are flat and she is a little too big for the chair, she and her mother were so glad to have it.
We needed something to help her hold her head up.  We really needed a soft neck collar, but instead a visitor from Germany was with me and had an airplane neck we improvised.
There is much, much more to tell you, but will stop for now.  However, since I am in the land of fast internet, I will continue to send you updates.
As I stated at the beginning of this update, I am in great need of financial support to continue this work.  I am asking for all of my family and friends to take "Cheryl's Chimala Challenge".  Please consider donating one hours salary to this work.  Make your check out to Chimala Mission if you wish tax deduction and to Cheryl Bode if you don't.  Checks can be mailed to Cheryl Bode, 927 S. Academy Road, Guthrie, OK  73044.  AND if you wish to give more than one hour's salary, if will gladly be accepted as well!!  :)

Monday, June 30, 2014


Wow.  Two more months have just flew by!  It is absolutely amazing to be in a place where time is not a priority, yet be so busy that the days just run together.  May and June were jammed full of activity and visitors.

WATER PROJECT in partnership with New Life International.  As I previously informed you, we have installed a water purification system for the hospital.  I am pleased to say that after a few trials, we are successfully providing purified water around the clock to all areas of the hospital.  We praise The Lord for bringing New Life  and Chimala together and for providing funds for this project through Harding University.  I also want to thank Steven Uhde for the many hours he put in training our staff to run the system.

OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY students.  We were blessed with a visit from 7 students this year.  They helped with painting at the schools, organizing at the hospital and unpacking boxes from the container we recently received from the states.  They also provided 3-day VBS programs to 3 different villages with anywhere from 150 - 200 kids each day.  The students bring an energy with them that helps refresh the missionaries.  Of course, we all work side by side, so their activities add extra work to our normal schedules.  The day the OC students left the ..........

HARDING UNIVERSITY medical group arrived.  The group this year included 2 doctors, 4 nurses, and 8 nursing students.  This group works every day at the hospital.  This is a great opportunity for the students to learn about medical care where there are no advanced technologies and for our local doctors to have some help with our heavy load.

BRE AND CLAIRE.  These two young ladies arrived with the Harding group.  Bre was here two years ago with the OC students.  This year she and Claire came to spend 2 months at Chimala to see more about missionary life.  I am blessed to have them staying with me.  They have been a huge blessing to me and the work I do.  They have helped get our registration department on computer as well as sort out all duplicate files and re-organize the files.  They have also gone with me on all my mobile clinics which was a great blessing to me as Anna Wagner has left to go home.  Anna did patient vital signs for our mobile clinics, so with her gone we were in a bind.  These ladies have been very valuable to us in our time of need. 

MOBILE CLINICS.  In case you didn't catch it in the paragraphs above, I now have 5 monthly mobile clinics to outlying villages.   We are averaging 70 patients per clinic.  At our newest clinic, Kapunga, we were able to identify 5 HIV positive patients and refer them to the hospital for free HIV treatment.  These clinics have allowed us to identify several patients who needed immediate hospitalization, many who needed care who could not afford care and show many the love of God through our actions.  We use these clinics to bring community members to the church building where they receive a welcome from a member, prayers for their medical needs, fliers about God's plan for salvation and the opportunity for Bible studies.

The services we offer at our clinics include a physician consult/exam, lab tests and medications at a lower cost than they would at the hospital.  This is not to undermine the hospital, but instead to encourage them to come to the church where we can make contact.  Also we are able to reach those who are in need and do not have easy access to medical care providing them treatment before they become so ill that they are in critical condition before arriving at the hospital.

HOSPITAL.  We are extremely busy at the hospital!  Due to generous donors, we have started work on two big, much needed remodel jobs.  First is the job of cleaning up our very deteriorated bathrooms.  I am in hopes that within the next 60 days we will have clean, functional bathrooms.  Pictures of progress to follow....soon, I hope......

The second project is to bring our laboratory into better working condition.  Early this year, the Walter-Reed Foundation partnered with us to help us provide more laboratory tests to our patients.  So far they have donated a CD4 machine which will assist us with more accurate diagnosis for our HIV patients.  As partners, we have to do so improvements ourselves and part of that is to enlarge and upgrade our facilities.  Again, I promise pictures as we make progress.

TRIP HOME.  I am planning a trip to the states in September.  I am in great need of financial support for the work I am doing here at Chimala and also for medical teams who are looking for a great opportunity for a short-term mission where many are in need.  If you are interested in meeting with me while I am in the states to discuss either of these needs, please feel free to e-mail me at

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Where did March and April go??!!!

I cannot believe it has been two months since I posted an update for you.  I guess time flies not only when you are having fun but when you stay busy as well.  March and April have been really full months for me and May is shaping up to be the same.  When I look back and when I look forward, the only thing for me to do is Praise the Lord!  There are so many wonderful things happening for the people of Chimala.

The week after my last post, the hospital had a big problem arise.  Our accountant left for another position without any notice.  This affected me because I had to step in to help with alot of the accounting work; the payroll, general ledger, etc.  I spent the majority of March trying to learn the ropes so to speak of the insurance, social security fund, payroll and other accounting systems.  I already had a good "over-view" of the systems, but not all the detailed ins and outs.  This has kept me very busy all on it's own.  However, all the other work continued as well.

Mobile Medical Clinics:  I have spend many visits and worked closely with three more churches for mobile clinics.  In April, we started a new clinic at a village called Kimani.  By the end of April, I had recieved approval for clinics at Kapunga and Chang Ng'ombe.  Both of these will be starting in June.

As I informed you at the end of February, the government here has started a push for all boys 5 years and up to be circumcised.  We performed over 700 at the hospital, but in March and April, we began going out into the villages with mobile circumcision clinics.  We have held these clinics at two different villages over 6 days.  These are held mostly on the weekends with the dressing changes occurring during the week.

I also have had 3 patients in March and April who needed frequent dressing changes, so I have been making two to three home visits per week most weeks.  So here is the count for March and April.  Mobile clinic/circumcision clinics - 8 days; circumcision dressing changes - 3 days; and home visits - 12.  The outreach from the hospital is expanding quickly and is being very well received by all.

Nursing Education Classes: We have also started teaching nursing education classes every Friday.  These classes focus on one topic with specifics each week.  The class is a hands-on learning/practise to help the nurses with better nursing practice.  Rene and I started teaching and now we are having other seasoned nurses help with the education.

Hospital Bathroom Project:  At the first of March, I announced that our bathrooms at the hospital are in bad disrepair and need much attention.  What I actually said was "Help us get our bathrooms out of the toilet!"  I had hoped to begin remodeling this month and still may start the Children's Ward bathrooms before the end of May.  We have received $1,800 from several of you so far.  Our need is $6,000.  If you or anyone you know is looking for a good cause to support, please consider helping us with this project.  I am talking bathrooms which no one should have to use, especially when you are sick!  And even a bigger problem is the condition of the bathrooms which new, healthy mothers have to use just after giving birth!  I am praying that I will be showing much improvement in this area soon.

Water Purification Project:  This project has been at the for-front for all of April.  We have been working through e-mail with New Life International since January.  They usually do not send workers into the field to help with set up.  The training is usually done in the states and then you go out and perform the set up where you need it.  However, they have been so helpful and wanted to work closely with us because our project is pretty big.  And we are praying to have more projects like this one in the future.

The main source of funding for this project is the Harding University Nursing School.  As we made the plans for this system, we were striving to have it operational for the Harding group to see when they visit Chimala in a couple of weeks.  In order to have this happen, lots of planning and building has been taking place. 

We have purchased 3 - 10,000 liter (2500 gal) polytanks.  Two tanks will be for water purification and the 3rd will be the "distribution" tank.  Once a tank of water has been purified, the water will be transferred to the distribution tank where it will then go to the hospital for use.  We have build one meter (3 feet) platforms for these tanks to be housed on.  Each tank when filled will weigh approximately 22,000 pounds.  This was prep-work.

Steven from New Life arrived last Thursday.  Since then the electric has been run, a small housing center for the electric built, tanks prepped and placed on the platforms and starting yesterday the workers have begun training on the operation of the system.  Everyone is putting in long, busy days.   It is so amazing to see everyone working together for this goal and being so excited to learn something new.

This is just a few pics.  I have tons, but will share more when project is complete.

Another wonderful thing which happened in April was the visit of the Spiveys.  Johnny and Laura Spivey spent 2 weeks with us.  They have been raising money to join our mission team.  Johnny and Laura were such a blessing to us all.  They worked side by side with all of us and everyone enjoyed them.  I am praying for God to provide them a way to return.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ask, Knock and Seek

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

I know without a doubt that God has ALWAYS been with me and provided for me.  He has done this even when I was not following him as I should.  I continue to trust in God to provide for my needs as I strive to follow his path for me.  However, I do not believe I have been doing my part.  I have not been doing enough Asking, Seeking and Knocking. 

ASK:  Will you please help me with the financial support I need to stay here?
I have been here at Chimala Mission for 14 months.  I have worked very hard to help those who are poor and sick.  I am providing mobile medical clinics to rural villages as an outreach program for the local church to reach out into the community opening doors to teach the Gospel of Christ. It has taken several months and a lot of work to build the relationships I have with those who work at the hospital as well as the various village church members and leaders.  If I were to leave now due to lack of support these relationships were be greatly damaged and trust for others in the future would be more difficult.  Too many people have come here with promises to help only to leave after a short time leaving them without much needed assistance and leadership.

SEEK:  I am seeking your prayers for the work here in Chimala. 
There are many things we are currently working on to improve the hospital here.  Currently the water provided for the hospital is river water, which means it is NOT clean, safe water.  One of the most basic of needs for anyone is clean, safe water.  This water is not safe for drinking, cleaning wounds, or cleaning equipment used for patient care.  The Lord is paving the way for us to bring clean water to this facility.  We are working with Water for the World in the US.  We will be receiving a couple of water filtering pumps next week and one of the their representatives will be joining us here at Chimala at the end of April.  At that time, we will be setting up the new filtering system and hopefully will have a safe, clean water for our facility.  The funds we have for this system are limited to a donation from Harding University Nursing Students.  Please pray that this process goes as planned, the funds we have are sufficient and clean water is supplied to our patients.

A second large undertaking we are working on is to improve the laboratory facilities and their testing capabilities.  The Walter Reed program is working closely with the Tanzanian Government to help provide HIV care and treatment.  Here at Chimala Mission, we see approximatly 2,000 HIV patients and we deliver close to 300 babies per month.  A piece of this program is to work to prevent Mother to Child transmission of HIV; therefore, we perform HIV testing on all mothers and provide consultations and treatment for those who are found to be positive.  Through this HIV program, we are striving to improve our laboratory facilities and to obtain the necessary lab equipment needed to provide good care.  Pray that through this partnership with Walter Reed, Chimala Mission Hospital will receive help to obtain the needed facility improvements and equipment for our laboratory.


KNOCK:  I am knocking on the door to your heart (and your pocket books).  Please open your hearts (and pocket books) to the needs of these poor people.
The majority of people in this country make less than $10/day.  Can you imagine that?  Ten dollars a day!  (not an hour)  Many families cannot afford to send their children to school.  Food is mainly corn and rice.  It is a treat to have meat on the table.  Many who are sick either die or wait too long to seek treatment because they simply do not have the money to come to the doctor.  The mobile clinics we take to the villages provide medical care at a lower cost in hopes of identifying illnesses early and to teach preventative medicine.  As you can imagine, the actual cost of providing these mobile clinics is much more than the money which we collect for the services.  Please open your heart to the needs of the poor and open your pockets to this work to allow us to continue.

Remodel needs for Bathrooms:  As I informed you a couple of weeks ago, our bathrooms are not remotely safe for our patients.  They are badly in need of cleaning and refurbishing.  The cost in US$ is $6,000.  I have asked for your help in raising this money.  As of February 28th, we have only received $240.  I am, therefore, knocking on your pocket-books again seeking these funds.

Throughout the Bible, we are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated.  Love each other; even your enemies; help the poor; and provide for the widows and orphans  .Please help Chimala Mission Hospital to provide the type of facilities and care which you would like to be provided.  I realize I am asking, seeking and knocking for a lot of things.  It is my prayer that God will bless you and help you to open yourself up to our work.  As we provide for the basic physical needs, we will also provide for their spiritual needs. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updates on the last few reports

Thought I would update you on what has happened in the last few reports I have given you.  First, Eli has gone back to school.  I have heard from him once informing that he was getting settled in.

The circumcision clinic officially concluded with 668 circumcisions completed.  However, more men and boys continue to come every day, so our staff have continued to perform the procedures.  As of yesterday, the number was close to 800.

As for the bathrooms which are in the toilet.  I will be receiving updates on the amount of donations at the beginning of each week starting next Monday.  If you have not put a check in the mail yet, please stop and take a minutes to do so.  If 100 people would send $50, we would almost have the amount we need.  But in order to get 100 people to donation, I need you to be first.

And finally, I have some very sad news concerning the 4 month old little girl who had been treated by a local doctor.  She had been cut many times across her chest and due to this treatment she sustained a large infected abscess on her shoulder and chest.  This little girl has died dispite treatment at the hospital.  I do have to tell you though that even tho I was sad at first I now feel differently.  This little girl had suffered much in her very young life and I am happy to know that God has removed her from this earthly life and she is now where she will have no pain and suffering.

More to come in a couple of days.  Stay tuned for more news from Chimala.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Help!, I have fallen (into bad disrepair) and can't get up without your help!

Below I am going to show you a picture story of the bathrooms at the Chimala Hospital.  When I arrived one year ago, I found many areas which were in need of improvements but sadly could only do one thing at a time.  I am now looking to fix the horrible disrepair of these bathrooms, but without financial assistance from you I sadly will not be able to fix this short-coming.

As you look at this pictorial, please remember that you (one person) does not have to pay for it all.  If each of you would send what you can then with God's help we will reach the amount needed to bring these bathrooms into a good state of repair.  We need $6,000 to complete this project.  As you look at the pictures, let me explain that it is hard to clean concrete walls.  When we recieve help from our friends to repair the bathrooms, we are going to tile the walls in order to keep them cleaner.  Also as you look at the pictures, please note that much of the plumbing is broken.  Many showers do not work and do not have valves.

AND I wish I could have made these pics "scratch n sniffs", but luckily for you I could not.  The smells have seeped into the walls and wood doors over time and are trapped.  We are also looking to improve ventilation.  Look closely and I bet by the time you get to the 3rd or 4th picture you will be sending us a check. 

 These are pictures of the female ward bathrooms (pics 1-9)  Ladies would you want to use these bathrooms when you were healthy and well?  How about when you are sick? OR  Do you think these might add to your illness?

Note the water will not shut off in this picture.

The next pictures are of the OB ward.  The ladies using these bathrooms have just given birth to newborn babies.

Why have these not been repaired and re-done before this you might be asking.  A couple of reasons.  First, the mission hospital treats patients at a lower cost than other facilities in order to bring healthcare to those who have limited resources; therefore providing a lower amount of profit for improvements.  Second, until I arrived in January, 2013, there was no missionary here specifically looking over the hospital for many years.

Below is the bathroom for the children's ward.  They only have one bathroom and one shower.

 No turn-on handle for the shower.
 Door is rotted.

I saved the best for last.  This is the men's bathroom.  They have 3 shower's, none of which are working and 3 toilet areas.

We will begin one area at a time.  The first thing which we will have to do it to power wash all the walls, floors and doors with bleach water and soap.  Then the walls will have to have concrete repair work done.  Once that has been accomplished we can begin removing old plumbing, tiling the walls and re-installing the plumbing.  Then we can have new doors (which I hope to be metal) and new paint.

PLEASE HELP WITH THIS PROJECT.  Our projected start date is May 1st if the Lord opens your hearts and pocket books to help us.  Please send your tax-free dollars to Chimala Mission,  5371 New York Avenue, Arlington, TX 76018.  Put a small note stating that your donation is for the BR project.

This can be a project for a bible class, school class, other organizations and individuals.  I will keep you updated on the amount we have received and the progress we make as we get started.  I cannot express what this would mean to the patients we treat here in Chimala.