First Eyeglasses Ever!

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By Dr Wendy Hofman:

We at the Bongolo Eye Clinic have started making our own eyeglasses! Back in June 2010, Eric and I started a conversation with Wooddale Church in Minnesota as they were looking for ideas for their “Generosity!” campaign. We presented the great need for eyeglasses in Gabon, Africa, where we work. Here patients often have to travel to the capital city of the country and spend $300+ that they don’t have in order to get eyeglasses. Many times a day my nurses and I would write out prescriptions for eyeglasses to my patients who needed them, knowing that these prescriptions would never get filled. Continued

Pure Water!

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In February a team of four visitors were on the hospital compound to install a PROFESSIONAL FILTERING SYSTEM that started to filter all of the water that supplies the Station and the hospital! It also chlorinates the water. After a few weeks of this purified water going through the old pipes to clean them out the water was DRINKABLE!

Update: Although the water is now MUCH cleaner than it was before, we have found that the price of paying for Chlorine locally is very high so have stopped using the chlorine. Please pray for wisdom as an alternate source of Chlorine, or another solution is being sought. Thanks.

1st Annual Bongolo 5K Walk-Run!

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The 1st Annual Bongolo 5K Walk-Run took place on July 2, 2011. There were 24 people who participated in this event, with others cheering them on. Missionaries, Africans, American visitors, adults and children on the Bongolo Station registered for the 5K just before 10 am and the then the event started right away. All who finished the 5K were WINNERS!

Get READY, get SET, GO!

The Container is Moved!

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January 8th Email from Joanna Thelander:

Today was an exciting day at Bongolo!!!

The fun started at 2 pm this afternoon.  Mel and LaVon (visitors from Ft. Wayne, Indiana) started digging under the 40 foot container that was placed in front of 2 apartment buildings 3 years ago that was needed back then to store materials.  We have prayed and prayed for a truck with a crane big enough to move it and Mel and LaVon were inspired to move this themselves by sliding and pulling it.  They have planned on doing this project since their last visit and Mel’s hobby is moving houses and barns so this 40 ft. container was nothing for them!

They dug under it, jacked it up, put a long “sled” under it and then the fun began.  At around 6 pm tonight (as it was getting dark) they started the slow movements to pull this 8,000 lb. e yesore to its final resting place (down a STEEP hill).

The sun set, it was getting dark and at one point they needed more weight in the dump truck that was pulling it since the wheels kept spinning in the soft, muddy grass.  So about 10 of us jumped in the dump truck (praying for a smooth ride and that the chain would not snap or we would not get ejected from the dump truck).  I was not really excited about climbing in the back of this dump truck and helping in this way, but honestly I thought, I have prayed and prayed and lots of you have prayed too that we would find a way to move this container.  I know it takes prayer (and we had lots of people praying), but it takes faith as well and that faith sometimes requires action.  So, I thought it was time for me to get in to the action and DO something.  So I climbed in the truck (with my heart racing)- praying the whole time.  Keir was in there too, so I figured we would at least die together, but then I thought of our kids….  OK it was a risk, but it wasn’t THAT risky.

We successfully drug the container around 3 SHARP corners (sparks flying behind the container and almost taking out some steps) and down a STEEP hill and at 7:30 pm it was sitting, off the road, ready to be pulled into its final resting place on concrete footers next.

So, it was quite a day!

We praise the LORD that no one was hurt in the process.  God is good, all the time.

Thank you for your prayers.  They were answered today.

Love from the jungle,


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Weights: Baby A- 1kg520, Baby B- 2kg050 and Baby C- 2kg170. To change these weights into Pounds, multiply times 2.2.

The local Television station came and filmed the babies, Father, Pediatrician and the head Midwife. The father and Head Midwife are hoping that the family can get some government subsidy for their family. They have four other children.

Praise the Lord that mother, Ely, Ben and Tom did fine. Mom and babies went home just after one month of ages. The boys’ father was at the hospital the whole time Mom was and he was fully engaged with helping with baby care. The couple know the Lord and are from an Alliance Church in another city. They came to Bongolo Hospital after finding out they were to have triplets. Thanks to all who knew about the Triplets and prayed for their birth and progress. Check out the photo of  the three boys shortly before they went home.

Firetruck Donation for Bongolo!

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Word has been received by Bongolo Hospital that supporters have purchased a Firetruck for the Bongolo Hospital. Visitors had been at the hospital last year when a fire broke out in the main Hospital Warehouse. They returned to the States and purchased a used Firetruck online from E-Bay!

The Firetruck is a  1975 CF600 Mack Pumper Fire Truck.  May 23rd the Firetruck bound for Bongolo was presented to the Pittsford Community Church, Pittsford, New York. A 3 minute talk complete with 26 photos  was given and there was a Gabonese artifact-adorned display table and photo board.

Lots of kids were able to climb in, on and around the fire truck (as long as a parent was present). Lots of adults were able to stare in amazement that a 1975 MACK pumper was purchased on eBay and is en-route to Bongolo Hospital in the rain forest of Gabon Africa.

The truck has been prepared and inspected for use at Bongolo Hospital but has not yet been shipped. The Pittsford Community Church is raising money for the shipment of the truck. On “Presentation Day” in May funds were collected for the Firetruck’s  shipment to Gabon but the total amount has not yet been raised. Click  HERE to see  more details on the Firetruck Bound for Bongolo” project. Your tax deductible check may be made out to Pittsford Community Church with “Bongolo Fire Truck” in the note. Pittsford Community Church is located at 421 Marsh Road, Pittsford, NY 14534

PAACS Graduation

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Bongolo’s 6th & 7th African doctors will finish their Surgery Residency program in July 2010. Dr. Jean Yaradouno will graduate next month after five years of surgical training at the PAACS general surgery training program at Bongolo Hospital. His wife Jackie graduated from the Bongolo Nursing School in May, and gave birth to their second daughter, Grace (not pictured) in June. The couple is headed to Hope Clinic, in Guinea, where they will both serve with a multi-national Alliance team. Dr. Yali Bin Ramazani will graduate at the same time. He and his wife Eveline are planning to serve at the Kalukembe SIM Hospital in Lubango, Angola.

Dr. Yaradouno and family
Dr. Yali and family

Nursing School Graduation!

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On Sunday May 9, 2010 eight Bongolo Hospital Nursing students graduated in a ceremony held during the Bongolo Alliance Church service. The regular church service was held, but the message given by the Alliance District Superintendent, Pastor Mbesse, was directed towards the new graduates. At the end of the service the new Graduate Nurses slipped out and went to the back of the church where they entered the church while doing the “African Shuffle”, to music provided by the worship team, an electric keyboard and guitars.

After several speeches by various people, the diplomas were handed out. A reception was for the new graduate nurses and their invited guests. They were so excited and Praised the Lord to finally be finished with this 29 month study program!




Included in the above photo are three of the school’s Professors: Carolyn Thorson, Lisa Nicky and Moungala Claude. Two Professors, Rebecca Thompson and Karen Fitch were in the States and missed the Graduation.


Cessna Plane makes Unplanned Landing!

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The end of March Pilot Steve Straw sent this news item about an unplanned landing  of the Air Calvary plane:

“Air Calvary’s Cessna 207 aircraft, based in Gabon, Africa, experienced a loss in engine power and made a forced landing in the village of Owendo, just south of the city of Libreville.  No one on the ground was injured and neither were the two pilots and one passenger participating in the training flight.  There was minor property damage and the aircraft also incurred structural damage.  A detailed report will follow.”

Steve and Alace Straw and their three children are now on a three month planned Home Assignment in the States.  No repairs will likely be done on the plane until their return.  To follow their trip you may visit their “Arrivals and Departures” blog.

Air Calvary Cessna 207 Arrives!

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Today the Air Calvary Cessna 207 plane arrived at Lebamba, the town where the Bongolo Hospital is located. It came into the country last week but it took several days to get all the paperwork completed before it could be flown down to Lebamba and the Hospital. Many went to the airport to welcome pilot Steve Straw and his family after their two hour flight from Libreville.