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Esther's Miracle

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Esther's Miracle

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This story begins with the incredible life of a young Masai man by the name of Luka. Luka moved to Arusha, Tanzania and came under the influence of our partners Vernon and Mary Smith. It was here where Luka became a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. A few years ago, his new found faith was severely challenged when he found out his traditional Masai father was going to sell his 12-year old sister to a 40-year old chief with four wives. In an incredible act of grace, Luka and his wife decided to buy his baby sister from his own father and allow her to live with them. What an incredible act of selfless love! Luka and his wife also have a six-year old daughter named Esther. She was terribly burned on her legs in a fire five weeks ago. Our medical director Dr. Byemba has been skillfully and consistently treating her since she was burned, but the condition was getting more complicated. Noticed that she was developing scar tissue that would impair her ability to walk naturally. Doctor Byemba was willing to try a skin graft on Esther, however he has never done this particular procedure before and was a bit uncertain of his ability.

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The story now takes an amazing turn. We had a team join us this week from Campbell St. UMC in Springfield, Mo. We did not know anything very specific about this team of young people and their four adult leaders. On the second day after their arrival I casually asked one of the ladies what she did for a living and found out that Carla was a veteran doctor. Upon further conversation we learned that Carla was an experienced plastic surgeon. Esther and her serious need immediately came to my mind. I think you can anticipate the beautiful climax of this story.

Upon arrival in Arusha, Carla and Dr Byemba conferred and after examining Esther they agreed that a skin graft was needed. On Saturday, July 13 Dr Carla performed the three-hour operation with Dr Byemba assisting. I am happy to report that Esther is doing great and that Dr. Byemba feels confident that he could perform the procedure on his own for future needs. What are the odds of a random traveler also being a skilled plastic surgeon just in our hour of need? This is an amazing story of a miracle for Luka, Esther, and his family. Thank you Dr. Carla for being the answer to our prayers and for an amazing story of God's incredible providence and faithfulness to Luka and his family.

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Construction Boom

During the past few weeks, two New Hope Initiative projects in East Africa saw construction of vital facilities accelerate at an incredible pace. We are currently about 60% complete on a large new wing for our medical center in Arusha, Tanzania. This new wing will house the very first charitable x-ray service in all of northern Tanzania. In addition to the x-ray facilities, the second level of our new building will also house an expanded lab and diagnostic section. This allows us to offer a greater range of services at much faster speeds. When we move the lab from its current position in the main wing, we will have the space to add a third doctor, increasing our capacity to see more patients on a daily basis. This is an exciting new development for our medical center and will double our usable square footage. We would ask you to pray for this project, as we are currently about $25,000 dollars short of the needed funds to bring the project to a timely completion.

Our second major project this summer is the completion of our new church construction in Kibera. The facility was under roof and usable last fall, however code restrictions in Nairobi have prevented the Kibera congregation from fully utilizing the building. This summer we added flooring, finished carpentry, painted, installed a septic system, and finished the Pastor's housing in the basement. The facility is now 90% complete and we are excited to report that the Kibera church is now using the facility on a weekly basis. We are thankful for the help that several of our summer teams brought to this project. It is exciting to see the ministries in both Arusha and Kibera going forward in these tangible and visible ways.

By Sandy Baird - Director of New Hope Initiative

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