November 2011

Cheryl Gayle on November 26, 2011

  HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!  We pray that you find something to be thankful for everyday of the year and not just during the holidays.  We are always thankful for our salvation in Jesus Christ!  All the other blessings  in our lives are “fringe benefits.”  We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends here in Togo, complete with turkeys, mashed potatoes, dressing, and gravy.  And we all ate too much of course.   Some of the patient stories this month for you to pray about:  A 12 year old boy arrived to our hospital with a severe, compound fracture of his lower leg.  He had broken it 3 weeks earlier playing soccer.  The family took him to the local “witchdoctor,” who treated this severe break (with bone sticking out of the skin) with herbs and probably a sacrifice or two.  By the time he arrived to us, the leg was badly infected and gangrenous.  His leg had to be amputated above the knee.  It makes us so sad when something preventable like this occurs.  There is still a lot of work and education to do in Togo!  Another sad case was a mother whose baby died before it was born.  She could not deliver the baby, but had to have a C-section to remove the fetus.  And yesterday a little boy came in with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, which is a type of cancer found in the mouth and other areas of the body that can be treated fairly easily.  This little boy had already had a couple of treatments at our hospital, but then he and his family skipped 3 months’ worth of treatment due to a death in the family and lack of money.  He and his family returned Friday, because he was getting worse and losing weight.  With this type of cancer, once you start treatment, you need to have ALL the chemotherapy treatments.  If you skip any, it is a very low percentage that the treatment will help again.  He also has some other complications, so at this time, he is being sent home to die.  When we have done everything that we can medically, the only thing left for these patients and their family is the Good News of salvation and eternal life.  We’re so thankful to be able to help people physically and spiritually.  We had a couple of interesting visitors this month too.  Retired Togolese General Walla has been hearing about our hospital for years.  He has driven by it many times.  He and his wife (and two military guardsmen) decided to drive here for check-ups with Michael.  Because he is a dignitary, we had the privilege of entertaining them for lunch afterwards.  They were very enjoyable and seemed to be very solid Christians.  We were able to share a new French Bible with them and a Bible Study in French (Won by One.)  They usually fly to France for their medical check-ups, so we’ll see if they ever return.  But at least they now have been to the hospital.  Other visitors included two gentlemen from the U.S. Embassy.   One was the “Premier Conseiller” and the other was the “General Services Officer.”  They both said that they’d heard a lot about our hospital and wanted to see it first-hand.  They were very complimentary and wanted to know how the U.S. can help the hospital.  Since Togo is not allowed to have U.S. Aid at this time, due to human rights violations, it will be interesting to see what they can do.  Maybe we can influence them more than they help us?   Two of our favorite short-termers, Drs. Dave Oviatt & Susan Radecky (husband and wife) from World Medical Missions have been here for over 2 months.  They have been a true blessing to us.  They have to leave on Monday the 28th, so we’re already getting sad.  Continue to pray for more medical coverage and for the 3 full-time medical people still here (Michael as a FP, Todd as a medical/surgical PA, & Dave as our General surgeon) to be able to just take one day at a time and just rest in Him.  Pray for the other short-termers who will be coming to help as they can.  God provides.
  We are also very thankful for you and how you’re part of His Team to Togo!  We trust that you feel as blessed and thankful as we do!   For His Glory,     Michael & Cheryl Gayle, ABWE, Togo W. Africa Medical Missions and Church Planting