Friday, May 29, 2015

Fundraising, French, and Further Updates...

We have been so encouraged and overwhelmed with generosity in the last few weeks- thank you so much for helping us get this far with our fundraising!!!! 
We are 1/3 of the way there!

Some french school updates:

- We are still making progress!
-Nick and I have both taken turns leading the morning class devotional in French

(You will still find Nick here, faithfully in his study spot, every day after class)

- I have moved on to some more challenging reading material than the Tin Tin books I was reading a couple months ago :)  Being able to understand them is a really good feeling; reading helps me realise that we really are progressing. 

- Lately, we've been learning lots about French pronouns, words used in the Bible, and several new verb tenses.  We don't have verb tenses in English like they do in French.  If you want to feel overwhelmed along with here

-Nick also reads in French every day- he reads me a bible story out of this book every evening! :)

-This photo is a little outdated now, but this is our class!  We are blessed to be learning French along with such awesome people.  After they finish studying, they will be headed to Togo, Cameroon, Senegal, France (to be pastors here), and several other countries.  Can't wait to see what God does through each of them!  

Some things we would love prayer for:

- That we would make the most of our last 2 months of class time.  Can't believe it will be June in a few days!

- The groundwork is being laid for the Ponseti (Clubfoot) Program in Madagascar!  Please pray that God would prepare the hearts and minds of the local healthcare workers who we will work side by side with all year.  

- That we would continue to make progress towards our goal of being fully funded for the Madagascar outreach

- That we would find an opportunity for Nick to finish his continuing education (for keeping up his USA physio license) in the midst of all of our travel

- That Suzanne's nursing license would be approved in Australia! (this is a really long process, which we started last June, and we're waiting for a final decision) 

Thanks for the prayers!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

we're off to Madagascar...

We are headed back to our favourite floating hospital this August!

Mercy Ships has invited us to return to run a very special program- clubfeet!

The ship is currently docked in Tamatave, Madagascar.  Turns out, the need and opportunities for partnership in this area are so great that the organisation has decided to return for a second 10 month outreach starting in August of this year.

During Mercy Ship's first visit to Madagascar they found a great need for clubfoot treatment, and there is still a very long waiting list of kids. 

A few clubfoot kids in Madagascar

Nick has already taught the Ponseti method in Guinea, Togo, and Sierra Leone.  (But this will be the first time it is his full time job on the ship)

We have the opportunity to help meet this need in an awesome way!  The healthcare professionals at the local hospital in Tamatave are very eager to learn how to manage clubfeet in their own clinic- and we are eager to teach them!  The two of us will run a training program together, partnering with a local clinic and training a group of healthcare professionals on the Ponseti method.  We will run a conference, mentor the clinic staff, and treat patients alongside them for the full 10 months.  Nick will be the Ponseti Program Coordinator and Suzanne will be the Ponseti Program Assistant.  We are so excited to work together!

If you want to know how it is possible to correct feet with the Ponseti method, check out this short video clip:

A few facts about Madagascar:

- Two official languages:  Malagasy and French
-4th largest island in the world (592,800 square kilometres/ 228,900 sq mi)

-Population of over 22 million

 -0.16 Physicians per 1000 people (America has 2.45 per 1000, Australia has 3.27 per 1000)
-Over 70% of the wildlife species and 90% of the plant species found in Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world!

We are very excited about this amazing opportunity to return to work with Mercy Ships, work together as a team, and use our new French language skills.

Want to help us out?

We really appreciate everyone who has partnered with us in the past- we couldn't do this without your support in prayer, encouragement, and financial help.

We need to raise enough financial support to cover our ongoing service with Mercy Ships.  If you feel led to help us out financially, click on the "support us" link at the top of the page.

Our fundraising goal: 
23,500 USD / 30,000 AUD
for the 10 months in Madagascar

Support as of May 15th:

Thank you for being part of this journey!