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October 2015 Update

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu writing

 

Everyone here is excited because elections for President are on the 25th of October, three days from the day I am writing. There are huge crowds at every event...thousands. Everyone is so involved with the elections, that some work is not being done...like the final installation of our electricity. The lines are up on the poles, the transformer is there, the OPD and houses are wired. There are about 5 days left of work, but that can stretch into many more days. We are impatient, but trying to be patient! 

In the meantime, we are involved with finishing the OPD...small things, but they add up to a significant amount of money. These things are: 12 ceiling fans, plastic covers for florescent lights, paper towel holders (16), toilet paper holders (7), Paper towels, Soap Dispensers (16), a double sink, double drain for the prep room, painting where the plumbers put grey cement instead of white cement, 5 flat screen monitors and surge protectors, leveling the road coming into the hospital, a sign stating where the Birthing Center and Neonatal Center will be,...well, you get the idea.

The good thing about the delay in electricity is that we can get everything as near to perfect as possible...but the frustrating thing is that it takes some money to get those small things done. However, people are stunned by what we have done. Most say they have never seen such a well equipped and beautiful place for medical care. (Well, they have not had to use the toilet without the paper!) 

If you can help us with this final push, we would be so grateful. We have come so far...just need to go a bit farther. 

Next month I hope to have news about this exciting election. And also about the staff we will have hired. Interviews are on Nov 7, 2015, and it looks like we have some good potential staff. Bless all of you for all you do. 

Sincerely, Mary Kitundu
President of IHP-US, and IHP-JEMA-Tanzania

Denny Lofstrom writing

We returned a bit earlier to the U.S. this year so Paula could attend her high school graduation 55th reunion on Sept. 25th. That is when our troubles began… 

At the reunion, at a prominent condominium complex, the serving tables were set up outside. A lart tarp covered what we thought was a tennis court. There were no signs, no barriers. Paula stepped out to cross the corner of the tarp to go to our table and the tarp gave way and she sprawled down onto the sagging tarp! It covered a swimming pool! Later, x-ray confirmed not just one fracture but two of her distal right 5th metatarsal, but also the proximal aarea (a Jones fracture – that usually requires placement of a pin). 

Two days later, undaunted and not asking for any help, she was dragging a fifty-pound bag of African artifacts in from the garage, caught her left foot under a loose carpet and fell with her right arm and shoulder hitting the wall and breaking the right humeral head. 

We bound her up with what was at hand and she drove herself to the nearby E.R. (I am not yet allowed to drive b/c of a weak, numb left leg from a road accident in Tanzania several years ago.) 
 

We have hired our 21-year-old cousin, Isaac Vano, to drive us and to do the lifting and help set up for our presentations, so we hope to see many of you as scheduled, and to thank you for your support of IHP in the past and the future for the Children’s Hospital at Zinga in Tanzania, just north of Dar es Salaam and just a couple of miles from the beautiful Indian Ocean. 

 

Paula Lofstrom writing

Hello from Newton, Iowa as we travel around the country. 

Denny and I have started our round of fund raising for The Children’s Hospital at Zinga and have already met some wonderful, generous people who are helping with the funding and also planning to come out and help themselves. 

IHP has been given equipment from a surgical center in Kansas City that will mean we can equip an operating room, recovery room, etc. in Zinga as well as furniture and shelving to organize the hospital. However, it will cost about $20,000 to get it to Tanzania. 

Atonement Lutheran Church has purchased the container itself for us, but now we need to have it delivered to the surgi-center in Kansas City. Then it will be loaded by volunteers from Atonement as well as by my sons David and Matthew West and their friends. Bob and Shirley Newberry are bringing the donated golf cart for Denny down from LaCrosse, WI. The container will be delivered on Friday and then will be loaded up and taken to my cousin’s farm for storage until we can afford to send it to Tanzania. 

Having the container stored in rural Missouri will give all of you that are making quilts and baby layettes, diapers, etc. for us to send it to: 

Lofstrom 

9671 Reeder 

Overland Park, KS 66214 

When we have the money to ship the container we can add those items to the container. The cost of shipping to Tanzania within a few days, but will be in the neighborhood of $15,000, so those of you who are sending us items to go in it, please send a donation to IHP for $10.00 per cubic foot to defray some of the shipping charges.

Marie Quanbeck, Newton, Iowa. IHP Board Member Writing

Paula and Denny are back in the States, sharing the story of the Children’s Hospital at Zinga, and reconnecting with friends here. Every year, my husband Duane and I look forward to their stay with us and to their visit at our church, First Lutheran in Newton, Iowa. Our congregation is raising funds to start construction of the X-ray and water purification building, which must be completed by April so the donated equipment can be installed. It is exciting to hear of the progress at Zinga, and to see the most recent photos. We are looking forward to our work trip to Zinga next summer, and give thanks to God for all that has been done so far. 

Paula and Denny’s dedication to this project reminds me of an elderly gentleman my father interviewed while a missionary in Tanzania. As a very young man, Samson had been a porter for David Livingstone, which would have made him a very old man by 1962. When my father came, unannounced, to interview him, he was on his way out the door to preach at a meetinghouse several miles away, on foot! In the course of the interview, my dad asked Samson if at his advanced age, he wasn’t thinking about retirement. Wouldn’t it be nice to pumzika, to rest a bit? “Pumzika?” Samson almost snorted. “The people at the church office are asking if I don’t want to rest. But Jesus didn’t tell us to rest, he told us to go out and do his work!”

Samson

It is a sure thing that Samson would have approved heartily of Paula and Denny’s labors to bring healthcare to Tanzania’s children. We are blessed to have a small part in supporting their ministry, and to count them among our dear friends.