Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celine- Our Teammate in Stitches!

If you have ever been to the Bongolo Hospital's guest house in the city of Libreville, Gabon (known as "Gros Bouquet guest house"), then you've most likely met Celine. For almost a decade, Celine has been a smiling part of the team that serves travelers who are coming and going from our 10 bed facility.

She serves our guest house team by doing anything from feeding our pets to laundry to actually running the whole facility when Alace (the guest house director and, I might add, my lovely wife) is absent.

She's more than a teammate, though. She is a dear friend with a heart to be
used of Jesus. This comes through in all that she does at the guest house, in her neighborhood, and in her faith community. She is involved in community wealth-building programs, Bible translating, and prayer ministry. She has become a dear sister to us. We love her so much.

So when we found out near Christmas that, following a seizure event,
that an x-ray revealed a golf-sized size brain tumor behind her eyes, we were very concerned. It was already a difficult time for Alace and I and it was almost too much to think about what this might mean for Celine. We met with our team and her family and started to pray for what the best course of action would be.

After exploring local options, it became obvious that a solution at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya (a sister hospital to Bongolo) would be the best. Celines family and friends came together to finance every penny needed for the travel, lodging, and medical procedure... and so much more!

Many of you followed along with Celine's journey via our email updates and facebook and know that she has returned from Kenya praising the Lord for a very successful surgery!

Here are some great photos of our dear sister. She speaks very openly about how the Lord has blessed her through the caring hands of Dr. Leland Albright, the brain surgeon, and his team at Kijabe.

Many of Celine's friends and family can not believe it. For several weeks, now, many have been making visits to her home to see the scar from the stitches that give evidence to the amazing medical procedure that many here were thinking that sh
e'd never survive. Celine tells us that many of these friends and family are asking about her faith and wondering what would bring an amazing surgeon so far from home to perform the surgery and train African's to do the same.

Just as Celine has pulled through her ordeal with joy and praise, Alace and I have felt that, similarly, our time "in the valley" is over for now- we are praising Him as well. The Lord has reminded us, through Celine, that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is our Strong Tower- We will not be shaken!

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