Here is a recent testimony from a new member of the Bongolo Hospital team:
When I arrived at Bongolo, the maternity ward had exactly 2 speculums. There were a few more scattered around the operating room and surgery clinic. (At least 50% of you will understand the importance of that particular tool in my line of work.) I didn't have an office, so the only place I had to consult with or examine patients was the half bed we use for deliveries. There was an ultrasound in maternity, which allowed us to measure fluid volumes and locate heart beats. I think it's younger than I am, but I wouldn't swear to it. Keir kept promising me an office and would even occasionally talk about exam tables, but I refused to let myself hope. I learned secret tricks for stealing, I mean borrowing, the ultrasound machines from medicine and surgery. The consultants hunted me all over the hospital, and I spent a lot of time in the maternity nursing station. It worked to some degree, but it was far from ideal.
Then a few weeks ago, my office was finally finished. I got a desk and a chair, and then one day, I walked in to an actual exam table. Just for the fun of it, I opened the drawers. Speculums! Loads of speculums! Different sizes and types of speculums! It was like a dream come true. I found a bucket and loaded them in. It is my firm belief that never in the history of the world has one woman been so happy about a bucket of dirty speculums! I traipsed up the hill to the "SS Linge" where the ladies work sterilizing instruments for the OR. It was with some trepidation that I handed over my precious supply, but they promised to give them all back, and even counted them out for me. Now, when I need a speculum, I just open my drawer and pull out a little cloth wrapped packet of happiness!
Today, brought another wonderful surprise. The Thelanders came back from a quick speaking tour in the States. I was walking back from the OR to my office when I noticed Luke and Keir and stopped to welcome them back. Keir handed me a gray shoulder bag and it actually took a minute for the news to register. It was an ultrasound! It was a fabulous, brand new, completely mobile ultrasound with a vaginal probe and an abdominal probe. It even has a spare battery! I immediately took it to my office and plugged it in. Within 30 minutes I had used it to diagnoses pelvic congestion syndrome (using the color flow feature) and an enormous fibroid (using the crazy awesome measurement feature)! For the first time since my arrival, I can see a patient and examine her fully, all in one room. It's fantastic!
I have to admit that I don't understand how things get to Bongolo either from the financial or the technical side. I do know that it has a lot to do with generosity and partnerships all over the US and for that matter the world. From my perspective though, I see it as the Lord caring for His jungle swallows.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young, a place near your altar - Ps 84:3