EASTER GREETINGS – JESUS LIVES!
Dear Prayer Partners;
Isaiah 53: 4,5 We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment and that made us whole. Through his bruises we are healed. [The Message]. We rejoice to repeat the well known expression – “Its Friday but Sunday is coming!” His is the Victory! We, too, have victory, victory in Jesus!
Greetings from cold and snowy Minnesota! Yes, two days ago a heavy snowfall produced the white world now visible all around us. Ten days ago we returned to MN from a four week visit to Oregon and Washington – a return to our “missionary roots”. We give praise and thanksgiving to God for the partners the Lord gathered into the Bethesda Mission Hospital family since the beginnings in 1963 when many of you were called together with us. Of course, many more have joined since then. We wish we could meet all of you, face to face, and experience the joy the Lord gave to us during this recent visit of wonderful hospitality and inspiring fellowship.
A REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS SINCE OUR LAST GENERAL LETTER OF DECEMBER 4, 2013.
PERSONAL NEWS: We are well. Please accept our apologies for the long gap in communications. We are not returning to BMH and do not foresee future plans to do so. During these months, churches and families have been notified not to make further contributions to our travel account at WorldVenture which is being closed. Recent contributions will be directed to
MedGo, account 6416-910.
MEDGO PROGRESS: Latest news – there are now 21 Indonesian doctors, nurses and a dentist plus staff members. There will soon be a new MedGo bulletin with details. ASK GOD TO STIR INDONESIAN CHURCHES AND FAMILIES TO MAKE COMMITMENTS TO GIVE ONGOING SUPPORT. Paul is making a visit to East Java next week to reach out to people there.
CHAPLAINCY STAFF: A recent e-mail from Paul announced that a church in Jakarta is sending two evangelists as new chaplains. These two will replace two chaplains recently called to plant a church. THANKS BE TO GOD! REQUEST A SMOOTH TRANSITION FOR ALL. Also, the hospital leadership has arranged to send a team of chaplains, doctors and nurses to make frequent Sunday visits to churches for follow-up on BMH patients, especially patients who expressed a desire to follow Jesus.PRAISE GOD!
GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE CLAIMS: In the same e-mail more good news! For many months the government plan had not reimbursed BMH for the care of patients in poverty (not all poor patients qualify and not all expenses are reimbursable). The full amount in arrears, a sum equal to four months of operating costs, has been received! PRAISE GOD! ASK HIM TO ENABLE BMH LEADERS TO RAISE WAGES.
THE NEW SURGICAL BUILDING: Architect Len Rosenberg’s “final design revision” was received and approved in Jakarta in December. YOU PRAYED! Paul is to show the complete drawings, designed and directed by Len and drafted, pro bono, by a global architectural firm, to the same office in Jakarta next week.
OFFICE OF AMERICAN SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS ABROAD (ASHA): This program, under the U.S. Agency for International Development, accepts funding requests to assist schools, libraries and hospitals abroad with their projects. BMH may be considered as a hospital which serves as a study and demonstration center for beneficial U.S. ideas and practices. APPLICATIONS MUST BE IN BY MAY 5TH!
This has come to our attention only recently. A hasty but all-out effort is being made to complete an application on behalf of WorldVenture working with the Bethesda Serukam Foundation of Indonesia to obtain additional funding for the surgical center building and some much needed infrastructure. It isn’t yet clear that these two organizations will qualify. WorldVenture must provide a portion of the funding.THANK GOD THAT A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT IS ALREADY IN HAND.
However, there are other qualifications that may be more difficult to achieve. The narrative reports submitted with the application must show that BMH does serve as a study and demonstration center for good medical practice and quality healthcare. Another narrative must show that there is a good working relationship between WorldVenture (as the United States Organization – USO) and the Bethesda Serukam Foundation (as the Over-Seas Institution – OSI) sponsored by WorldVenture. Yet another narrative must show that WorldVenture has the capacity to institute, manage and complete such a project.
Also, there is competition. Other organizations will also submit applications for funding. The total sum available is capped. Many organizations have had training and experience or access to people with this expertise. Long ago, the U.S. Agency for International Development made a contribution to the BMH Hydroelectric Project (1985). That application was prepared by team member, Grey Jeffreys, our missionary colleague now living in Portland, OR. Wendell is to do some of the narrative reports required. A former BMH staff doctor, Teresia (Tatie), who is now studying in Java for her MPH, has been recruited to assist the effort at Serukam. Len is on.The Lord willing, Paul, will be signing and submitting the application as the authorized representative of WorldVenture. ASK THE LORD TO BLESS THE EFFORTS OF THESE AND OTHER TEAM MEMBERS AND ENABLE THEM TO MAKE THE DEADLINE OF MAY 5, 2014.
A CONSTRUCTION SITE MANAGER: Paul is currently dealing with two construction contractors. One of these will be selected to build the surgical center. Paul is due for Home Assignment in June, 2014, and will be facing the big effort to obtain re-certification for his internal medicine specialty. This happens every ten years. Even though Paul will make at least one trip back to BMH during home assignment, he cannot be of much help during construction of the surgical center. ASK THE LORD TO SEND SOMEONE TO BMH AS THE CONSTRUCTION SITE MANAGER. This person would work with the contractor in an effort to insure that the construction activities incorporate the correct materials and follow the architectural drawings and specifications. Candidates for this important work may contact us via phone or e-mail.
THE CONTAINER SHIPMENT: Thank you for your prayer support. The shipment is still being stored in Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak). It has been there since November, 2013. Previously, it was hoped that in three months the shipment could be imported across the border into Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) and trucked to BMH. As mentioned in previous prayer updates, the bureaucratic snarls are even worse than in previous shipments. Paul is now hopeful that Franz will be enabled, by God’s grace, to achieve the import in May.
Do remember that the goal is a tax free, or nearly tax free, import process. KEEP PRAYING!
VISAS! VISAS! VISAS!: Yes, the chronic challenge continues to be the working visas required for Paul Geary, Steve Anderson and Calista Yates. Again, Franz, Executive Secretary of the Bethesda Serukam Foundation is the one who must keep all the regulations and offices and officials in mind as he works with the Foundation leaders to find a way through the maze. The major sticking point – a permit for each from the Health Department. For several years there has been no pathway to obtain a medical permit for foreign health workers who are not from one of the Southeast Asian Nations. Each twelve months God has opened a way. This year there are new regulations and a new effort to enforce them. ASK GOD TO BLESS FRANZ AND HIS WIFE, YUNITA, AND THEIR BABY DAUGHTER, CARMEL. Franz, in the midst of these huge challenges, is also moving his family to Singkawang, 30 miles from Serukam. He needs a rest with his family.
PLEASE SEND US AN E-MAIL ADDRESS IF YOU WISH TO CONTINUE RECEIVING OUR NEWS. THIS WILL BE OUR LAST LETTER SENT OUT BY U.S. MAIL AND BY E-MAIL. AFTER THIS LETTER, ONLY E-MAIL MESSAGES WILL BE SENT.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Wendell and Margie.