First, please check out some new pictures (see Flicker sets on the side bar). Our budding artistic photographer did a fantastic job of capturing some of the restorative beauty of our trip.
Second, many people have asked about the Africa Response Fund. Preliminary numbers are very, very encouraging. The Sending Center is meeting with the Board next week to set up the final systems of accountability, so I will post real figures then. But it looks very promising for being able to fully fund Dr. Jonah’s children’s education, provide a house for his wife, and even sponsor further medical education for others, even after the expenses of evacuation are cleared. More details soon, but if anyone reads this who still intends to donate it is good to go ahead so we know exactly what we have to work with.
And last but not least, the goat response was amazing. I posted the little goat ornament picture just before Ebola broke the news. I thought the whole project would get lost in the crisis. Not so. Many of you saw it as a way to do something concrete that could help the people of Bundibugyo as you sympathized with their struggle. And one of our dear friends Ruth Ann must have talked half her church into participating. Checks are still clearing but we are sure we have at least 50 goats, and possibly our full goal of 70. It will take another month or two to get them bought, immunized, and arrange transport, but sometime in the Spring Karen will be able to distribute them to HIV positive families, and to children whose mother has died. THANK YOU. I saw a baby yesterday whose mother was hospitalized and close to death a few months back. Providentially, even though this was before the fundraiser, one of the families from previous distributions had brought back the offspring of their dairy goat just when this baby came to our attention. They got the goat. The child did not starve, but looks fine. Her mother survived. The two of them are a beautiful picture of life winning out over disease and death.