Journals
Posted on September 8, 2020 Flights, Covid tests, Luggage, oh my!  …..Arrival back in Congo.  
 
Dear FRIEND,
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, our transportation back to Vanga was a little difficult. Thank you for responding in prayer and for the helpful suggestions we received. We were able to purchase last minute tickets for a reasonable price.  Why last minute?
Like many countries now, DR Congo requires foreign travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure.  Tim had his Covid results in hand, but Kathy did not, even though the tests were taken at the same time.  Would be able to fly??  Or would we have to reschedule?  Before heading to the airport on the day of departure, with all 11 bags loaded up in the van, we made a quick stop at the clinic where our COVID-19 tests were done. And…..we were able to get the results and drive directly to the airport to get on the airplane with our 11 checked suitcases.
Now about that luggage….  Since almost all of our supplies from the States (and Canada) must be carried as luggage when we travel, we end up travelling with a lot of bags.  Shipping containers are only used for large medical equipment and incur heavy import taxes.  We ended up filling 11 suitcases with items for the work here in Vanga. The cost of luggage from St. Louis, across the Atlantic, as well as for the flight from Kinshasa to Vanga totaled $2,300.Was it worth it?  Keep reading…… 

We appreciate all our many donors who have continued to support us making it possible to purchase tickets and bring extra luggage with us to support the work here in Vanga.  The most exciting piece of equipment we brought with us was an ophthalmology slit lamp.

Carefully disassembled and packed Haag Streit slit lamp, like the one in this picture, was in our luggage for our Ophthalmology program.
     Our friends and partners in Canada donated a used slit lamp.  This will make our newly-trained opthamologist very happy!  This slit Lamp would cost us $15,000 if we bought a new slit lamp in Kinshasa.  So yes, I’d say the baggage fees were well worth it!
Dr. Shannon Potter was able to give donated supplies for the Vanga Hospital Operating room.  In addition, the women of Third Baptist in St. Louis donated 70 layettes to give to the new moms giving birth at the hospital.
Socially distanced delivery of donated layettetes from Third Baptist, St. Louis.
Vanga Hospital newborn with a recently arrived layette set.
Here’s a first for our time in Vanga:  

We are currently on house quarantine for 14 days.  This gives us some time to do some projects that we simply don’t have time to do in the normal crush of work and responsibilities, although Tim is still working remotely with the hospital doctors and administration.  Kathy is doing some planning, preparation, reorganization, and deep cleaning.  We are also working on moving out the critters who have moved in during our absence from this house.  I don’t know who squeaks louder, Kathy or the mice!
After serving here in Vanga for 5 years now (!), we find ourselves eager to see what God has in store for the next 5 years.  One thing we know for sure is that God is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.  We want to be a part of His Grand Plan here.   We are so thankful for you, as our partners, are also part of His grand plan here in Vanga.

Tim and Kathy Rice
Christ followers back to the banks of the Kwilu River
https://www.internationalministries.org/author/kt-rice/
Printable version: CongoHealthConnection.org/arrival-in-vanga-september-2020/
The countdown is over but you can still see the video.  
C:UsersTTo Serve Vanga Democratic Republic of Congo
     Many people were not able to meet the premier showing and have asked if it is posted somewhere where they can watch it.  If that describes you, here’s where you can watch it:

https://bit.ly/toservevanga