Journals
Posted on July 18, 2017 Unpacking White Cross
Katherine & Wayne Niles
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[world map] Africa Democratic Republic of the Congo push-pin Democratic Republic of the Congo
Evangelism Evangelism
Economic Development Economic Development
Health and Wellness Health and Wellness

Not long ago we received the 2017 “White Cross” shipment. There were loads of rolled bandages, gloves, suture, gauze, uniforms, and infant blankets.  Someone had fun selecting those flannel prints!  Stars, trains, teddy bears, clowns, and bugs adorned blankets carefully hemmed and folded for infants in our 11 hospitals.  How grateful we are in Congo for White Cross!

 
The arrival of the container is a much anticipated event, and if it’s a 40-foot container (this one was!), we mobilize all the willing workers on the Baptist compound.

Our logistical hurdles are like nowhere else.  A 20 foot container we once hoisted over the wall into the compound, but a 40 foot container; there’s no way!

 

 
So Wayne is conscripted to make dozens of trips in his pickup truck moving boxes from the container in the road to the storerooms in the compound.
 
Half the container is composed of reasonably sized boxes of sutures, uniforms, gauze compresses and gloves. The REST is 131 boxes of rolled bandages each weighing 260 pounds.  It takes four men and brute force to unload them from the container, then load on the pickup, and then unload them into a store room.  That’s 34,000 pounds total!
 
Every time I go on supervision visits to the Baptist hospitals in Vanga, Sala, Kikongo, Boko, Moanza, Kipata, Nselo, Sona Bata, Nsonga Mpangu, Mulolo, or Bandunduville, I visit the room where White Cross supplies are stored.  Usually the shelves are mostly empty, and the staff plead for more supplies. They will soon all be full!

Why is there so much meaning for us in sutures, gloves, and rolled bandages?

Packed into those boxes is the fragrance of the prayers that follow this shipment and the distinct reminder to our doctors, nurses, and patients, that they are being remembered.  For servants of God working in far flung and difficult corners of God’s Congo world, that’s feeling money cannot buy.  All of us say THANK YOU for the gift of White Cross.
 


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