Journals
Posted on August 15, 2020 What Does a Missionary Do When the Whole World Has Shut Down?? In This Issue, THAT COVID LIFE……..
Kathy & Tim Rice
[world map] Africa Democratic Republic of the Congo push-pin Democratic Republic of the Congo
Health and Wellness Health and Wellness
              1.  One thing missionaries do is keep looking for the opportunity to return to the field of service.
Our adventure (previously documented) began on March 23 when we returned for our normally scheduled time in the States.  Then COVID hit.  Now we are planning to return to Congo at the end of August, as the Kinshasa airport is reportedly opening to international flights on August 15.
Imagine our shock to find that one airline is charging $12,000 for a one-way seat! Obviously, we did not book that ticket.  We are continuing to watch for better prices and confirm there are no flight restrictions based on the country of origin or the country of transit.2.  Missionaries complete their state-side responsibilities and recruit others to partner in overseas ministry.
During our time in the States, I worked for 4 weeks at Cardinal Glennon pediatric hospital in St. Louis.  Now we will be able to stay in Vanga until next spring before we return for the next two weeks at Cardinal Glennon.   While at Cardinal Glennon, I worked with a couple of residents interested in international health and whom I hope will come to Vanga for a rotation.
Due to COVID restrictions, we were not able to visit many supporting churches and friends as we would normally do when we are in the States.  By God’s grace, we have not suffered a severe shortfall in donations to the work.  We know that as the economic downturn continues, this is a very real possibility.  God knows what we need, and His people have been very faithful and generous in that regard.  If you must terminate your financial partnership, please let us know, and PLEASE continue in prayer support.
A little unmasked time in Oregon.  We were visiting Scout Lake., near Camp Davidson, where Kathy and Tim hung out at youth camp many years ago!
              3.  Missionaries connect with their families and serve them as needed.
During our time in the States we were able to support Kathy’s stepfather through his last weeks in hospice until his death.  He was able to be at home and not isolated in the hospital/rehab without visitors due to lockdown precautions currently the policy in Oregon.
We also helped with a number of house projects for Kathy’s mom in Springfield, Oregon. and at our daughter’s house in St. Louis.  In addition, Kathy started a garden at our daughter’s house in St. Louis, Missouri.  I mean, during the Spring, we didn’t know what the stores would have on their shelves, remember?  We have been able to enjoy some of the garden produce, as well as share some of the abundance with the neighbors.
Working on deck repairs with our daughter, Nancy.
Checking on the baking with our daughter, Susan.
              4.  Finally, just like your work has probably adapted to continue on a work-from-home basis, so has our work.
Every day Tim is communicating with the hospital leadership in Vanga to resolve problems, prepare for the onset of COVID there, etc.  As you have probably found, the ability to work virtually is a mixed blessing, right?
For Kathy, however, the government shut down the schools and universities, including the nursing school, the week after we left.  Thus, she did not have as much long-distance work to do.  We have, however, continued to work on getting the new nursing school classrooms built.  As an American, we can’t believe how SLOW this process has been, but we have finally purchased and moved almost all of the building materials to Vanga (no small task) and should be able to now move more quickly (I think).  A big shout out to Katherine and Wayne Niles, missionaries in Kinshasa, for facilitating this major undertaking.
Creating face shields out of laminating sheets for the Vanga Evangelical Hospital workers.
              LASTLY, how would you like to wash hospital laundry by hand??  Not me.  But that’s been what’s happening for the last two years after our wash machine broke down.

Industrial size clothes washer for the Hospital

In the operating room in Vanga, we do not use disposable linens.  After the surgeries are completed for the day, linens are washed by hand and then hung out to air dry.  Then they are repackaged, and heat sterilized.  We are limited to operating Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because the cleaning and sterilizing process takes so long.
Now, however, your faithful financial support during this time has allowed us to seize the opportunity to purchase a used industrial clothes washer for $5000, including the shipping costs from Germany to Vanga.  Our German friends, who have been long-term partners with the hospital in Vanga, were able to locate one in Germany to replace the unit that broke down a couple of years ago.
Please pray the transport of this machine will be quick and smooth.  As soon as this machine arrives in Vanga, we will immediately put it to good work.  You can imagine the enthusiastic reception this washing machine will receive when it arrives in Vanga.
Thanks again for your faithful financial partnership.

Here are some photos from Germany of the washing machine you helped purchase.
The German technicians evaluating the washing machine.
Tim and Kathy Rice
Christ followers on the banks of the Kwilu and for now the Mississippi River.
A masked visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri.