……it is finally open. The wards and maternity unit that we invested so much time, energy and resources into are now ready to receive patients, expectant mothers and new-born children. The community is engaged, the staff are enthused and the unit is equipped.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

There have been times over the past 15 months when I have looked at the completed but inactive construction and thought – ‘Why?’. Why did I pour nearly £50,000 of my own money (God’s money that I had temporary custody of!) into a unit that I didn’t dare open without a management contract because I couldn’t bear to see the government cock it up there like they were at the Health Centre that we built. ‘Why Lord? Why aren’t you making this happen?’

The answers to both those questions are as follows:

1. ‘Why did I pour….’ – because my loving God is also a God of justice and it sickens Him (and me) that the rural poor of Kigazi don’t have access to decent health care in 2014. They do now!

2. ‘Why aren’t You making this happen Lord’ – because God’s timing is perfect. Twelve months ago we didn’t have Michael in place to direct this health initiative properly, we didn’t have the cash to equip the unit when government failed to, and I was too busy setting up Passion for Africa to give it the attention that God required.

There were a few last minute hiccups – last week a lightning strike destroyed a solar panel and control unit. And that led to the realisation that it is only God that has kept all our children in Kigazi Community Nursery, and our staff at the nursery and medical centre, safe from death by lightning for the past four years. So I had lightning conductors fitted to all our buildings. Phew. Thank you Lord.

And government failed to meet the requirement for drugs this quarter – so we filled the gap and delivered a large load of mdicines and supplies this week

And there has been massive encouragement (as usual) including –

  • The women who sneaked into the new Hospital on Friday to have a look – and whose genuine joy and smiling faces were worth a good deal more than fifty grand
  • The Community who rallied together last Thursday to provide poles (in an area where wood is frighteningly scarce) and worked with us to erect a fence that now surrounds the health facilities
  • Michael’s excellent management of the staff that now report to us – setting real targets for ante-natal attendance, increased completion of ante-natal programmes, outreaches at schools and churches, engagement with the local councillors, and increased numbers of deliveries at our health facilities
  • Michael’s launch of a programme to the Village Health Teams that mean they receive a small gift (soap, salt, whatever) for every expectant mother that they refer to the maternity unit
  • The painting of the inside of the older classroom block at the nursery by a team of parents

And so……whilst we wait for our first in-patient (!), we are seeing a stream of mothers registering for ante-natal care, a real sense of excitement in the community, a renewed belief in their vocations from the staff, and a sense that God is at work in this place.

In two days time our 57 children will return to the J10:10 House for the final term of this school year – and so naturally I purchased and transported over half a tonne of rice, beans, sugar and maize flour to the J10:10 House today.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful life. For which I am profoundly grateful Lord.