In part 1 of this update, we shared more of what we have been up to as a family this last year and how Ben and Marinajo have been doing and also our very exciting news that Mariah, our daughter, got married in Nashville, TN on Dec 30th of 2017!
Now, here in part 2 below we go into more details about what Dave is up to at Loma de Luz and more of kind of our core ministry as missionaries here. This is why we’re here. Be warned – it long on details! Good luck to those brave few who venture all the way to the end! in part 3, in a few days, we’ll share our thanks to all of you for your love and support and our hope as we continue to serve, as well as a quick financial update. Blessings, DF
I (Dave) continue to work part time for my IT business in the States called Intelligent Design IT. Through this business, God continues to provide about 75% of needed funding for our family to be in the field. We are so grateful for God’s ongoing provision! We did end last year with a deficit of unreimbursed ministry expenses. I’ll include a portion at the end of this newsletter (in part 3) in which I talk more about that if any of you are interested in helping us financially. I continue to be very busy in what I have come to think of as the “keep it running” ministry at Loma de Luz. I am part of a group of missionaries that keep things running at the hospital. Since I am not a mechanic or a carpenter, my role on the “keep it running” team has more to do with technical things, like computers, biomed equipment, and internet and ham radio communications. I also work a lot in the logistics of helping find parts and repair services. Another part of that ministry is helping to host teams and volunteers. I also serve as director of security for the hospital and try my best to help us be wise about security and help manage a group of 7 unarmed guards. Lastly, Marinajo and I also help lead a Honduras wide missionary conference every fall. I continue to work a lot with the EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software system that we put in place one year ago November. We continue to try and iron out problems, make it more usable, and continue to integrate more parts of the hospital into the new system. It is probably a three-year process to get totally integrated and there is part of it (ironing our errors, making it more usable) that never goes away. Right now, I am meeting with the programmers for this (web-based) EMR system who all in India and configuring a new custom module for how we enter and view lab results. The results will be faster entry which will save docs and staff time and a better ability to view lab results over time so that our docs can view trends. This relates to better patient care. We’re growing at Loma de Luz! There are lots of new missionaries and tons of construction going on. This means infrastructure expansion and upgrades as we do our best to provide good internet service to new locations, new houses, and new families throughout the campus.
Whenever I can get a break from the areas of service above, I am also trying to work on longer term projects at the hospital such as solar and water and electrical infrastructure. This year in particular, we’ve seen a terrible degradation of electrical services to the hospital as the country’s infrastructure continues to weaken under increasing demand. Our voltage is all over the place and it is affecting our equipment terribly. We put in 30 new patient vital sign monitors after working for years to get a grant for them and within a few weeks, five of them were dead. Thankfully, the vendor has repaired them for us under warranty, but we’ve also had to spend about $1500 on some good voltage protection for them so that they will be able to withstand the “dirty power” that we have out in our rural location. We also placed a $30,000 oxygen concentrator in service this year – again with granted funds – that will allow us to have an endless source of medical grade oxygen right there at the hospital. This means we won’t hav
e to buy and haul dangerous and heavy tanks back and forth from La Ceiba out to the hospital. In the long term it will save the hospital many thousands of dollars. The problem is that the new machine is so sensitive (with so much computerized circuitry and electronic
controls) that it won’t run on our “dirty power” (i.e. bad voltage) without going into an error condition and shutting down! Now we have to find a “UPS” for it that will regulate the voltage and inject power when voltage is low. The problem is that it is a 3phase 480v motor and while you can find plenty of UPS unit for your computer at almost any store nowadays, 3ph 480v power conditioning system seem almost impossible to find. Thank the Lord, we seem to have finally found a solution. We will be implementing it this year and I pray that this problem will be behind us. We continue to work towards a new tank system for our water supply and an exciting new sustainability project for solar. We actually fundraising for the solar project right now! Here’s the link if you want to find out more: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/LDLsolar I am super excited to report that this fund raising project has almost reached its goal of $85,000 raised and we are already reviewing project proposals to turn that money into solar energy production! 2017 should he year (about 5 years after we started trying to get this project off of the ground) that solar energy becomes a reality here at Loma de Luz!! Lastly, I am also the onsite liaison for the team of people who are trying to get the Loma de Luz prosthetics lab up and running. We serve a huge population of amputees here from things like traumatic injury and diabetes. We’ve had a vision for years now to have our own in-house prosthetics lab where we fabricate and can custom fit prosthesis for our patients. It appears that 2017 will also be the year that this project will finally get off of the ground. We plan to complete the interior finish of the lab and some supporters in the states have been burdened by the Lord to provide funding for the bigger pieces of equipment that we need. We hope to have the lab started operating in a limited capacity in October! This another dream if mine personally (as is solar) and to see both of these projects taking off after years of seeking is just such an amazing blessing. God is so faithful!