International
Health Partners

Caring for Children


 

February 2019 Update from IHP

Jesse Kitundu writing

Jesse Kitundu, President of IHP-JEMA-TZ writing:

Dear Friends to Children and Mothers of Tanzania,

The progress of the project is just amazing in terms of construction.  The Mary Ellen Kitundu Birthing Centre that is at finishing stage, The Reproductive Child Health (RCH) building that will be used for taking care of young infants and pregnant mothers and finally the pediatric ward that is starting to be built.

Five years back this was an imagination (a dream) and now is the reality. All this has been possible because of you are making this dream come true. We thank you for your continuous support.

 

Four years ago the Outpatient Services started with just a few patients each day.  Currently, the number has increased significantly. Last year we attended around 7000 patients half of which were children. We hope this year we are going to see even more children as soon as the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center and the Reproductive Health Center are opened.

The RCH will do prenatal exams and well-baby exams, education, and counseling.  The challenge of quality care for patients is something we strive to make better and better each day, especially with the collaboration of skilled volunteers.  We thank you for support to pay for the salaries for our staff all this time making the services to continue.

Finally, we welcome for those who feel to come and help. It quite an experience to witness the change in the life of others.

 

Dennis Lofstrom, M.D., C.O.O. of IHP, US., Inc. writing:

Around and around we go and where and when we stop, God only knows because He has been our guide during the past sixteen years of rotation to and from Tanzania, East Africa on an annual basis – roughly six months in the U.S. fundraising and six months in Tanzania using the money raised to build medical facilities and to host volunteers, students, and guests.  

Currently, IHP is building The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, just north of Dar es Salaam and four miles inland from the Indian Ocean, a location readily available by bus and motorcycle taxies.  

And now we are on the brink of stepping-off on our 17throtation.  You are invited to come along and share the adventure!  

 

 

Paula Lofstrom, Coordinator writing:

Last year, 2018, was a year of miracles.  In January our house in Overland Park, KS flooded out because of burst pipes after a cold spell, and insurance paid to rebuild most of the house.  We were in California.  Other folks came in, cleared it out, cleaned it up, repairs were made, and now we have a “new” house.  God is good.

At an Ash Wednesday service, the pastor led us in thinking about what “giving up” means, and how that applies to prayer.  That the “giving up” is a matter of applying Discipline to our lives, and that Discipline in Prayer means staying on track, really thinking and connecting with God. When he said, “Discipline” I thought to myself, I can do DISCIPLINE with a Capital D.  I applied that to my prayer life (I continued doing what I’m in the habit of doing, I put a prayer shawl over my head (or a towel if I’m praying out by the swimming pool) and talk quietly to God.  It’s a conversation; I talk.  God Listens. God responds while I am listening. That’s the “Still small voice within.” You must be quiet and listen, and hear. 

The upshot has been my prayer life continues to be an integral part of each day.  And, because I decided to discipline myself, I gave up excessive sugar and useless calories, have lost 38 pounds over the year.  Ash Wednesday is coming around again soon, and I’ve got 4 more pounds to go.  

At Zinga the miracles happen almost daily.  A child that should have died in drowning is alive and well. 

Children born with birth defects, when treated and nurtured, become healthy children ready to give to the world instead of the other way around. Every child is a miracle.  Each of YOU is a miracle.  We are all part of “Miracles in the Making.”  

Back in this country in the fall, our van with 200,000 proud miles on it died in the driveway of someone who could buy us a new van!  

 

In December we were given the opportunity to triple a $30,000 challenge grant to make it $90,000 by Easter.  WE ARE ALREADY HALF-WAY THERE!!!  

 

We are expecting the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center labor and delivery building to be completed this year.  How many prayers will that answer?  How many babies and their mothers will live because we’re there to care for them at birth? How is God using each of us to make these miracles happen?  

To become part of this miracle, please donate what you can to help us receive this double matched grant challenge to become $90,000. Your donation will be double-matched if we can make that $30,000. Please send a check to:

Matt West, IHP Treasurer

8016 No. Everton Ave.

Kansas City, MO  64152

Or

Go to our website. www.ihpt.organd click on Donate Now

Or

Call Joyce Zemel at 480-540-9017 and she’ll put it on your credit/debit card.

 

It is our joy to watch the miracles unfold.  

Denny and I leave to return to Zinga on Wednesday morning to start hosting guests, students, and volunteers.  Thank you for making all of this possible.  

Below are some of the reflections from previous guests.  

Blessings and gratitude, Paula and Denny

 

My name is Nora Harris and I am a 7thgrader from New Richmond Middle School in Wisconsin.  I wanted to travel to different places and read.  Since going to Africa was my first time out of the country and doing a mission trip, I was really excited.  

My least favorite thing about the trip was the plane, but it was absolutely worth it to get here to see beautiful places and meet amazing people.  

M experience at working at Zinga, Tanzania painting the complex was rewarding in the same sense that I got to be part of something that was going to be a big help to so many people.  My experience was also eye-opening because I got to see how the people in Africa live walking along the streets in colorful clothing, or watching little kids play with marbles on the dirt roads of Bagamoyo.  It was really interesting to see how everyday people live.

But, although I had a lot of great experiences, my favorite of them all was building relationships with the workers and drivers and the others we got to get to know better.  Overall, Africa was an amazing trip and I hope one day I can return.

I’m Pastor Anjanette Bandel and serve as Pastor of Visitation Outreach and Mission at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN.  This week of service work at the Children’s Hospital at Zinga included the opportunity to paint the interior of rooms of the newly constructed birthing unit of the hospital complex. 

While there is still a great deal of work to be done on the facility, it was exciting to feel like our congregation was not only providing the funding for the paint, and we brought along some additional brushes, rollers, pans, and painting tape,but we are representing the partnership we share with each personally applied stroke of paint.  

The work was meaningful because each room we entered will one day welcome new children and new mothers, new needs and compassionate doctors and nurses.  I prayed in each room that those who labored or cared for mothers and babies would also sense and know that they were loved by God, precious in His sight, and God would provide for them what they needed from day to day.  

We have been blessed this week by the hospitality of Denny and Paula and their wonderful staff.  Their work is clearly a calling and their passion.  While there is much work to be done, and many more donations to be added to bring the project to completion, the Lord will provide and this will be a place of refuge and care for future generations.  

Bethel looks forward to continuing to offer support through prayers, finances, and future teams sent to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Many thanks for the work of all who are continuing to help in any way with the hospital.  I highly encourage your gifts as they are well stewarded and, if possible, a visit for service work or to learn more.  

There is something powerful to seeing what God is doing first-hand with this marvelous project.