Newsletters

This is a copy of our Newsletters.  

Sorry that the photos are distorted.  If you go to our Newsletter archive with this hyperlink you can see a better version of the photos.

10/31/2014 – Ebola and Dachau (a Nazi Concentration Camp) 

Dear Friend:We just finished a two week break from studying French and as we start school Monday we are sending our October Newsletter.Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

The Rices on Kwilu RiverWe visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial in Dachau, Germany.

 

Visiting a Nazi Concentration Camp and Thinking of Ebola: The Christian’s Role   

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your interest in the work in Congo.   

During our recent break at French language school, we visited Dachau, Germany, the first concentration camp the Nazis erected in March, 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor. Since I (Tim) visited this example of human suffering and evil, I have been thinking of another example of evil and suffering.

Ebola virus is having a deadly impact on West Africa and spreading fear and hysteria in the USA and the world.  WHO case counts of Ebola from 10/27/2014 report 13,703 cases and 4,920 deaths, and predictions by some are that it will be up to 2-3 times worse in the next 1-2 months.  Although Ebola was not caused by man, its impact is made much worse by the neglect, oppression and poverty that exists in Africa.

In addition to directly killing people, Ebola has negative impact on the health care system and a country’s economy.  The number of deaths directly from Ebola pales in comparison to the number of people that will be dying from the disruption of the health system and the economy in Africa.

    The first impact on the health system is that Ebola has killed many health professionals.  Health care workers easily contracted this virus because every day they serve the sick and suffering with limited protective equipment and waste disposal.    On the other hand, diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria kill many more people in Africa then Ebola.  If someone is sick and the local clinic nurse is dead from Ebola, or people refuse to go to see the nurse out of fear of getting Ebola, they are more likely to die from these more treatable diseases.

This disruption of the health care system is also impacting vaccination rates in West Africa.  Measles, polio, diphtheria and pertussis are vaccine-preventable diseases that still kill many in Africa.  The deadly rumor that vaccines against these other disease can cause Ebola is destroying the miraculous advances and protection these vaccines have had in the past 60 years, since the development of the first polio vaccine.  Once these diseases begin to again spread wildly in Africa, the impact will be felt in Europe and America among those families that refuse to get their children properly vaccinated against these diseases that used to be rare in America.

     Another negative impact this Ebola outbreak is having is on the economy.  Sick people cannot work.  Many in Africa make just enough money to buy today’s food for the family.  If they are sick, immediately the whole family suffers because no one has money to buy today’s food. If the sick person was the person that was to transport the food from where it was produced to where people can buy the food, then the food chain gets disrupted and the food that is available becomes more expensive.  Malnutrition makes the young and weaker members of the family more prone to die from any other illness they contract, widening the negative impact of Ebola.

When faced with evil, it is easy to want to close my eyes to the problem.  During the time of Hitler, there were many Christians that worked to rescue Jews and opposed the Nazis.  For example, Corrie ten Boom and her family became very active in the Dutch underground network hiding refugees, and most of her family died in the concentration camps because of their stand against the suffering and evil brought about by the Nazis.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, was eventually killed for his anti-Nazi stance.

Today we have heard about the work of medical missionaries, relief workers and nurses who have been infected in their courageous care of Ebola patients.  Although there is no Ebola in the Vanga Evangelical hospital region at this time, this hospital where we will serving has been improving their processes to combat and protect from Ebola, using donated funds to obtain some of the additional supplies.  In a country where many people live on less than a dollar a day, everything is reused.  Institutions caring for poor patients lack the luxury of disposing of protective gear after every exam. In the past, gloves have been washed and reused until they are completely worn out.  Donated funds are now being used to purchase more gloves as well as additional protective equipment.  Funds are also being used to provide the detailed training needed so that every member of the hospital staff, including the doctors, nurses, security personnel and cleaning staff, understand and follow proper procedures.

     How should we respond when we feel that evil has the upper hand–whether it is Nazi oppression, poverty or Ebola?  Apathy, hopelessness, fear, self-protection, suspicion and hatred… it’s these walls that kept people in a concentration camp like the one at Dachau or keep people in the paralyzing grip of poverty.  And the same factors of apathy, hopelessness, fear, and self-protection keep people from stepping into the suffering around us to be God’s hands and feet of love.  When it looks like evil has the upper hand, God needs to open our eyes to the truth of His point of view.  Jesus came and announced the coming of the full expression of the Kingdom.  As He announced the Kingdom’s coming, He described it in view of the broken and oppressed.  Luke 4:18-19 NIV “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

     God’s favor is present here and now.  As we, through faith, trust in God’s favor the chains of our hopelessness, fatalism and self-protection are broken.  Our faith and God’s favor gets clearly demonstrated as we, with God’s strength, walk away from self-protection to show God’s love in practical deeds of kindness.  These practical deeds of love are the tools God uses to free those held prisoner to the oppression of poverty and disease by the chains of hopelessness. At the Vanga Evangelical Hospital, the faithful nurses and doctors continue to daily show God’s love to the sick in the region.  We thank the generous donors that are supporting us as we learn French so we can communicate with the team in Vanga.  The funds donated to buy medical supplies, protective equipment and training are also an encouraging expression of God’s favor.  Each of us can pray, “God use me today, the day of the Lord’s favor, to proclaim the good news in practical ways.”

Tim

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

Prayer request update and Praise reports  09/20/2014

Dear Reader:Thank you all for praying for us. We have experienced incredible emotional and spiritual strain as we make the adjustment to our language school.  As you respond to those promptings by the Holy Spirit, know that we have felt the hand of God moving on our behalf.Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

The Rices on Kwilu RiverMorning panorama view out our front window.  From my facebook post the morning I took this photo: “Thank you, God, that your faithfulness is new every morning. (Lam 3:22-23) This is our Albertville, France, view as we listen to the ringing of the church bells echoing through the valley.”

 

Praise and Prayer Requests    

Dear Reader,

Thank you for praying for and with us.   

Praise God for the steps towards adjustment of our family to life here in Albertville. Nancy has connected with some of the French youth from church and some missionary kids who are here with their parents at language school.  We have found a French church to be a part of, and we are figuring out how to live without a car, etc.

Pray that we would live in the confidence of God’s grace and learn French quickly.   Can I just tell you this has been some of the most stressful times we’ve experienced….even more than fundraising and moving here!  And that’s saying something!  We’ve been told missionary life is one of unrelenting stress….just didn’t know it was going to hit so soon.

As I said after a late night studying session,  “Language school is very much like being in the desert with an open fire hydrant gushing at you. You need to catch all the water and only have a teaspoon in each hand. I thought Med School was hard until this!”

Thank God for providing me with a wonderful language partner from church who volunteered to meet with me weekly and help me practice speaking the French language in social settings. Last Wednesday we met for our first meeting time. We enjoyed a traditional 3 course lunch at at a nice French restaurant. He was very generous with his time and very patient as I butchered the French language.

After we had lunch together we came back and picked up Kathy and Nancy and he took took us to the castle below.  We then stopped by his home for some homemade mint extract-flavored water.  Truly this afternoon was one of the highlights of our time here so far.

Keep praying!

Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

Part of the castle was constructed around AD 1000 and is still standing today because its foundation is built on the solid rock of the mountain.  Pray that we will continue to build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom of love and sacrifice.

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

 

Bonjour! des Rices en France 09/02/2014

Dear Reader:What a month this last August was.

  • Moving twice in St. Louis
  • Tim’s final three weeks of work at Cardinal Glennon
  • Commissioning service
  • Saying goodbye to so many friends in St. Louis
  • Packing, Packing and Packing
  • Moving 4,663.73 miles to Albertville France

Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

The CongoHealthConnection.org logo

A view of the mountains this morning behind our apartment in Albertville France.

Saying goodbye at the Otto Scott house church.

Last day of attending rounds at Cardinal Glennon with the pediatric floor medical students and residents.  They were kind enough to pose with their coffee.

A selfie photo during our airport check in with a couple of Nancy’s friends.

A beautiful house in need of repair near where we now live in Albertville, France.

We have a prayer newsletter that we also occasionally send out. Click on this link if you would like to also receive this email.

Continue to pray for the medical workers in West Africa and now in Northern Congo as they battle the Ebola Virus. This is a link to a summary page of the Ebola Virus outbreak statistics and the news stories.

Dear Reader,

We have arrived in Albertville, France!

Moving twice in St. Louis 

Our renters arrived in St. Louis two weeks before our departure so we spent the last two weeks in St. Louis “couch surfing”/”house sitting” for two different families on vacation.  What a blessing to have a “staging are”a as we sorted, packed and repacked our stuff into 7 foot lockers, each weighing exactly 51 lbs.  So many decisions-so many stacks and boxes around the house…what to keep, give away or store.  Sariah Henning said her “Nana” would be shocked to see the mess in her house.

Final days at Cardinal Glennon

The last 3 weeks before departure I was back working at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital taking care of pediatric patients and working with medical students and residents.  My next time to be supervising at Glennon will probably be in 18 months.  I will come back to St. Louis one month each academic year to supervise a team at Glennon.  I will also keep my pulse on the activities of the residents in the Medicine Abroad Program.  This year the Department of Pediatrics is sending 5 residents to a variety of locations like Belize, South Africa, and Kenya.

Commissioning service

Barry Henning led the New City Fellowship in commissioning us for our work in DR Congo.  New City Fellowship, our sending church, was joined by Reg Mills and Jim Bell from International Ministries, our partner agency in the work in Congo.  This is a link to the audio if you would like to hear the service.  Pastor Barry reminded us that we all are on mission in the Kingdom of God.

Saying goodbye 

Saying goodbye is painful if you have been loved well by your friends and if you love your friends deeply.  We had several events hanging out with folk and enjoying our last visits.

Packing, Packing and Packing

Have you ever had to pack for a move across town or across the country?  Add to that the stress of packing to move to two completely different continents–anticipating the needs and trying to remember all the details of what things are needed for each location.  We packed our warm clothes and French lessons for our time in France, and we packed our hot weather clothes and medical supplies for our move to Congo.   We also packed up our family memorabilia to be stored in St. Louis.

4,664 miles to Albertville France

At our flight check-in, we checked 7 large footlockers and had one carry-on and a small personal item each (well, we really had 2 carry-on items filled to capacity).  When we arrived at the gate, the gate agent requested that anyone with a large carry on bag to  check it through to their destination, for no charge.  This lightened our load substantially and made getting on and off the plane and trudging through the airports much easier.  Some of our luggage was lost at the London airport but was delivered 2 days after we arrived.

Financial Update

Praise God that prior to our departure we have received pledges for all of our budgeted monthly support needs.  We are still about $13,000 short on our one-time expenses but we are praying that these funds will come in over the next few months so we can order the Solar Power system we are waiting to ship to DR Congo.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers. We promise more details in our upcoming newsletters.  Please reply to this email if you have any questions or comments.

Tim

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

 

 

Update, Commissioning service and prayer request 08/08/2014

 

 

Dear Reader:Thank you for being a part of our team.  I hope this Newsletter gets you a little update.Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

The CongoHealthConnection.org logo

 

This the first time in two years all six of us were together.

L to R Susan, Nancy, Tim, Kathy, Diana and Karen.

We have a prayer newsletter that we also occasionally send out. Click on this link if you would like to also receive this email.  

Pray for the medical workers in West Africa as they battle the Ebola Virus.

Dear Reader

As of Friday August 8th we have only 19 days left before we go to language school!!

We are ALL on the move…

We spent this last week saying goodbye to our family in Oregon.  As we compared notes with all of our kids we realized that for the first time in our lives the majority of us will be living in Europe.  None of us will live in the same place we lived last year. Our oldest daughter Diana just got hired by Horizon Airlines and is in training.  She will move after training to a new location where she will be a pilot for this regional airline.  This is the next step towards being a missionary pilot. Karen is starting grad school at Georgetown and moving from Kansas City to Washington DC. Susan will be in Europe at SLU Madrid Spain and will be living in a new apartment as she returns for her Sophomore year.  Nancy, Kathy and I will be in language school in France.

Boxes, Boxes and Boxes

Right now we have packing boxes piled all over the house as we decide what to send to Congo, what we need at language school in France and what we need to get rid of. Pray for strength and endurance as we make the final push.

God bless and keep you

Tim

August 10th Commissioning Service, New City Fellowship, St. Louis this will be at both the 9AM and 11AM services.

This will be held at our

University City Worship

1483 82nd Blvd

St. Louis, MO 63132

August 24th Farewell reception, New City Fellowship, St. Louis  5-8:30PM at the 82nd Avenue location.

This will also be held at our

University City Worship

1483 82nd Blvd

St. Louis, MO 63132

August 27th DEPART for language school in Albertville, France

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

 
 

“It is time to meet the family”  07/24/2014

 

Dear Reader:We have had a wonderful week meeting all the members of the International Ministries (IM) Missionary family.  We participated in the Appreciative Inquiry planning for the future with all the IM missionaries.  Thank you for being a part of our team.  This is another part of our team.Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice

The CongoHealthConnection.org logo

 

These are the IM missionaries past, present and future serving in DRC.  (Well at least some of them.)

These are a group of medical missionaries working with IM.  

We had a wonderful time catching up with friends we have me along the journey including missionary Sharon Buttry

We had a fun time creating art as part of our worship time.  We are creating a mosaic with a river running down the center.

Worship time at the conference.

Dear <<First Name>>,

As of today Thursday July 24st we have only 34 days left before we go to language school!!!  We spent this last week meeting the extended IM missionary family.  All the missionaries were brought back for a time of fellowship and planning for the future.   This week we have been very busy at the same location at the World Mission Conference meeting many folks from around the country interested in the great work going on around the world through International Ministries.

God bless and keep you

Tim

Recent events

Sunday June 29th we spoke at Meramec Heights Assembly of God church.   This is the second time we have presented at this church.  Several years ago we were invited to speak the first time at their missions conference and discussed the St. Louis Health Connection ministry and opportunities to engage and serve here in St. Louis.  This time we shared about how God used our service to the poor here in St. Louis as a  great foundation for our work in Congo.

July 12-26 IM All Mission Convention at Green Lake, Wisconsin

Upcoming events

July 27th Wadena Assembly of God in Wadena, Minnesota

July 28 to Aug 2nd Saying goodbye to family and friends in Oregon

August 3rd Speaking at First Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon

August 10th Commissioning Service, New City Fellowship, St. Louis

August 24th Farewell reception, New City Fellowship, St. Louis

August 27th DEPART for language school in Albertville, France

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

 Sat, 19 Jul 2014 19:55:48 +0000  What have we been doing???

 

Dear Reader:We hope our latest Newsletter catches you up on some of the things in our lives. Thank you for being a part of our team.

The CongoHealthConnection.org logo

 

This is the St. Louis Health Connection  goodbye event.

We spent a wonderful Sunday morning speaking at 3rd Baptist in St. Louis.  

 A goodbye selfie with Kathy, Tim and Susan Rice. Saying goodbye to the Grand Basin in St. Louis Forest Park.  

Ryan, Shannon and Sydney Potter, our mission partners, at their commissioning service at First Evangelical Free Church.

Dear friends and family,

Hi! We are now counting down the days left before we depart for language school. This is some of the photos and thoughts about saying goodbye.

God bless

Tim

Saying Goodbye well

This last Saturday the Division of General Internal Medicine where I have worked for the past 24 years hosted a farewell event. It was an opportunity for me to say thanks to all the wonderful colleagues that have supported my previous 10 trips to DR Congo by taking care of my patients while I was away.  As I say goodbye to my patients I know they will be well taken care of by the doctors in my office.

In a recent facebook post I noted, “This morning I said goodbye to a mom that 29 years ago brought her newborn in to see me for a check up. Today this same “mom” was in clinic with her 18 month-old grand-baby for his check up. Three generations of patients in my office, the boy, the boy’s 29 year-old mom and grandma.” #GoodbyeTearsShedByAll.

“Not that the troubles should come as any surprise to you. You’ve always known that we’re in for this kind of thing. It’s part of our calling.

1 THESSALONIANS 3:3

Upcoming events 

Sunday June 29th we will be speaking at Meramec Heights Assembly of God church.   This is the second time we have presented at this church.  Several years ago we were invited to speak at their missions conference and discussed the St. Louis Health Connection ministry and opportunities to engage and serve here in St. Louis.

July 11th Speaking in Chicago at an event hosted by our friends, the Blackwells

July 12-26 IM All Mission Convention at Green Lake, Wisconsin

July 27th Wadena Assembly of God in Wadena, Minnesota

August 3rd First Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon

August 10th Commissioning Service, New City Fellowship, St. Louis

August 24th Farewell reception, New City Fellowship, St. Louis

August 27th DEPART for language school in Albertville, France

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

 
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:21:34 +0000     oops, we goofed….. correction

 

 

Dear Reader,Ha, ha!  The jokes on us!  It seems like all the buttons to donate toward our one-time expenses were dead.  Oops!  Kinda hard to reach our goals with that technology!  Tell you what, we’ll fix the buttons and you can try visiting our page again.  Deal?  Deal. http://congohealthconnection.org/one-time-financial-needs/Blessings!

Tim and Kathy Rice

The Rices on Kwilu River

 

L to R Karen, Tim and Nancy

Solar PVs will convert the bright tropical sun into electrical power.

Dear friends and family,

Hi! This is Karen (Tim and Kathy’s daughter, and therefore one of Nancy’s sisters). I have to tell you: I did not think Mom and Dad’s monthly needs would get covered. I didn’t even think they would come close. The amount ($8500 per month!**) seemed like way too much to raise.

But over the past 8 months God has brought together a group of people from across the country (and around the world) who are allowing His love and generosity to flow through them in sacrificial giving. The fact that Mom and Dad are just 5% from their monthly giving total is a legit, no doubt about it, miracle! It turns out that Jesus is still in the business of taking 5 loaves and 2 fish and feeding 5,000 people. Amazing! Thank you for your generosity!

So, I’ve been proven pretty wrong about what kind of big things God can do recently. That’s why–instead of doubtful–I am just as excited to see what God will do through you to provide for this last need, which seems even bigger and crazier in some ways:

  • My family needs around $60,000 in donations to cover one-time expenses, like language school and airfare. They need it in the next 8 weeks!

If you want more information about the specific things they need the money for, they have broken it down into detailed categories at their website here: www.congohealthconnection.org/one-time-financial-needs  

Please pray and see if God has given you what you need in order to show His generosity again to my parents and to the doctors, nurses, patients, and communities in the DR Congo.

I’m excited to see the crazy way God provides for these needs. Isn’t it kind of fun when Jesus takes your little loaf and uses it to feed thousands of people (or in this case, takes your money to provide healthcare, training, community, and trans-continental relationships to so many)?

With excitement and more faith in a God Who defines faithful,

Karen Rice

**My parents always want to explain why their monthly budget seems so high. Everything is imported into Congo making the cost very high ($12/gal for gas; $18/head of lettuce, $400 round trip for grocery shopping.)  $8500/mon is equivalent to each of them making $2200/mon if they were here in the U.S. Now doesn’t that sound better? Also, don’t forget they need to raise the last 5% of their monthly support too.

 

Copyright © 2014 Congo Health Connection Dr Tim, Kathy and Nancy Rice, All rights reserved.

 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *