Team Caffeine Departs

October 31, 2015
It has been a wonderful but fast 2 weeks. This was our last day in Bo, Sierra Leone before packing our bags and heading at the gate at noon.

We enjoyed Rise and Shine exercise with the CRC children at 7 am. We loaded up, packed up and filled the van/bus for the airport. This has been an incredible adventure. This team has accomplished much in completing project lists, building relationships and growing close together as well as closer to God.

DSC_0374 for blog

Our God is a great God, yes He is. He lifts us up. He turns us around. He sets our feet upon a solid rock. We feel sad to leave but we fill like dancing, clapping, jumping, spinning and praising God. Our God is a great God!

We are at the Lungi airport preparing to board our airplane after a swift trip by paved road from Bo all the way to the airport. Even after stopping at multiple checkpoints and hygienic hand-washings, the entire road trip took exactly 4 hours! (A far cry from the early days of ferries, water taxis, overnight hotels, and dirt roads that prior teams enjoyed or endured.)

We ask for your prayers for travel mercies and an uneventful trip home. Good-bye precious children and staff. We love you and miss you already. We WILL be back!

Sending our readers love and blessings,
Love,
Team Caffeine: Laura, Cynthia, Ken, Dave, David and Karen

Team Caffeine in Outreach: Service for the Glory of God

October 30, 2015:

Today we had the opportunity to “go out into the world” to a remote village to Serve our God and his people. We completed registration, prenatal exams, early childhood nutrition program and testing for malaria and HIV.

Ken Diebman, one of our accessories, brought 2 lovely African story books. He was reading to the children who did not speak a lick of English but, as you can see, they were enthralled. He even had the full attention from a group of adults.

Ken the Story Teller
Ken the Story Teller

Prenatal exams were completed with the aid of the donated sonographic unit. The look of awe on the women’s faces will not be forgotten as they heard their babies heartbeat for the first time and realized the life growing inside them. Babies and young children were weighed and measured to asses nutritional needs. They had a strong fear of stepping on scale or being laid on the rack as evidenced by the screaming. This was nothing compared to the needle sticks they received a short time later to test for malaria and HIV. This was not my favorite job to smile at their precious faces then stick them as they howled and writhed. The sample was passed to the lab / testing center to evaluate for positive or negative tests then onto the pharmacy for the appropriate medication and nutritional supplements.

Lab Testing
Lab Testing

We traveled on long narrow pathways and crossed harrowing bridges to get to this village. People came from far and wide to receive the only medical care available to them. The travel to the village was more than worthwhile. The service provided to His people was priceless.

Road to Village
Road to Village

For the love of His children, Karen Roeming
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Alleluia. Amen.

Happy Birthday

October 29, 2015: Team Caffeine

Today was a busy, busy day with rounds at Mercy Hospital then meetings at Mercy Hospital, Child Rescue Centre (CRC) and Mission Training Centre (MTC). Facility’s maintenance and IT projects are closing in on completion. The CRC staff members are developing a habit for their exercise routine. We enjoyed Family Fun Night with the children but, best of all, we celebrated two special birthdays.

Mercy Hospital has some great processes in place and patients are receiving excellent care and attention. Laura has been going strong with meeting after meeting with the result of contracts, budgets and procedures in place. An external fuel tank was installed at Mercy to ensure that the hospital has the cleanest fuel possible to maintain hospital power. Internet cables are connected with a solid connection between the MTC and the CRC which will be upgraded to return wireless to all future teams. YaHoo!! We now have the CRC staff concerned that they might miss a day of their exercise. They have been checked out and cataloged for blood pressure, heart rate and BMI. All their stats and goals are documented in awesome spreadsheets and graphs. (You are correct, Mitch-man, I did not create the spreadsheets.)

The Fuel Tank
The Fuel Tank

Thursday Family Fun Night returned beginning with the age old favorite, Bingo, then moving onto musical chairs. We had a set of musical chairs set up for each family unit. I can tell you, you have not experienced musical chairs until you dance it with a Sierra Leone family with the African beat music pumping through your body. It was awesome, fun and I think I will be sore tomorrow!

One of our CRC graduates, nick-named Nabs, and current employee of the CRC celebrated his 25th birthday along with one of Team Caffeine’s accessories, Allen Morell. We had a big birthday dinner. Nabs had us all choked up thanking us for the wonderful birthday, marvelous celebration and the best cupcake ever topped with sprinkles and a candle, specially made by Patty Morell. We all lost it when he said this was his 2nd birthday celebration, the 1st having been last year during the CRC Ebola lock-in. Happy Birthday, Nabs! And many more!!

Happy Birthday Nabs!
Happy Birthday Nabs!
Birthday Boys
Birthday Boys

Thank you for your continued prayers. “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

For the love of His children, Karen Roeming

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Alleluia. Amen.

Present and Future of Sierra Leone

The children of Sierra Leone have experienced more trauma and tragedy than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. Despite the experiences they have survived, they continue to smile with a light that lights up their cherub faces. They have hope for a better life.

The Child Rescue Centre, CRC, now has a teacher and an auntie, also serving as a teacher, for the Kindergarten children. The Kindergarten class of 7 children no longer leave the CRC for school with their older brothers and sisters. I had the opportunity to step in and teach this class today. Wow, such ENERGY!! They are so eager to learn, so eager to please and so smart. When I ask them a question, their little hands shoot up into the air and they say/shout, “yes”, meaning he or she wants to be called on to give the answer. Sometimes, they are so excited to answer that their little bottoms just can’t stay in the chair.

Kindergarten Class
Kindergarten Class

We have been learning about the garden: Who lives in the garden, animals that live and visit in the garden and the miracle of plants growing from a little bitty seed. We sang and danced to a song I learned from my daughter, Katlyn, “The roots go down and the plant grows up”. We also learned about the water cycle. My brain and body was exhausted but my heart was filled to the top!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We are busy and safe and, His eyes are on us, always. Proverbs 15.

For the love of His children, Karen Roeming
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Alleluia. Amen.

CRC Health Initiative

A Child Rescue Centre health program for all employees was initiated in May, 2014 with our May Mission Team, so we will have healthy staff to provide the best care for our precious children. We have a physical therapist, Dave, and an occupational therapist, Karen, on Team Caffeine. After the children left for school, we started with the Aunties. First, we had to equip them with sneakers/crepes. They had none. Gratefully, we had a donation of running shoes from one of the partner churches, Ebenezer. Ebenezer Church made the offer for participants to donate their shoes after completing the “Go for Bo” run. (Great idea and so needed!) We also came up with enough socks from team members to give them each a pair.  Auntie Fanny, who is a  nurse, took blood pressures. We taught all aunties how to measure their heart rate. We obtained resting heart rate for all, then calculated target heart rates for exercise. Auntie Fanny kept good records. We completed our first walk heading out of the CRC to the streets of Bo. We completed the education with the other staff at daily staff devotion/meeting. Heart rates for all were measured and calculated. We had the rest of the staff come be fitted with running shoes, ladies first. We will add more staff participants to our walk tomorrow. Once we get our data into the computer, we will develop a goal to decrease resting heart rate for the entire staff average and set a time to accomplish that goal. Daily walks and heart rate monitoring are planned.

CRC Gets Healthy
CRC Gets Healthy

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

For the love of His children, Karen Roeming

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Alleluia. Amen.