Keith R. Brinkman serving with Mercy Ships. This is another way for me to communicate with you all what is happening. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and entries.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

KRB Update - Training

KRB Update #2178 – Training

Keith R. Brinkman
June 14, 2012

Greetings from Lomé, Togo, for one last time. One of the things I hear often when doing assessment or talking with governmental officials is that they wish to have more training for their health care professionals. One difficulty here in West Africa is that if nationals go abroad to study many times they never return home to serve. So if Mercy Ships is able to provide hands-on training and mentoring on board, the health care professionals do not leave their home country.

One success has been with our eye project. In 2010 when we were here in Togo, our ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Glenn Strauss accepted Dr. Abram Wodome for a three month fellowship in eye surgery. This year, it was Dr. Abram who trained three Togolese eye surgeons. He also received some additional training related to pediatric cases with Dr. Glenn in May.

In our operating rooms/theatres, our surgical staff are involved with providing training and mentoring for surgeons and nurses. Here in Togo, they have worked with three maxillofacial surgeons, surgical nurse, and one surgeon in learning more about VVF surgery.

One of our international board members, Dr. Keith Thomson, has a passion to conduct workshops/conferences in anaesthesia for the professionals of our host nations. For the last several years, I have had the responsibility to assist in facilitating the conferences on behalf of Mercy Ships. Here at the largest government and university hospital, CHU, we had 139 anaesthesists, nurse technicians, and midwives with a focus on obstetrics anaesthesia and maternal health. The Ministry of Health brought in their people from all over the nation. They also trained on the WHO Safe Surgery Checklist. Pray that what they have learned will be applied to save lives of women and children in particular.

Other training occurred with our three Leadership Conferences – with community, church and government leaders, Agriculture – training of trainers, local Day Workers, Basic Oral Health to patients at the dental clinic and in schools, Community Health Education, and Mental Health.

Prayer Requests: 1) For each of the participants who received training and mentoring, to apply what they learned and share with others 2) Health for all of our patients 3) Our patients’ transition back into their communities and families 4) Our sail from Togo to the Canary Islands and the shipyard and technical work.

Serving Together, Keith


Mail: Keith R. Brinkman, Mercy Ships, P.O. Box 2020, Lindale, TX 75771 USA

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Triplets at Local Hospital

While visiting the largest hospital in Togo - CHU with some of our anaesthesia team members, we were asked if we wish to observe a c-section.  We agreed.  The mother came in and was so extended, they thought maybe twins, though as the deliveries happened - the doctor raised 3 fingers - triplets.  Not a very common occurance at the hospital.  This was my first c-section to observe and then to have three healthy babies - what an amazing time.  The parents - Koamivi and Amivi are doing well.  She gave birth and named their children:  Elohne. 2.8 kg.    Erine 2.7 kg.    Eric 2.7 kg.

KRB Update - Mercy Ministries

Greetings from Lomé, Togo, West Africa. Mercy Ministries provide off ship ministry opportunities for Africa Mercy crew (long and short term and guests) working alongside existing ministries demonstrating hope and healing. Our highest goal is to demonstrate God’s love, care and concern for those we come to serve through listening, praying, counseling, teaching, spending time, playing, interacting and if suitable through practical assistance. I have a Mercy Ministries Coordinator who works full time and I am responsible for leadership over this area within Programs here on the Africa Mercy (Hospital, Off Ship Projects and Mercy Ministries). I love this aspect of my role here on board and going out myself and being part of the teams. Most of my local friends have been patients, caregivers, dayworkers and our local partners. Here are our mercy ministries partners for the:

Togo 2012 Field Service (most are ones we served with back in 2010 also)

Missionaries of Charity in Kpalime – we continue to partner with the sisters at Missionaries of Charity in the countries we visit – though this time the site is 2 ½ hour drive from the ship. Their care is focused on HIV/AIDS, a hospice setting.

Ephata School for the Deaf – our mercy ministries team visit weekly and work with the deaf students who are boarders from elsewhere in Togo (using American Sign Language).

Youth With A Mission (YWAM) – King’s Kids – we join YWAM with their monthly community children’s outreach with around 200 children.

Jesus Film – the team heads out with a local evangelist twice a week to different locations around Lomé sharing the Jesus Film in French or Ewe (local language)–based on the Gospel of Luke.

Hospital CHU Visitation – in partnership with YWAM and a local Assembly of God church, we join them in visiting the pediatric wards at the largest hospital in the nation.

Brigade Mineur Youth Detention Center – weekly scheduled visit for 90 minutes to share with primarily young men but also a few ladies in the youth detention center.

Maison Bethany Orphanage – a very popular site on Saturday mornings to visit, spend time with, share a Bible story, craft with the orphans at this home.

APEHM (Association pour la Promotion de l’Enfant Handicape Mental) – only facility in the nation of Togo to care for children with mental disabilities (autistic, cerebral palsy, down syndrome). Time of sharing simple Bible stories, crafts, lots of dancing and games.

HOPE Center – our mercy ministries teams visit our outpatient housing unit for patients and caregivers coming from far away – we go twice a week for the afternoon.

Prison Fellowship – Men & Women’s Prison in Tsevie – in partnership with Prison Fellowship, every other week our men and women make the hour drive north to this prison – they are able to share from God’s word, share testimonies and listen to the inmates.

Prayer Requests: 1) Each of the participants at our various sites as our time here is coming soon to an end. 2) Each of the above partners for their continued minister to these people.

Matthew 25 “I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited. Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help? He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

Serving Together, Keith