Kalene Mission Hospital, Zambia
A Brass Tacks Perspective
Colin Breeze (Echoes of Service, May 2006)
Since Brass Tacks commenced 20 years ago, we have worked in seven African hospitals, each venue providing its own special challenge. Over the past 20 months we have been meeting with missionaries at Kalene to plan our eighth project: Kalene Hospital.
Due to the location of Kalene and the extent of the work needed, the renovations will again challenge our expertise. The cooperation of many organisations is a great encouragement. We are at present in consultation with Echoes of Service, Medical Missionary News, North-West Zambia Development Trust, and Philip Grove, as well as the missionaries at Kalene and CMML Flight Services.
The plan for the first phase is to undertake the building of the new toilet blocks for the male and female wards, and the renovation of the maternity toilet block and children's wards, as well as a new storage building. We will also be working alongside the existing maintenance team, led by Richard Reed (NZ), to repair and replace the roofs and install new ceilings to the wards. Before the next wet season we hope to improve and extend the existing drainage to the nurses' school.
On the horizon there will be other jobs: new staff houses, repairs, and replacement of the electrical installation, which will make full use of the hydro-electricity.
So often we stop and ask ourselves how this is going to happen and then we are again reminded of God's goodness. With so much work taking place we needed a good secure store and workshop. The existing premises were built by Mr Chapman about 60 years ago. In a wonderful way, a steel building, measuring 25 m x 18 m, has been given to the hospital by IKEA and, with the help of Medical Missionary News, has been sent to Kalene. The whole building was delivered to Kalene in eight weeks, and given that this is the wet season in Zambia, it is truly amazing. We give God the praise. We also have had much help and encouragement from other agencies, who have supplied plumbing and drainage equipment.
With the materials on site, we need experienced volunteers to help. So far, we have 22 volunteers who have agreed to come. The preparation work on site will commence on 8th May and we plan to have personnel at Kalene until 13th December. The size of the job may well be compared to the task that Nehemiah had. Our prayer would be as his: "O God, strengthen my hands" (Neh. 6:9).