Pray for Katherine and Wayne Niles helping to bring health resources and development assistance to the churches and people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.May 31, 2017
Wayne and Katherine Niles Portrait
Wayne serves as a seconded missionary to Interchurch Medical Assistance in Democratic Republic of Congo. He is involved in full-time service with IMA/ECC affiliated health and development activities in Congo. Wayne serves as the in-country liaison officer with IMA for financial and accounting matters. Additionally, Wayne has been helping Congolese people through a development project to grow more food. Among other activities, the project distributes new seeds, disease resistant varieties of crops, and offers women's groups small loans to purchase machines for hulling, milling, and producing oil.
Katherine is working with a group of Congolese Christian professionals in training community leaders, urban and rural, to be promoters of health in their communities. The staff of a church-related health center in Kinshasa is also using her expertise to make their medical ministry more holistic as they care for urban poor people.
They write: Today Katherine bought 200 liters of IV fluid for the Kikongo Hospital. A visitor is chartering a Mission Aviation (MAF) plane, and Katherine will be sure that after passengers and baggage, every ounce of available weight is filled with medical supplies.
Kikongo is ‘off the beaten path’. MAF rarely stops in, and the dirt road is awful. Hence keeping a hospital like Kikongo supplied is an overwhelming challenge, and the responsibility falls to Dr. Lay, the medical director.
Dr. Lay hires a motorcycle and goes 100 miles to the paved road to catch a bus either to Kinshasa or Kikwit to buy supplies and medicines. But getting these supplies BACK to Kikongo is even more of a trick. Carrying pills and bandages by motorcycle on a sandy road is one thing, but sloshing IV fluids is quite another, and IV fluids are HEAVY.
My Dad used to say, “a pint a pound the world around”, and one liter of IV fluid is about two pints. Kikongo is a 120 bed hospital, and uses about 200 liters of IV fluid a month. Great care is required to carry plastic bags of IV fluid over Congo’s terrible roads. Fluids come 10 per carton. Hit a bump too hard and a pouch will burst. Then the cardboard carton gets soggy and soft. I’ve seen the consequence of IV fluids stacked too high while the driver drove too fast over dirt roads. The load burst bag by bag into one enormous cardboard and IV slushy.
A motorcycle can only carry 40 liters (I’m told!), so for Kikongo, that’s 5 trips x 100 miles just for IV fluids.
Right now, the Kikongo hospital is well stocked because a couple weeks ago, Dr. Lay ‘chartered’ Glen Chapman’s boat to run the up the Wamba River to the bridge at the paved road. A boat can haul tons but it burns lots of fuel. Caring for patients who make less than a dollar a day, you must do everything possible to keep costs down, and so you weigh options, and the challenges never end.
Hence, Katherine is delighted for this charter flight that is free freight in smooth skies. She’ll settle with Dr. Lay later, or she’ll choose not to settle, but to use funds many of you share with us for mission, ministry, and medical work in Congo to pay for the supplies. You bless so many patients and their care givers. Thank you for being part of our team, through your gifts and your prayers. God bless you.