Good News from Bongolo Hospital

Over the 2011 Thanksgiving Weekend, a fire truck—previously used by the New York City Fire Department—was transported to a New Jersey port to begin its ocean journey to Africa via cargo ship. Its mission: to serve the C&MA’s Bongolo Hospital and the surrounding community of Lebamba. The fire truck is scheduled to arrive in Gabon in early 2012.

“What a blessing this fire truck will be, not only for our hospital, but [also] for the local Gabonese!” exclaimed Dr. Keir Thelander, the hospital’s medical director. “Not long ago there was a fire in a nearby village; bystanders just watched as unsuccessful attempts were made to put the fire out with buckets of water—a fire truck could easily have put it out in minutes.”

Hospital Fire Spurs Action

After witnessing a fire that had greatly damaged Bongolo Hospital’s warehouse in 2009, Dave and Diann Conquest (parents of Keir’s wife, Joanna), returned home to Pittsford, N.Y., where they commenced an exhaustive search for a fire truck on eBay®. After placing a bid, the couple purchased the 1975 Mack CF600 Pumper 6-Cylinder vehicle for $3,175!

Since July 2010, the Conquests have helped to raise more than $20,000 to cover the cost for necessary repairs, supplies, and shipping the truck to Africa. Contributions have come in from the community, including local fire departments, and beyond.

The 158-bed Bongolo Hospital is more than 200 miles from the nearest fire station. In addition to its busy surgery, maternity/pediatrics, and outpatient departments, the hospital has a nursing school, a dental clinic, and an eye surgery clinic. As of November 11, a reported 1,111 people had received Jesus as Savior through the hospital’s ministry in 2011.

What You Can Do

Give to the Great Commission Fund. Partner with Alliance workers like the Thelanders to share the light of Christ with those living in spiritual darkness.

Learn more about Bongolo Hospital’s powerful witness in Gabon.

Watch a YouTube video about the fire truck’s journey to Africa, including an interview with the Conquests. Note: Clicking on this URL will take you off of the C&MA Web site.


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