This past year has been quite eventful for us. We are moving not just another mission trip but for the next five years to Bere Adventist Hospital in Chad, Africa. We will be joining with our daughter Danae and her husband Olen Netteburg. She is an Ob-Gyn doctor and he is an ER doctor but of course there you do whatever needs to be done. They had been begging us to come help. Then in August I was let go from working for Craig General Hospital at the Grand Lake Medical Park clinic so we decided to do what we wanted to do anyway but had been dragging our feet. We had visited Bere for three weeks in Jan-Feb 2011 so we know what it is like there. Bere Hospital is a 70 bed hospital that is very primitive but in great need but has lots of interesting pathology. There is no public power. The only electricity is from the hospital generator which does not run all the time but they do have good clean well water.
Our new address will be: Bere Adventist Hospital, Boite Postal 52, Kelo, Chad, Afrique
I don’t know what our telephone number will be yet. There is no main hospital telephone but there are cell phones. Our email comes via cell phone there. If you want to call you should use the services of “pingo.com” Their web site will tell about their services which costs only about 20 cents per minute vs a few dollars per minute via AT&T or whatever. There is a 7 hrs time difference, ie. 1:00 pm would be 8:00 p.m. there.
Go to “missionarydoctors.blogspot.com” to learn more about what is happening there and some of the many needs there. Olen is a very gifted writer.
We spent 3 weeks in Mongolia on a “Share Him” preaching mission trip Sept 2011. We already had it scheduled and paid for before all this other began to be happening. Dolores and I were both preaching at different sites and we didn’t see each other during that time because we were about 15 hrs from each other. There was already snow when we arrived in mid Sept. The people were very hospitable. Most of the church growth in Mongolia is among the young people. Older people are still somewhat suspicious of westerners after being under Communism for 70 years. We did have some baptisms at each site. At my site it had warmed up to the mid 40’s on the last Sabbath so they said it was warm and had the baptism in the river which seemed pretty cool to me. I had a good translator who knew English and Korean as well as Mongolian. Dolores had a translator that did not know English very well so had to study her notes for a few hours each day. She had to follow the script pretty closely whereas I could deviate a bit and be all right. Mongolia is 11 time zones from here and across the date line. We left here on a Sun. and got there Tues but coming back we left there Mon. noon and got into Tulsa Mon. night. We would not recommend Air China as it had poor service, but the vegetarian meals were good.
We had accumulated some vacation time as we had taken minimal vacation past 2 years but we still lost some of what had been promised before we parted ways with the employer. (No I did not have any problems with the State Board) I began working with an Urgent Care (now in our old office) and it is easier and pays pretty well. If we were not going to Africa I would probably work there more. The Indian Health Service at Jay said they needed help but they were very slow with all their paper work and delays due to a Chief election so I didn’t work any for them.
Our latest grandson (Zane) was born June 25. She (Danae) managed somehow to get on the plane near term pregnant and come back to the States to deliver. She then took her Ob-Gyn boards on June 27 (two days later!) and passed.
December has been a hectic month as we are trying to get ready to go. There have been several “farewell” or “retirement” get togethers for us. The Deleware County Commissioners made a proclamation declaring Dec 12 as “Rollin Bland M.D. day”. The Grove City Council also did the same. The Christan Medical Clinic and the Grove Baptist Church had an evening for us and gave us some donations and a short wave radio. I was the president and founder (with Cathi Spencer, my office manager for 30 years) of the Christian Medical Clinic since when it began in 2001. The Clinic was for those who could not afford medical care and had no insurance. The Grove Hospital also gave me a plaque for “40 years of service”. This was during their employee Christmas program but they also had a special meeting to say good bye to the employees that might want to. Most of the “oldies” are already gone. That same evening the Grand Lake Camera club had its program. (I also began the Grand Lake Camera Club about 20 yrs ago) Actually I had not quite been on staff there at the hospital for 40 yrs but it was close. Gail Hill and Cathi Spencer had a musical tribute farewell at the Jay Seventh-day Adventist Church Dec 18 which was very nice. They had Dolores and I sitting on a chair on the stage during the whole program. They had a “money” Christmas tree for donations for the place we are going to. The hard part is that we know we will never see some of these people again in this life but we pray that we can have a reunion around the tree of life.
God has been good to us. We have had baptisms each year that I have been the lay pastor of our church here in Jay. We are healthy. We have had our physicals and many immunizations in preparation for our work in Chad. We sold our cows and rented our pasture to the ones (Lyman and Jay Williams) that bought our cows. Our new pastor who is taking over our church here in Jay is Elder Jerry Mayes and his wife Kay. I have known Jerry since grade school and Kay since 1968. They both lost their spouses and then married each other about 5 yrs ago. They make a sweet couple and are really evangelistic for God which is what we are all here for according to Matt 28:19, 20. We are also told to go to the ends of the earth and Mongolia and Chad both fit that description somewhat.
We need to learn French really fast as French is the official language there although Arabic, Ngere, and others would be helpful. I would like to learn it well enough to be able to preach in French.
Tentatively we are to leave about Jan 10 or 12 to be in Nairobi, Kenya for a “Misssion Institute” for 3 weeks (Jan 16 to Feb 4) then go directly to Chad about Feb 5. I think we will have a 40’ container in which to put our things and some hospital things and hopefully our Toyota Forerunner. We have to take furniture and things for our house there that is not even built yet. Some of the shipping people are on vacation all week from Christmas to New years. May God be with each of you this coming year and may we meet around God’s throne if we don’t meet again here.
Rollin and Dolores