After a lot of prayer and discussion (and pro/con listing on my part), we have decided to move our 2016 trip to September. This is for a few reasons, but the main one is the electricity issue which I talked about in my last post.
Lengthy power outages are still happening at New Day. Though, thankfully it seems they are getting more rain. We have a couple of heavy duty back-up generators on the shipping container that's now on its way to Zambia. These generators will ensure we have power during fabrication (especially laminations which is crucial we don't lose power during this procedure). The container should arrive sometime late spring/early summer. This is the container that also has the solar energy equipment that we did a raffle fundraiser to help out with cost for New Day. Thank you again to all who donated towards the solar energy equipment!
So what does moving our trip from May to September mean??
Having generators for back-up power is a huge thing. Perhaps power outages won't be 8 hours at a time in September, but this is definitely not something we can plan on.
Another difference is temperature. In May, Zambia is in their "Fall" season where the days and nights are getting cooler. June and July are typically the coolest months....October and November are typically the warmest months. So, September will definitely be warmer. Laminations for the prosthetic sockets set off (harden) faster in warmer temperatures, so this is something we factor in. Here in the States, we do laminations in temperature controlled buildings where we have the a/c or heater on depending on the season. We don't really think about the temperature outside affecting our laminations.
Also, this means people are waiting an additional 4 months for us to see them. People who we fit with prostheses last year may need repairs or new parts. People we haven't seen yet for a prosthetic leg or eye may have already been told we're coming in May, and now will have to wait till September. This fact bothers me. Prosthetic Promises is working to establish responsible medical mission work. We are really trying to make sure we aren't doing harm in some way by inserting ourselves and our prosthetic services into rural Zambia (and hopefully more countries in the future). I pray that everyone expecting our arrival, whether they are someone we've seen before or a new patient, will understand the circumstances of why we have postponed this year's trip. I pray that any disappointment there will not hinder our intent to show God's love through our work.
Lastly (and most selfishly), this means 4 additional months till I get to be back in Zambia. I, and I know John and Chris, so often yearn to be there seeing patients for prosthetic legs and eyes, experiencing the culture, playing with the kids at New Day Orphanage, enjoying the beautiful sunsets from the water tower, knowing that we're doing the work God sent us to do...the list goes on.
Looking ahead to September. Continuing to pray for preparations. Trusting God's plan for Prosthetic Promises.
Please join me in prayer for these changes for this year's trip. We so appreciate your prayers and support!