"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

2016 trip in 5 months....whoa!

On November 21st, John drove supplies and equipment to Kansas to load on the shipping container that will be sent to New Day Orphanage. It was a lot of supplies and equipment! Big THANK YOU to John for making the long drive. Not only are supplies in all of these boxes, but equipment for our future clinic too! Garage doors for the clinic building, an industrial sewing machine (just like I use at work so I know how to thread it and run that thing...you have no idea how exciting this is as I'm not a seamstress at all), back up generator, and lots more. 

Speaking of the future clinic, construction should start early 2016! We are really excited that our 2017 trip will likely be in the new clinic! 

To explain the confusing-ness that shipping all of these supplies internationally results in---the shipping container that was sent out early 2015 did not arrive to New Day until after our May 2015 trip was over. So, we will have all of those supplies for our trip in 2016. The equipment and supplies in these pictures will probably not be there for our May 2016 trip, which means we'll use them in 2017. The equipment for the clinic will be used when construction starts...like the garage doors...when the container gets there. We have more supplies that we definitely need for our 2016 trip at Chris' house that will be packed in plastic tubs for extra baggage on our flights. Yikes!....it gets confusing sometimes. 

Our next trip will be the first 3 weeks of May 2016. We do not have plane tickets purchased yet but will be getting those soon. It's just 5 months away...and that will be here before we know it! I find myself again and again just in awe that God has given me this opportunity with Prosthetic Promises. I tell people often that I'm just excited to be part of His work. It's really incredible to see what responding to God's call has led to. 

Team Prosthetic Promises would so appreciate your prayers as we get closer to our next trip and continue with preparations. Thank you so much for your interest and support!

Raffle drawing

Today was the drawing for the raffle to raise money for New Day Orphanage to help with purchasing solar energy equipment. A huge THANK YOU!!! for all who donated and bought raffle tickets. Prosthetic Promises raised $13,745---all given to New Day Orphanage to help purchase the solar energy equipment. 

For accountability (and certainly not because I do well speaking on video), I had Jason video me doing the drawing. We used the sophisticated "mixing bowl" raffle drawing technique :)

New technology, new contacts and donations

Chris and I attended a national prosthetic and orthotic conference held in San Antonio earlier this month. #1, it was great to spend some time with Chris...we went to dinner a few nights too! We also attended lots of lectures and saw some awesome new technology. 

There are several things I'm excited about from the conference, but to just highlight a few...

We saw a new above knee socket design that will be incredibly helpful in fitting patients in Zambia. This socket design can be fit on the patient in one visit. Right now, we see patients for casting and then they have to come back for fitting. This is especially difficult for the patients who travel great distances or have lack of transportation. The Socket-less Socket will be awesome for us to use. The prosthetist who designed this, Jay Martin, did a seminar on the new socket design, and we were able to talk with him afterwards about us using this in Zambia. It was a truly awesome conversation with a fellow Christian to see how we can use his technology to help others in Zambia. 
The Socket-less Socket. www.martinbionics.com

Another new product is the AT prosthetic knee, which is waterproof and very durable. I was able to speak with the CEO of LegWorks, which is the company that makes this prosthetic knee. We had a great discussion about us using this knee in Zambia. They have tested this knee in 10 different countries in various conditions, so we know it will be super durable for the conditions our patients in Zambia encounter. 

Also, I got to see lots of other practitioners I know at the conference, and it was great to visit and catch up with them. I talked about Prosthetic Promises with so many different people and found a few prosthetists who are interested in joining us for a future trip to Zambia! Several manufacturers of prosthetic components are making donations of parts for our upcoming trip. Yay!!!

We are definitely in planning mode right now for our upcoming Spring 2016 trip. Buying parts and supplies, purchasing doors and equipment for our future clinic to be shipped over to Zambia and overall just getting really excited! 

Backyard Benefit for Prosthetic Promises

I'm a little behind on reporting such exciting news, but I've been at a conference the past week (which is a whole other post to come soon). 

Hope Overturf, board member of Prosthetic Promises, instigated and helped organize a Backyard Benefit fundraiser for PPIHN to raise funds for our future multipurpose clinic. We are so thankful to Hope for starting this conversation, Dr. David and Geri Ann Webster, Dr. Dacen and Netsy DeLaPaz, and Dave and Marilyn White for organizing and hosting the wonderful event on October 3rd. Over $5,000 was raised for Prosthetic Promises' future clinic in Zambia, Africa. It is so awesome to see God's provisions and where He is leading PPIHN for His purpose. 

There were lots of items from Africa in the silent auction.

Me-"Let me take a pretty picture of you, Chris" 
Chris- "I don't take pretty pictures"
She is beautiful, and awesome, and I am so fortunate to call her friend, mentor and mission partner.

Live music for the evening.

We had a powerpoint going of patients we saw on our trips.

A beautiful evening with lots of people and visiting. We had the opportunity to meet so many new people.

The homes that the event was hosted at are gorgeous. I loved the outdoor lighting and backyard.

Over the Plate gourmet food truck served DELICIOUS tacos for dinner. Read more about Over the Plate here.

Again, we are so thankful to all who made this fundraising event possible. We are gearing up for Prosthetic Promises' trip for 2016. Stay tuned for preparation updates. 

Solar Energy

Prosthetic Promises loves New Day Orphanage. New Day Orphanage needs solar energy. SO...we want to help New Day get a solar energy system!

Prosthetic Promises partners with New Day Orphanage in Zambia to make our yearly trips happen. We stay at the orphanage, and they coordinate people in need of prosthetic services for us to see when we're there. If you haven't checked out their website, please do. New Day is wonderful! They have so much love for these kids. It's so awesome to witness what God is doing at this orphanage in rural Zambia. Please pray for the leaders and staff as they pour into the lives of these children, teaching them--loving them--showing them Christ. And as they impact the community around New Day Orphanage.

Back story: Lake Kariba is the world's largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. The dam supplies hydropower for both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The water level of Lake Kariba is very low right now, which has resulted in Zambia curbing energy use to preserve water levels. Read more here

What does this mean?? This means New Day Orphanage is experiencing 8 hours a day without electricity. Electricity out this long makes food storage difficult in refrigerators and freezers, and makes it difficult for the water pump to fill the water towers, and means there's no lights on. This is a BIG impact.

Rainy season will start within the next month so the water level of Lake Kariba will be replenished, BUT electricity outages at New Day are common. We have experienced some of these power outages on our prosthetic trips with the power out for as little as 10 minutes to up to several hours. And that was just after the rainy season stopped. 

Solar energy will give New Day the ability to have back-up power for these electricity outages. The initial design will be to keep the basics going like freezers and refrigerators, the water pump and some lights. The design will have the availability to add more solar panels and battery storage later on as New Day continues to grow. This will also give our future clinic solar energy availability when the power goes out. 

The cost of the initial set up will be around $15,000. Prosthetic Promises is doing a raffle to help raise some of the funds needed for the solar energy system. Please contact me if you'd like to buy raffle tickets or donate towards this cause. katie.b.brinkley@gmail.com is my email.

The raffle drawing is November 21, 2015. This is a short time, but the solar energy system needs to be purchased before December in order to go on a shipping container scheduled to leave for New Day. 

This Brinkley is on a mission===> Let's get New Day Orphanage solar energy!!!

Prosthetic Promises Video #2

I completed another video compilation with the rest of the video segments from our May trip.

Zambia 2015 Video

I finally finished video #1 of our trip. This is a compilation of clips that I feel really illustrates what we do far better than just pictures can. A big thank you to Erin for taking most of the videos. 

Sunday, May 10- Tuesday, May 12: Travel and Arrival at New Day Orphanage

**This is the first of many posts to do a day-by-day recap of Prosthetic Promises' May 2015 mission trip to Zambia. New Day Orphanage in Mapanza, Zambia hosts us for the trips. Check out more info about New Day at www.newdayorphanage.org

Intro: For anyone who read my vow in an earlier post to take notes and more pictures on this trip, I'd like to let you know I did it! There are so many amazing stories to tell from this trip, and I'm excited to share! The best summary statement is "God is so awesome"! He kept showing us so many amazing people, situations and events that we can't help but raise our hands in praise. So I don't tumble out an endless post that would likely not make much sense, this will be chronological. My intention is to let all who support us in donations and prayers know what exactly our mission is all about. 

Our flight left Sunday evening, May 10th, from DFW airport. Between rain storms, flash flooding and tornadoes in the metroplex, there were over 400 flights cancelled on May 10th at DFW. Our flight was delayed, but it was a huge blessing that our flight was not cancelled. All of our flights went smoothly and all 12 bags of luggage made it to Zambia. We were so thankful for the safe and smooth travel! 

Those traveling were myself, Chris, John, John's daughter Erin, Carolyn (teacher at New Day Orphanage who was traveling back after being back in the U.S. to visit her family), Cindy and Sarah (Cindy is Debbie's sister, who lives at New Day and Sarah is Cindy's granddaughter). In London, we had almost a 12 hour layover which left us time to go out into the city for a little sightseeing before our next flight to Johannesburg. Carolyn opted to stay at the airport to rest since she's seen London sights before, so Chris, John, Erin, Cindy, Sarah and I went out for sightseeing. I loved the architecture!! Such a beautiful city! [I know you aren't reading this blog for "look at my tourist-y London pictures", but I just want to share a few] :)

This guy looked so peaceful at St. James's Park.

Buckingham palace--looked different than I imagined.

Couldn't pass up the iconic telephone booth.

I really like this photo angle. Beautiful and intricate architecture! 

John, Chris and Erin being tourists.

Okay, back to the trip.... We arrived at Livingstone, Zambia early afternoon on Tuesday. After getting all our bags, convincing the guy at customs he didn't need to searched each bag we brought and loading them on Bus Number New Day, we stopped at a grocery store for snacks for our stay and headed to New Day. 

Group picture at the Livingstone airport.

We stopped a Kalomo on the way to New Day for a restroom break. The use of the restroom facility costs each person 2 kwacha (about $0.28 USD). We arrived at New Day after dark, since it took about 4 hours to travel from Livingstone to the orphanage on the bus (the bus doesn't travel fast). 
Bus picture of Erin napping on the way to New Day.

View out the front of the bus with Ricky driving. Ricky and Niki are the volunteer coordinators at New Day and picked us up at the airport.

Scenery pictures from our drive to New Day.

When we got to New Day, the kids greeted us singing outside of the dining hall. It was so fun to see everyone in a group, all excited to greet us. Ms. Carolyn returning was the biggest excitement I think...the kids swarmed around her as she got off the bus. 

They had gotten all of our equipment and supplies down from the attic of the Ark (guesthouse) where we stored it since last year and had it all sitting out in the garage. The garage was our work area for this trip. We had dinner at the Ark and then walked down to the garage to pack up our casting supplies to leave out early Wednesday for Choma to cast patients. 
Daytime picture of the garage to show where we worked everyday.

We arranged our work benches and the foot lockers around the garage...and generally made a big mess before it was all done. All foot lockers had to be shut at night to keep bugs, critters and potentially snakes from getting in.

*Next post: Wednesday, May 13: Patients in Choma

Wednesday, May 13: Patients in Choma

Wednesday was our first work day...and started early. Blu, Chris, John, Erin and I left New Day at 7:30am in the truck for Choma, which is about an hour drive. Blu did interpreting with patients (though many of them spoke English), and Erin was our photographer. Chris and I had packed casting materials and tools to see patients that were to meet us at the Choma Hospital. John also had a bag of impression materials and tools he needed for evaluating patients. The Disabilities Office in Choma had coordinated with Blu for our trip to have patients meet at the Choma Hospital Physiotherapy clinic for us to see on Wednesday. 

This is the physiotherapy (physical therapy) clinic room. It was small, not great lighting and we made a huge mess with all our plaster casting. The staff at the clinic were so nice to let us use their facility and didn't seem to mind that we basically took over their clinic for an entire morning.

Blu and Chris in discussion. Erin (on the left) was so awesome to take pictures of patients as we worked, since it got quite chaotic once patients started coming in.

Here is the waiting area with all the patients lined up. 

The foot locker full of casting materials and our tools. 

Chris and I had 12 patients we casted for prostheses, and there were 2 additional people we evaluated but could not help. One was an older lady with both legs amputated above the knees; she was not a candidate for prostheses, and Chris explained to her and her husband why it would be too difficult for her to use bilateral AK prostheses. The other person was an older man who had polio and very weakened, atrophied legs. John had 4 patients, of which 3 were candidates that he took impressions of for custom prosthetic eyes. 

Chris and I casted patients at the same time. I am casting Kin, who lost his leg below the knee in a car accident 6 years ago. He has a prosthesis that is 5 years old that he got from a charity clinic in Monze, but that socket is cracked and is causing a sore on his leg since it is ill fitting now. Chris is casting Boyd in this picture. Boyd's amputation is above the knee, and he was a truck driver before his amputation. 

John evaluating one of his patients. The lady on the right is with the Disabilities Office that coordinated the patients coming for us to see them.

Maureen is the woman in pink, and Lwisa is the lady on the left. Maureen's amputation is above the knee. 

Lwisa had an amputation 2 years ago below the knee due to diabetes. She is also mostly blind due to the diabetes. Lwisa's daughter (in the yellow shirt), who she lives with, brought her to the clinic.

Chris is talking with Matthews, who has an above knee amputation. I'm getting information from Harrison, who had an amputation below the knee 3 years ago. Harrison has a prosthesis that he said is from around the Lusaka area, but it is ill fitting. We got each patient's name and a contact phone number to be able to call them after we had the leg ready for fitting.

This is Ackson, who has an amputation above the knee. He's waiting for his turn for casting.

I'm casting Gift, who had a below knee amputation about 9 months ago due to an industrial accident involving a saw. Gift told me his last name, which is Kasanda. I thought his first name was Kasanda until he came back for fitting, at which point I apologized for getting his name mixed up. He seemed to find it pretty funny that I was confused.

Chris is casting Greenford, who has a below knee amputation due to diabetes.

John working with another one of his patients. 

The stack of casts after we were finished seeing everyone.

After seeing all of the patients at the Choma clinic, we went to lunch and then Blu had to go to the market to pick up a few things. The market was incredibly chaotic with all the stands and people. Chris, Erin and I stayed in the truck while Blu bought produce and John took some pictures. 

On the way back to New Day from Choma, we stopped at the turn off to Macha to pick up Osia. I made Osia's below knee prosthesis last year. During the year, she had returned to New Day because the prosthetic foot broke. Blu found the foot locker of feet in the attic of the Ark and replaced it, but apparently the heat in the attic had deteriorated the material of the foot he chose so it didn't hold up well either. Blu ended up duct taping the foot all together, and she's been walking around on that. In addition to a new foot, Osia needed a new socket also since she has lost weight and her leg has atrophied since last year. We took her back to New Day to cast her for a new prosthetic socket and changed the foot to a brand new foot that was donated by Otto Bock (manufacturer of prosthetic components). Blu teased her that I would fix her leg if she could prove she could run with the prosthesis. She said she couldn't run, but she has been carrying water and walking. Women carry buckets of water on their heads...she walks around with a bucket of water balanced on her head while walking with a prosthesis! Incredible! 

John's table of equipment set up.

Foot lockers full of supplies all spread out in our work area and the stack of casts from day one of casting. 

Day one of work was very busy: 13 prosthetic patients casted and 3 eye patients' impressions taken. We got more equipment set up after Osia left, so we could get to work first thing Thursday.

*Next post: Thursday, May 14: A year is a long wait for a leg...