Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

From The Ottens

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Notice from this letter that the Ottens have a new baby boy born on November 7th. We congratulate them on behalf of all their friends with the prayer that this child may grow up to love and serve the Lord, together with their other children.
For about a year the government has been working with private organizations trying to get better health coverage for all the villages in the country. As part of the peace agreement in 1996 with the guerrillas they promised to provide good health care to all the people in the country. The government will provide funding for health care to the rural villages to any non- government organization that is willing to administer and direct the project. We have offered to take a quarter of the mountain areas around Cubulco. We have worked extensively on a proposal and are presently waiting for their response. This is another opportunity to bring the Word of God to these villages also, as they have made it clear that we are allowed to do that.

The work at the hospital continues to go well, though it is difficult trying to find a fourth doctor to work with us. The three doctors on staff are busy, especially being on call so often. We are also looking for a chaplain. We have not had one for several years and had put different areas of the staff in charge of devotions with the inpatients, outpatients and nutrition centre. It has been very good for the staff to be involved in this. We notice, however, that there is not enough time spent with the inpatients, especially the seriously ill, as well as the follow-up work with patients in their homes, who show some interest in the Lord.

Pray that God will provide us with godly men and women, and that the staff does not become discouraged. Within the past months one employee, Julio in maintenance, lost his only child; another, nurse Reyna, lost her sister and niece as a river swelled and took them away in a rainstorm, and nurse Jose Ruiz lost a father and sister-in-law in one day.

In October Dr. Bill Blaisdell and his wife Ann came. They had two good weeks of general surgery. An opthalmological team also came: Dr. Don Schlernitzauer and his wife, Pam, and assistant, Christine Selner. The Scholtens came to translate.

Hurricane Mitch has caused heavy rains and flooding in Central America. In Guatemala more than 100,000 homes have been destroyed by landslides and many others are in danger of falling. About 80,000 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas, and more than 200 people have lost their lives. We can be thankful that in Cubulco the damage from the rain was minimal.

Our family is doing well. The girls are established into their school routine, and Arlen is learning new words--he's a talkative fellow. Everyone is excited about the arrival of our new baby boy, Nathan John, born on November 7, 1998. He weighed 7 lbs. and 7 oz. Grandma Wanda McRae took special care of the girls and Arlen, and we even had birthday cake together that night at the birthing centre!

May God bless you all. John and Connie Otten

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