June 06, 2007

Life in the lab with Missionary Ed Bonvillian

The First 3 Months

by Ed Bonvillian

We arrived three months ago in Mali so that we could enjoy the
full on hot season. It is amazing how cool 90ºF feels in your
bedroom at night. Soon after we arrived friends from our
church in Springfield showed up. For two weeks they did work
around town on missionary homes and some small things at the
hospital. Lots of laughs, rearranging popular songs to fit in the
Malian culture and 70s cartoon show quotes. After tearful good
byes it was off to work at the hospital and the girls focusing on
finishing up school while language studies were rescheduled for
our return in September.

At the hospital I met David, a Malian in his early twenties. He
is the first guy that I am and will continue to train in the lab. He
has a hunger for knowledge and is eager to learn. The first week
we spent getting to know each other. I used music as an ice
breaker. I told him that music in the lab is a must. The first
three hours in the morning was Malian music. After I had a
pounding headache from high pitched whining with no melody
I quickly switched to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. I could
tell by the constant clicking noise made by David that he was
getting a headache. Clearly this was another case of racial profiling
that was not a good thing. Common ground was soon
found with Bob Marley. You can never go wrong with Bob.
We were quickly “stirring it up” in the lab with a routine of
going over basic tests in the morning and reading basic biology
like blood components from Wikipedia French in the afternoons.
David’s life outside the hospital is loaded with responsibilities.
He supports his three younger sisters that live with him
and two brothers that are studying in Bamako. He is saving up
for the dowry that is needed for the woman that he wants to
marry. I smile thinking about the interesting cultural conversations
that we have had over the past month and a half. It has
been good for me to see things through his eyes and I think he
has appreciated my points of view. As I left the lab on Friday I
realize that he is a gift from God and I am happy that we are
living the call together.

We thank you for your support and prayers for us and the hospital staff. We have used our work special fund to buy books and a refrigerator for the lab. While back in the States this summer I will be looking at other necessary lab equipment that we need to purchase. Please continue to support us through our work fund and the Great Commission fund as you feel God leading you.

In His hands and see you state side,
Ed, Andrea, Madeleine, Lily, and Chloe

1 comment:

Dawna M. Kennedy said...

I was glad to see some news about the lab there in the Koutiala hospital. I have been praying for someone to come along who will be a good fit with the rest of the medical staff there. I had hoped to be able to do more while I was there a year ago. I am encouraged to see that the lab is apparently in good hands.