Supporting Sachibondu (Sach)
Go Fund Me page - Covid-19 Response Support, for Sachibondu Hospital
Use the link above to donate to help the team manage the virus in the community.... very basic things PPE, cleaning products, paying cleaners, paying health workers, food, and basic medicines etc. It is hoped that all money raised will cover them for the next 6 months until the worst is passed. At the moment they have had no government help although they have had a visit from the province doctor who spoke about a small provision of respirators in the future.
At the hospital things seem to be running more smoothly and Becks is getting more of a handle on the job. There havent been any deliveries of equipment or medication from the district authorities. Whilst COVID-19 is around, up to this point, we have not heard of any fatalities or significantly serious episodes of it, for which we thank the Lord.
Some of you may have been listening to Graham Reed’s talks on Facebook in which he tries to convey more background and up-to-date information about what is going on generally at Sach. You will be aware that reception for the Internet comes and goes in that location, but I feel this is a valuable extra source of information for prayer for those of us over here and so please pray that he is able to continue with this.
When the rainy season finishes Jon is looking forward to making more progress on building the new house in the expectation that the Lord will provide the money to get it finished sooner rather than later in order that the present house, which as you know is in a very poor condition, can be demolished and housing for doctors can be built.
The mission team and others (14 in total) were in the midst of a prayer meeting which included pictures and words as they felt that the Lord was calling them to pray against the work of the witch doctors and their influence within the church. They have been aware for some time of some people who were seeing the witch doctors whilst still coming to church. This was in a large part the reason for Jon’s talk, that I mentioned previously, about being pure in heart and only having Jesus in your heart. He did not specifically say about the witch doctors in his sermon.
As they were praying there was a dramatic thunderstorm and the fuse box which is on the outside of the house was struck directly. This created such a loud explosion that it took everybody by surprise. The cable from the fuse box into the house runs through the wall between the bathroom and the spare bedroom. The explosion blue tiles off the wall in the bathroom and large pieces of plaster fragments flew around the bedroom. One of the ladies in the prayer meeting had brought her little girl, aged seven, who was asleep in that room where the bed head is against the wall concerned. The little girl did not wake up but when someone rushed in to see her there were fragments of plaster all around the pillow and the bed. When she did wake, she was frightened, all needed to be comforted.
Jon and the others there all feel this is part of the spiritual war against the dominance of witchcraft in Sach and Zambia as a whole. You will remember that some months ago a lady who was a leading light in the prayer group was killed by lightning while working in the fields. However, the mission team feel it is right that this evil is confronted and defeated by the Lord Jesus. You cannot serve two masters.
The house is now completely without electricity, but Jon said that there is a man who does major electrical work who lives on the site and he will get him to come and sort things out.
Will you please give thanks to the Lord for his protection and pray for:
- Continuing protection for all the believers and Sach as a whole
- For the lifting of trauma experienced by the children as well as the adults And peace in their hearts and homes
- The presence of Jesus to encourage them all and give them confidence
- The healing of the church and the village and that of those who have not fully surrendered their lives to the Lord.
Please pray... (update 29th January)
Becks went to Solwezi on Monday to get much needed supplies for hospital. On return (after 36 hours) they had their first positive patient – now isolating at home. Then results of tests came back with more positives among the staff. Becks has had to do a lot of contact tracing and sensitizing the community – there is a lot of stigma associated with Covid.
They are expecting the provincial people to arrive soon to check the facility and hopefully confirm them as an official isolation centre. Becks says it feels like ‘fire fighting’ at the moment but they are reassured by the ‘peace of God which surpasses all understanding’.
They are grateful for all the giving that people have done to help provide for their Covid response – money has been used to get more cleaning supplies, PPE and vitamins.
Please continue to pray for them all in the Sachibondu Community.
Update from Richard Burston
This update about Sach. It is out of sync with our usual prayer meetings but follows a brief audio message from Becks and a video call from Jon yesterday.
We are not sure how frequently we will have Becks' newsletters as she is now so busy. I will try and give each point briefly as there are several of them:
HOSPITAL: Eira has now officially left as Administrator to be more fully involved in the new heritage party work for the election do this year. She will remain as a consultant to support Becks Who is now extremely busy catching up with a lot of the matters which Eira carried in her head. she had so many “hats” to wear in leading the whole work at Sach. An isolation ward has now been prepared but as yet no government help has come to kit out everything that is needed and provide more medication etc. The nearest government hospital which is one hours drive away at Mwinnylunga has had some positive test for COVID-19 recently. Apparently the usual precautions about masks and social distancing are not very much in evidence at the hospital. The Virus is therefore getting closer.
EIRA AND ANDY: Eira appears to be that much better now from her dose of Covid but Andy is still ill. Following blood tests it appears that it may be an infection rather than the virus.
GRAHAM AND STEPH: have remained in the UK following their Christmas break, we are not sure when they will return to Sach.
CHURCH: The church is not meeting due to the virus nor is the youth group gathering.
NEW HOUSE: The Next step for the new build is the slab. However, this cannot be undertaken until after the rainy season probably April. It is really important to get this built as far as possible this year as the existing old house is developing a serious number of floor to ceiling cracks. Jon told us that it is mainly on the side of the house where the bedrooms are and he has had to move Isaac’s bed away from one wall over towards another because of this. He is getting a builder to try and undertake some temporary repairs. In order to proceed with the rest of the building work for the new house a significant injection of finance is required. We know the Lord is able to do this.
FAMILY: please pray for the family.
NEW HERITAGE PARTY: please pray that the election will be free from anything which would distort the result. Chishala and colleagues are canvassing throughout the country and have seen God at work in leading people to support the party. Zambia apparently has the largest debt of all the African countries and there is a significant Chinese input with expatriate workers based in living areas.
Thank you all so much for your regular prayer support of this part of God’s kingdom and the ministry undertaken through Sach. We pray that you will all stay safe and know the presence of Jesus in your daily walk. Richard.
Update on Jon and Becks (January)
After both Jon and Becks getting Covid over the Christmas time, they are both feeling a lot better and are now about 5 days out of isolation. Neither Grace nor Isaac had it so that is something to be thankful for.
Covid has spread into that area of Zambia, but not in their community – so far.
Becks is now busy preparing to take on the work of running the hospital. The government have not done anything to prepare the hospital for the possibility of having to deal with Covid cases, so Becks is trying to get things organised in readiness just in case. Please pray for protection over them all in that community.
There are still many things needed – supplies and equipment for the hospital, pumps to help supply the water and solar panels for the hospital (some had been stolen).
Please pray that there will be sense of peace over the community and that the resources that are needed will become available. Pray also for Becks to have the strength needed to deal with all the work at the hospital, and that as a family they will still be able to have quality time to spend together.
and from Becks...
Hi Keith, Happy New year! I am so sorry that Covid seems to have taken off again in the UK.
Sadly it has reached our parts of the country and we have had an outbreak in another hospital in the same district. I have also officially become the administrator of Sach hospital this week and so I currently am trying to managed the swift set up of the isolation unit here at Sach as well as starting to put lots of new systems in place in the hospital for more accountability and better functioning of the facility all round. It's a big job. The government are suppose to supply us with support for covid but weve seen very little so far. We are hoping that as we get our first positive cases here at Sachibondu, that they will supply us with some more staff, equipment and drugs.
I'm pretty sure I had Covid just after Christmas although the lab lost my results so we will never know, but my aunt and Uncle tested positive. We all self isolated for the 2 weeks and I have recovered along with my aunty. My uncle is still not too good. So we are praying because medical support is limited here in Zambia!
We value your prayers at this difficult time, for me as I begin this year as administrator, it feels like a huge mountain to climb, and also as we navigate covid with very little staffing and resources.
I have set up a go fund me page for the covid response support, for anyone wishing to help us as a facility. We are hoping to raise some money to hire some extra cleaning staff and to train and hire some community people to do screening on the hospital gate.. plus for the never ending need for drugs that the government are supposed to supply but never do. (Last year we received 4 lots of running costs, 2 of which were for a child health week, so we only received 2 months out of 12!! Can you imagine!?) It's so shocking. Anyway, no pressure for financial support but I know your church like to be kept in the loop for our needs and prayer requests at Sach.
Hope you are keeping safe, much love to you all,
Update given by Jon and Becks after morning service on 25th October
News from John and Becks via Richard (October)
Hello everyone thank you for praying for John and becks and
the children as they travelled back to the UK. You will have already heard how
the Lord smoothed the way and they arrived 45 minutes early at Heathrow. We
have now settled into our 14 day lockdown period.
In a chat with Jon and Becks they passed on the following matters for prayer:
1) Solar panels for the hospital; have now been fitted but because it has been sometime since the battery was installed it needs to be recharged and it was discovered that a cable was required For which they had to send to Lusaka. We hope that this has now arrived and the system will be charged up.
2) there have been three pumps supplying them with water in the village as a whole but two of them have been broken. They have asked for prayer while they decide whether or not they can afford a new pump and or refurbish a spare one which they have, not in the system at the moment. In addition there is a borehole which a charity funded a number of years ago and from which much of the water for the village comes and which has recently been producing water which is orange in colour. Naturally nobody really wants to wash in this or certainly drink it. I believe the pumps work directly from either the dam or another point in the river further up the village.
3) for some years Eira Has been using her own money to try to fence in the village as a whole but thus has only been able to erect the fence posts for half the perimeter. There is still a need for the remaining posts and the necessary wire to put round the whole village.
4) They have still not received any assistance from the government for the hospital and as there are no test kits in the village they are not aware of any Covid cases, although they suspect some patients with other problems may have coronavirus.
5) A new leader for the denomination of churches to which that of Sach belongs has been appointed, his name is Alex Kamba. Jon and a becks believe he is someone who is in favour of allowing women to preach and have more status within the church.
6) The youth work is due to restart when they return to Zambia and they ask for prayer for unity among the leadership there.
7) please continue to pray that one way or another the hospital will receive the necessary equipment to furnish the operating theatre and other facilities which they need. If this happens then they will be allocated a doctor.
8) finally will you continue to pray please about the construction of Jon and Becks house. This must go step-by-step, as finance is provided, and as they live by faith it would be a great blessing if more people, say 10 to 20,could regularly commit to a monthly donation of say £10. At present their income does not allow them to budget easily and help other people in the village. Please don’t think that I am asking you dear folk to do more than you already do for this work but rather to ask the Lord to add other people to support the work.
Thank you again for your prayers and fellowship and we look forward to the time when we can get together face-to-face to pray.
Every blessing in Jesus.
News from Becks (September)
News from Becks (July)
New from Sach (June)
Jon, Becks, Grace and Isaac write...
We value your prayers so much! Thank you! Here are some points we would love you to remember when you pray!
1) Please join us in praying for mercy over this nation in relation to Covid-19. That the virus will not take hold and confirmed cases will stay low.
2) Please pray for the government of this nation, to use the support with honesty, transparency and integrity. That the money will not be used in corruption.
3) Please pray for protection over the whole community of Sachibondu when we finally start functioning as an Isolation unit for Covid-19.
4) Please pray for continued and timely provision toward our house-build so we can get as much done as possible this year.
5) Please pray for the church as it re-opens, for us to be able to move forward and not fall back into old ways of man-made structure, but that the leaders would be spirit led in moving forward.
6) Please continue to pray for Becks in her new role. That she would have wisdom and clarity and be the best she can be to move the staff team forward with unity and passion to care for the sick.
7) Please pray for the right people to catch the vision for our new school and for support to come in to start building.
Their full letter is in the Pdf below.
News from Becs (28 May)
I've been meaning to write to you since Saturday but I went down with Malaria on Sunday night and have been pretty poorly with it all week. I'm in the lab now waiting for re-test results. I wanted to let you know that the provincial guys turned up on Saturday evening (of all the times to come!) and have confirmed they are making us an isolation unit.. He said they were impressed with our space and also with how we have been so prepared for so many weeks. This morning a vehicle turned up with two large boxes filled with masks and gloves and bio hazard bags and sharps boxes and the like.. this is another provision from God! Right now we are waiting on them to start providing all the beds and equipment we need. I will continue to keep you informed as this whole thing proceeds. Much love to you all x
Update Mid May
Update from Becks Burston
As part of our Easter 2020 giving we raised £2,100 to send to Sachibondu.
Jon Burston sent us this note:
WOW!! Gosh, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
What an amazing provision! We are bowled over by the generosity of your church and we definitely feel your love and support!
Eira and I are making the risky trip to Solwezi today to get supplies and so we will be able to get lots of much needed things for the hospital! I will update you when we are back from our trip but please do convey to your church community just how grateful we are!
Praying blessings on each one of You!
Much love from the whole Sach team!
And on 23rd April Becks sent this update:
With your generous gift, we managed to pay for several boxes of gloves and masks toward the Covid-19 fight. We also purchased two infrared no contact thermometers! The sellers have taken advantage of the situation and put the price up to k4000 each which is the equivalent of £180 each!! (On Amazon they are usually approx £45!) We could have bought more but the district are supposed to be supplying us with such things and we are still waiting for our meeting with them over us becoming an isolation unit so we wanted to wait until we've had that meeting to see what they give us. We also were able to purchase a big list of drugs for the clinic with your gift which is a huge help! We still have approx half the money left over which we will use in due course once we know what we are being supplied with and what they aren't going to give us.
I want to thank you and each person who donated again for your generosity. We are so encouraged and are so grateful!
Much love to you all.
We can help by buying items for the maternity hospital. Use this link to respond and buy items on Amazon. They will be sent to a central point ready for distribution, by container to equip the hospital in Sachibondu.