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Getting ready to go

Loading the shipping container bound for DR Congo.

Graham and Wendy Toulmin are new CMS missionaries. They will be serving in DR Congo, where Graham will be running a dental training school. They shared this update about preparing for work in DR Congo.

This last month can be summed up as exciting but also frantic and frenetic. The word therefore for this month is EXCI-FRAN-TETIC!

On the one hand we have so enjoyed our times of deputation in churches and small groups – recounting ‘the amazing ride’ of this past year – sharing our hopes and dreams for this significant future work in Congo – and also explaining the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how CMS works so that people can support us in prayer and giving

On the other, Graham has been thinking through and planning for ALL that the Dental School will need to function properly with Keith Mentiplay, who visited Congo with us last September and is our dental equipment expert. Gathering and packing all of the equipment and supplies has also been no small task!

Where there’s a Wilf, there’s a way!

When we returned from St Andrew’s Hall, the reality of the task ahead hit home. With our lounge room, garage and the 20-foot shipping container in the church grounds all bursting at the seams with donated dental equipment, we didn’t know where to start. Then some friends mentioned the name ‘Wilf Storm’. We rang him, he visited, looked at the chairs and everything else and said, “No problem”.

It became obvious that a 20-footer was too small so we ordered a forty footer! It arrived Wednesday 1 July, and the rest of that week was spent packing it. Without Wilf, his forklift, and his gift for visualizing how our mega-Tetris puzzle had to go together, we don’t know what we would have done. But we also could not have done it without a wonderful team of supporters! 30-50 people who have been in one way or another all valuable helpers, and we deeply appreciate the support in prayer of many others.

Next stage, a sea voyage to Mombasa, Kenya. Then a crane will put it on a truck which will head west across Kenya, turn north at Uganda and at Arua, not far from the South Sudan border, it will cross the DR Congo border and 10 minutes down the road is Aru, a dusty African town of 130,000. The final destination is the Dental School building, part of the Superior Institute for Medical Techniques (ISTM). But in Aru there is no crane to remove it so that challenge will be a story for another day…