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Ethan and Melissa Molsee
ABWE - Togo, West Africa

August 8, 2017

Hello from the United States! We will be stateside updating churches and supporters on the ministry of the Hospital of Hope and completing required training and assignments until May of 2018 when we will return to serve another four years in Togo. Since our arrival we have enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship with family including meeting many new nieces and nephews. Our boys have absolutely loved playing with their cousins and are enjoying the tastes of America. Ezra especially has had many firsts but is taking the changes in stride.

We have begun visiting supporting churches and individuals. Below you will find a partial schedule of our upcoming visits. Even though we are thankful to be here enjoying time with family and savoring the tastes and beauty of the Pacific Northwest, part of our hearts remains in Togo. We have heard several updates since our departure:

News from Togo

Hope Radio: Several months ago, a strong storm severely damaged several key radio buildings and knocked over the transmitting tower causing about $100,000 in damages. This was incredibly disheartening as the plan was to start broadcasting later this year. Please pray for our families in the radio ministry and for the finances to rebuild. If you would like to contribute financially, please go to http://myaccount.abwe.org/p-2436-hope-radio-rebuild.aspx.

Lassa Fever: It seems that the Lassa fever season has come to a close for this year. There were more cases than last year but none of our employees became ill. Our hospital was asked by the government to care for all of the patients with Lassa fever as none of the other hospitals were prepared. While most of the patients died, there was one survivor. Given the nature of Lassa fever with seasonal variations, it is likely that it will return again next year during the hot season (February – May).

Water/wells: Many of you have asked about the water situation in Mango. Over the past few weeks there were two more drilling attempts resulting in one dry well and one well that produced 1700 gallons/day. This is great news as this is really the first time that a well has produced on the hospital compound. Unfortunately, we need 8-10,000 gallons/day to meet our current usage. Please keep praying.

Family News

As many of you know, we bought a travel trailer with personal funds to live in during our year of furlough. We will be traveling mostly around the Northwest but we do have some required training and visits with supporters on the East coast (which we are currently in the process of completing). At this point, we anticipate sharing in around 30 churches and also will be involved in camps and conferences. In addition, Ethan is continuing some of his responsibilities from Togo and is also looking into more training to better equip him in his position at the hospital. Melissa is homeschooling the 3 older boys and will be doing some continuing education for her license.

Praise

We are thrilled that our MK teacher, Megan MacKenzie has reached 100% of her support requirements and will be heading to language school this fall. We so thankful that she will be joining the Togo North Team long term. Our other MK teacher, Amanda Bressler, (who just just finished her 2 year short-term trip has officially begun the process of returning long-term to teach at the MK school in Mango.

See Photos on the Photo Blog

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and support. We are looking forward to seeing you over the coming year.

Fall Travel Schedule

August 20th - New Life Bible Church (Long Creek, OR)
August 27th – Tabernacle Baptist Church (Seattle, WA)
September 3rd – The Vine Church (Kenmore, WA)
September 10th – Sleator Kinney Road Baptist Church (Olympia, WA)
September 11th-13th - BNN Ministry Workers Conference (Cannon Beach, OR)
October 1st – Sunrise Valley Baptist Church (San Jose, CA)
October 8th – Faith Baptist Church (Salem, OR)
October 13-14th – Mission Fest (Seattle, WA)
October 15th – The Vine Church (Shoreline, WA)
October 22nd – Temple Baptist Church (Tacoma, WA)
October 29th – Temple Baptist Church (Tacoma, WA)
November 5th – Bonney Lake Community Church (Bonney Lake, WA)
November 8-12th – Global Missions Health Conference (Louisvile, KY)

 

April 7, 2017

It’s hard to believe but in just a few weeks our first term will be coming to an end. It has been over four years since everyone (except Ethan who returned to the States for two weeks in 2014 to pack our container) has set foot on US soil and Ezra has never been to his passport country before.

Since leaving Seattle on January 1st 2013 we have lived on two continents, learned a new language, helped open a hospital, experienced riots, water shortages, the sudden death of two teammates on the field and the serious illnesses of several others, as well as two outbreaks of a deadly viral hemorrhagic fever. New house groups and Bible studies are reaching villages and people groups who have never heard of Jesus and lives are being changed. The highs have been high and the lows low. Our God has remained faithful and has sustained us through it all. We will be leaving part of our hearts here in Mango and eagerly look forward to our return in a year. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support and for standing with us over these past four years.

Since the opening of the hospital we have seen over 26, 000 new patients from 10 different countries (and many of them have returned for numerous follow-up appointments). Over the past months we have had at any given moment one to two hundred patients waiting at our front gate for an appointment. Despite working at maximum capacity, we have been physically unable to accommodate all of the arriving patients with many waiting days to be seen. It has been difficult to live and work in the face of such desperate need and our ability to care for patients has now been complicated by another outbreak of Lassa fever. We are taking precautions to decrease the risk of exposure to our team and medical staff. Until further notice we are limiting our clinic services to follow-up and urgent cases. The Hospital of Hope has been the only hospital in Togo caring for Lassa patients and while this has been a way to love and serve the people of Togo, it is has also caused an extra burden of work and anxiety. Please pray with us for wisdom and safety as we provide compassionate care in Jesus’ name. If you would like to help cover the cost of treating patients that are facing prolonged illnesses like Lassa, please consider a donation to the Hospital of Hope Patient Care Fund. http://myaccount.abwe.org/p-2108-hope-patient-care-fund.aspx

On February 26, we celebrated the two year anniversary of the Hospital of Hope and remembered our friend and colleague, Todd DeKryger, who passed away a year ago from Lassa fever. There were several hundred people in attendance and we are praying that God will use the words spoken and the testimony of the DeKryger family to bring many to Himself. It was definitely a bittersweet time. God is sovereign and we trust that His perfect plan will be worked out.

The boys are doing well in school and love playing with their friends. It doesn’t matter if it is 110 degrees in the shade; they play soccer and football, ride bikes, climb trees and run all over the compound without a second thought. We are thankful for God’s protection last Sunday as Aaron discovered a 4+ foot green mamba on our porch which Ethan quickly dispatched. We have seen a recent uptick in the number of deadly snake bites at the hospital so it looks like snake season is starting. Check out pictures of the snake and other Mango happenings on our photo blog (www.365.themolsees.com).

Please pray for the boys as they transition to the States. A recent funny story emphasized to us the many changes and new experiences the boys will have as we head back…we were watching a movie in which a man was pushing a shopping cart down a sidewalk. The boys asked what he was pushing to which I replied that it was a shopping cart. The next question was “What is a shopping cart?”…They don’t bat an eye when a woman walks by with large container of mangos on her head and her purse balanced on top (in fact, they usually ask me to stop and buy some) or if there is a large bull with massive horns tied up on the back of a moto (yes, that can actually work) but they were confused about a shopping cart. It’s going to be a fun year!

** FURLOUGH DATES: May 2017 – May 2018! ** If you have any questions, please let us know. If you or your church would like a chance to hear first-hand a report from Mango, please let us know this too so we can add you to our schedule (molsee@abwe.cc).

Prayer Requests

Praises

Megan MacKenzie and Amanda Bressler: We are so thankful for God’s direction in Megan’s and Amanda’s lives. They are in the process of returning to be full-time teachers at the MK school. Our MK teachers play vital roles in the ministry here and are essential for the continued work of the hospital. Megan is currently support-raising and teaching in Boise, Idaho. Megan just hit the 85% support mark and hopes to leave for language school later this year. Amanda is finishing her 2 year short-term stay with us and will be returning to the States to start support-raising in June. Please contact us if you would like to hear more about how you can support these women and return them quickly to us!

See you soon!
Ethan, Melissa, Aaron, Eli, Aden and Ezra Molsee

 

January 24, 2017

You could almost smell him before you saw him. The odor of decaying flesh was overpowering. My first glance revealed a severe infection of his right lower leg with the foot blackened and cold. His young face was a contorted with pain and despair. I quickly started his orders, called for the surgeon and then turned to the family members accompanying him. What happened? The story slowly unraveled over the next few hours…he had been playing soccer a week ago and someone kicked him in the leg. Most of his family was away. He was carried home where his little sister brought him food and the remaining family members took him to a village healer. A week later his family returned and found him in this condition and quickly brought him to us…a journey over trails and a river that took several hours. My first reaction was anger…what a terrible waste of a young life affecting the possibility of marriage and finding a job! It was just plain senseless! Stupid! Preventable! A simple fracture with, at worst, a short OR procedure and recovery of just weeks, if treated in time. Now…amputation. Being handicapped in a world that does not accommodate the handicapped. My prayer that night as I explained the gravity of the situation and his need for amputation to his disbelieving family was that God would somehow bring good out of this terrible tragedy.

Over the next few days and weeks, he remained quiet and discouraged. Our chaplains made daily visits, praying for him and his family. Little by little his demeanor changed. He began reading the Bible he was given and joy and hope replaced the discouragement and despair. His change was not lost on his roommates and he started sharing with anyone who would listen about his new-found faith. Before returning home to start the long rehabilitation program, he told our chaplains that he was actually thankful that he had lost his leg as it had resulted in eternal hope. Pray for “M” that he would continue to grow in his faith. One of our staff members mentioned that she could see him as a pastor someday and he was challenged by these words. Pray that he would be a faithful witness to his family and friends and that God would use him to draw those in his tribe to Christ.

Stories like these continue to unfold. Check out our photo blog for pictures and more details about this story and others like it (www.365.themolsees.com) and the following link for a recent slideshow/video (https://vimeo.com/200565412).

Thank you for your prayers for the DeKryger family. Jennifer has been working with our chaplain department, discipling new believers and praying with patients. The boys continue to work in their respective departments (Will in surgery, Grant in the lab and Luke in the pharmacy) when they are not busy with their studies. Drew and our older boys are inseparable. They love their classes and teachers (Drew/Aaron are in 4th grade and Eli is in 2nd grade) and spend their extra-curricular time climbing trees, practicing with their sling-shots and exploring the compound. Aden attends a “pre-school/kindergarten” class (along with 4 other children) held in our spare room. Ezra’s (age 2 ½) vocabulary expands on a daily basis and he loves to try to keep up with the “big kids.”

We recently said “goodbye” to Andres and Katie Morales who finished their time with us after Andres was evacuated with Lassa fever in April to the CDC headquarters. After being quarantined and treated they returned to their nursing roles. Their story of God’s faithfulness, joyful spirits and contagious enthusiasm has greatly encouraged us.

We are also thankful for safety which we don’t take for granted in this area where we see on a daily basis the fragility of life. Aaron was playing with the other boys on the DeKryger’s porch and picked up a large leaf to look at the lizard inside. When the “lizard” started uncoiling, he quickly dropped it and ran for an adult. He was able to give enough identifying information to know that it was one of the most deadly snakes around but despite the efforts of multiple adults, it wasn’t found. Melissa made the children play elsewhere and prayed the rest of the afternoon knowing that this snake was still in our general vicinity. When the night-time guard arrived, he was able to find it and kill it much to our relief.

Prayer Requests

  • Nurses: We are desperately in need of nurses especially for 2-24 months (https://hohmango.org/2017/01/registered-nurses-urgently-needed-2017-2019/).
  • Roles: We need a replacement for Ethan for one year when we are on furlough.
  • MK school: Our team needs MK teachers for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years.
  • Anniversary celebration: We are rapidly approaching the 2 year anniversary of the Hospital and the 1 year anniversary of Todd's home-going. Please pray for extra strength and grace for the DeKryger family and our staff as we rejoice through our tears.

Praises

  • Megan MacKenzie and Amanda Bressler: We are so thankful for God’s direction in Megan’s and Amanda’s lives. They are in the process of returning to be full-time teachers at the MK school. Our MK teachers play vital roles in the ministry here and are essential for the continued work of the hospital. Megan is currently support-raising and teaching in Boise, Idaho. Amanda is finishing her 2 year short-term stay with us and will be returning to the States to start support-raising in June. Please contact us if you would like to hear more about how you can support these women and return them quickly to us!
  • Sherri Lethers: One of our radio teammates was evacuated to Germany in August to have a very large cyst removed from her brain. We are thankful that it is benign and that she is back in Mango recovering from her craniotomy. Please pray for continued healing.
  • Andy Justison: Another radio teammate returned to the States where he underwent medical evaluations for some concerning symptoms. The current thought is that he had a bad case of viral encephalitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain). Please pray for his continued recovery.

We are thrilled to be here on the front-lines as your hands and feet. Weekly we see people hear the Good News for the very first time. The. Very. First. Time! It still blows our minds that there are areas remote enough that people have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel story. And yet, we are surrounded by villages where this is the case. They are drawn here for good medical care and return home having heard the good news. Lives are being changed. Hope is alive. Thank you for your part in the ministry here. We couldn’t do it without you!

 

June 24, 2016

Thank you for your faithful prayers on our behalf. As you may know, our team has suffered another loss. Cheryl Cleveland, our pharmacist who had just finished her planned 18 month term, passed away at her home here on the compound on Saturday morning. Cheryl was a key member of the Hospital of Hope family and worked hard as a pharmacist to make sure the opening and first year and a half of the hospital’s operation went smoothly.

Please pray for Cheryl’s family as they were expecting to welcome her home this week. She left behind both of her parents and three adult children. Pray that they would be drawn close to Christ through this grieving process.

Please pray for our missionary team. Being in such as remote location and so far from you all, we become many things to each other…family, friends, colleagues, brothers/sisters in Christ and these bonds only grow over time as we go through difficult times together. The loss of Cheryl was an especially hard blow as it has been less than 4 months since Todd passed away.

Please pray for our Togolese friends and co-workers. They are left reeling as well and many are questioning why there have been so many losses recently. Please pray that our testimony would be strong and reflect a biblical world view. There are many conflicted world views here…Muslim, animist, nominal Christianity (which often reflects prosperity gospel tendencies). We want to share with others that Christians are not immune from suffering, that we believe in the Sovereignty of God and that we will not leave the work here because of fear and uncertainty for the future.

Please pray for the DeKryger family who arrive here in Mango tomorrow evening. This is definitely a bittersweet time for them. The boys have grown up in Togo and this is home for them. Yet, they return without their father. Todd’s fingerprints are everywhere here at the Hospital of Hope and he was well-known and loved in Mango and the surrounding regions. They will have constant reminders of his legacy (which is a good thing) and we pray that they will make new memories while keeping past ones alive. Pray that they will have many opportunities to share the Hope that they have and that God will give them the grace and strength needed for each conversation.

Please pray for our boys as this week we are saying “goodbye” to several families and individuals who are leaving for various reasons (furlough, medical issues, the end of their term, etc). The boys have grown close to these folks and their children over the months/years. Some they will see again. Others probably not. Also, I imagine it will be a bit difficult to welcome back the DeKrygers but without Uncle Todd. Please pray that they will be able to grieve well.

Last Sunday night we gathered as a team for a time of reflection and singing. Even though we are heartbroken by yet another loss, we still hold fast to our faith in the Lord Jesus and one of the songs (“Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest)”) really reflects our thoughts and prayers. The lyrics are as follows “Be still, my soul, The Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently, The cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God, to order and provide. In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul, Thy best thy heavenly Friend. Through thorny ways, Leads to a joyful end. Verse 2: Be still, my soul, thy God doth undertake. To guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake. All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul, the waves and wind still know. His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. Chorus: In You I rest, In You I found my hope. In You I trust, You never let me go. I place my life within Your hands alone. Be still, my soul. Verse 3: Be still, my soul, the hour is hastening on. When we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief and fear are gone. Sorrow forgot, Love's purest joys restored. Be still, my soul, when change and tears are past. All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last.”

Our faith is in Jesus Christ and we continue to count it a privilege and a joy to serve here. Thank you for standing with us in prayer.

May 31, 2016

God is faithful and He has sustained us over the past few months. Life here is settling into a new normal and we are carrying on despite the empty place in our hearts and on our team. There are daily reminders of our loss and we covet your prayers as we continue to serve here.

DeKryger family update:  Todd was buried on March 17th near the entrance to the inner hospital compound in a simple but profound ceremony that was attended by most of the hospital employees and friends from town. We are reminded of the brevity of life and the call to serve God faithfully on a daily basis each time we walk by his grave. Jennifer and the boys returned to the States for a larger memorial service with their friends and family in Michigan shortly afterwards. They are planning to return to Mango next month to continue their ministry here. The older three boys work in various departments of the hospital when they are not in school and Jennifer plays a big role in the logistical aspects of the individuals and teams that serve here. Please continue to pray for them as they also find a new normal upon their return home. Pray also that their testimony of God’s faithfulness will continue to touch the lives of our Muslim friends and employees.

Lassa fever update: Thankfully, the Lassa fever season has now ended. Other than Todd and the missionary nurse who cared for him, there were no other positive cases. Unfortunately the nearest lab that can run tests for Lassa fever is located in Accra, Ghana. This makes it costly and difficult to send specimens for confirmation and so there are likely cases that were never diagnosed. We are thankful for protection as we continued to provide medical care for the people in our region. The missionary nurse who was medically evacuated to the CDC hospital/quarantine facility in Atlanta is now home and continuing to regain his health. He and his wife are hoping to return in several months to finish out their year of service with us.

Wedding: At the end of March, we attended the wedding of one of our surgery technicians. He married a woman also from the Tamberma tribe and both had grown up in the small church started there a number of years ago. Theirs was the first wedding ever held in this church and the first Christian wedding in the Tamberma area. His wife went through a difficult time during her teenage years because she refused to go through the tribal rituals that girls normally go through around the age of 16. These rituals are pagan and related to fetish worship and were completely against her beliefs. Unfortunately she was beaten by her family and was forced to leave her home and live in another town several hours away. She learned to be a hairdresser and returned to her home village several years ago still strong in her faith. The wedding was attended by around 200 people and was a strong testimony of their faith in God and their commitment to each other.

CMDA conference: We were able to attend the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) conference held near Athens, Greece during the first part of April. Melissa’s schedule was packed full of medical lectures and updates but this allowed her to receive a sizeable number of continuing medical education credits which she needs for her medical license renewal in January. Ethan also had classes on grant writing and the financial aspects of running a mission hospital. The boys attended a children’s program structured like a big VBS program while we were in classes. Even better than the educational aspect, we were able to fellowship and worship with over 600 medical providers and their families currently serving in 58 countries. We caught up with old friends and made new ones and returned tired but renewed and ready to complete this last part of our first term.

Nursing school update: We are in the final stages of planning for the first nursing class at the Hospital of Hope. Sharon Rahilly, the nursing education program director at our southern hospital, has graciously agreed to run nurse training programs at both hospitals starting in June. There were over 700 applications for 18 positions at the HOH alone. Please pray as the 18 individuals selected for this training will begin their three year training program next Monday. These nurses will likely work at the hospital for many years to come so these decisions have the potential to have a very large impact. Please also consider sponsoring the training costs for a student for $150/month ($6,000 total per student) for the entire 3-year nursing program (40 months). Let us know if you would like more information about this.

Boys: Aaron (9) loves school and is working hard to advance a grade in math over the summer. He has been reading several Christian biographies a week and is working on a presentation on William Carey for an all-school project this week. He and his class just finished memorizing the entire book of James and recited the final chapter this evening at a team meeting. Eli (6) also enjoys school and his reading skills are really progressing. He will be playing Abraham Lincoln in the school program this week.  He and his class are learning verses in French (his accent is much better than ours!). Aden (3) will be turning four this week. Aunt Megan has graciously allowed him to visit her class at any time and he often will sit at the door for an hour or two (or three). Aden continues to tackle life with 110% of the necessary energy but thankfully has a small cautious streak that helps him avoid total catastrophes. Ezra (2) is starting the “terrible twos” stage of life. He is sweet and loving but has a stubborn streak that enables him to hold his own despite three older brothers. He is easy to lose at the local market as he loves babies and people and will wander off and greet folks and share their food (much to their delight and his mother’s dismay).

Furlough plans: At this point we are planning to return to the US in January 2017 for our one year furlough/home assignment. Our first few months are already filling up fast. Please let us know if you or your church would like to schedule a time for us to come and visit. We are hoping to see as many of you as possible over this year! We are also praying for replacements for our positions…we are in need of physicians starting in November and also for someone to fill Ethan’s role as director of finance. Please let us know if you or someone you know is interested in learning more.

Thank you again for standing with us as we serve here at the Hospital of Hope. We count it a privilege and look forward to how God will work as the rest of this year unfolds.

February 1, 2016

I admitted her a few days earlier seizing repeatedly from cerebral malaria. Her tiny body worked so hard to breathe. To live. Her family watched over her the entire first night and asked me each time I passed by her bed, “She will be OK, right?” The damage had been done prior to her arrival though and she never woke up. Instead her condition worsened until she began to stop breathing. We worked tirelessly that last night, trying everything we could think of to support her. We prayed with her family. We kept a grim vigil with them gently preparing them for the eventual. During rounds that next morning, she quit breathing for the last time. I managed to hold it together as we pulled the thin sheet over her little form. When the rest of her family arrived, I greeted her father. “I’m sorry. We did everything we could but it was not enough. She is gone.” He was his usual stoic self. “Inshallah. God has willed it.” I left them to gather their things but when I looked back, my eyes immediately filled with tears. The father was helping load his daughter’s body onto his wife’s back for the last ride home. In life, this is a well-rehearsed event where the child learns from an early age to cling and balance as the mother ties them onto her back with a pagne (a strip of cloth). In death, it takes another person to hold the body in place to be tied on. He gently helped secure her limp form and as he did so, I saw him swipe away the tears that were spilling from his eyes. I quickly excused myself from the discussion I was having with another provider and went behind the hospital. Leaning against the wall, my own tears fell. My heart was exhausted and breaking. The song came to mind, “…break my heart, Lord, for what breaks Yours…” and I prayed this. God knows. He sees. His heart is broken also by the pain, suffering, sin, unbelief, and despair all around us. “Break my heart, Lord, but please help me learn to live with a broken heart because it hurts and it is broken daily.”

Around the corner, in the Men’s ICU, a few days later, I again had to hold back tears. This time however, they were tears of sadness mixed with joy. A strapping young man in his twenties had arrived a few hours earlier with a ten day history of severe headaches and astronomically high blood pressures. His neurological exam indicated a possible brain tumor. Despite this, he looked the picture of health and he was accompanied only by his brother. As I looked at his heart rhythm on the monitor I had a sinking feeling. A blood test showed complete kidney failure. In this part of the world there are no options for treatment such as dialysis and patients are sent home to die. I headed towards his room trying to think of the best way to inform him that he would likely be dead within 24 hours. He looked so healthy. He was sick only for a few days. How could he be dying? His brother spoke some French but not enough to have this level of conversation. I racked my brain for who I could use as a translator for this language that comes from a region north of us. Then one of our chaplains who is a missionary to us from this northern country “happened” to walk by. I quickly pulled him aside and updated him as to the gravity of the situation. He followed me into the room and translated my medical update and then I heard “H” keep talking. “Issa” (Jesus) was mentioned. I started praying for this man’s ears and heart to be opened. They were Muslim and their tribe is still very closed to the gospel. Minutes passed. A lively conversation ensued. I prayed. And then “H” turned to me. “He says that he wants to give his heart to Issa.” We bowed our heads and a new life was born. More tears. Happy tears this time.

Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support. As we closed out 2015 a few weeks ago, we have been able to look back on many stories like these. The one year anniversary of the hospital is nearing and we are looking forward to what this next year will bring. We count it a privilege to serve here and are thankful for people like you who prayer ceaselessly and give generously so that we are able to share Hope with thousands of people from this area of West Africa.

Family update: Ethan continues to shoulder team leadership tasks of the Togo North Team here in Mango while the senior team leader is on furlough. He also continues to work with the hospital administration and finances and also has responsibilities in several other ministries and areas of service. Once a week he travels to several outlying villages by moto with one of the hospital chaplains to hold Bible studies with new believers and seekers. Melissa continues to work in the hospital and clinic while keeping things going at home as well. We welcomed two sets of grandparents (Melissa’s parents and Ethan’s mom and step-dad) during the months of November and December. The boys were thoroughly spoiled and we are thankful that they were able to get to know their grandparents a bit better (most of them had not even met Ezra). Aaron and Eli are enjoying their new school house which is conveniently located just across the road from our house. Aden will often sit quietly at the open door to Aunt Megan’s (Eli’s teacher) classroom and listen to their lessons (sometimes for several hours at a time). Ezra is adding more words to his vocabulary and loves to join in whatever game his brothers are playing. Check out pictures of the above activities on our photo blog (www.365.themolsees.com).

October 26, 2015

I was called urgently to the Maternity Ward where a mother had arrived in labor and the baby’s birth was imminent. A quick glance in the chart displayed the sobering story…four pregnancies, three stillborn babies (dying shortly before or during the birth process). The mother had some medical problems that put her babies at risk, especially if she delivered at home or in a rural clinic. Her face was tight with pain, exhaustion and anxiety. I reassured her that everything was going well so far and she would soon be holding her baby (and I desperately prayed that it would be so). Long minutes passed and some anxious moments too as I guided the baby into the world. The look on her face though as I handed her a healthy baby boy was one that I will not soon forget. New life. Hope.

A middle-aged man well-dressed in the long tunic and cap of a practicing Muslim arrived at the clinic with abdominal pain. A quick exam, several blood tests and an ultrasound showed the problem…advanced liver cancer. We explained that his condition was serious, there was no cure and that he needed to prepare to see God very soon. Would he be willing to talk with a chaplain? I wasn’t sure as people from this tribe are often strict practicing Muslims and have been very closed to the gospel in our experience. But, yes, he was willing. I called the chaplain’s office hoping that the one chaplain who spoke his rare tribal language would be available. He was and quickly came over and took the man and his family members into a counseling room. An hour later, this gentleman prayed to receive Christ. New life. Hope.

Similar stories happen almost daily. The emotional highs and lows can be overwhelming. One of our recent short-term medical providers posted a blog about one of our 30 hour call shifts (I happened to be the doctor working with her that shift). You can read it here: http://sarahthebarge.com/2015/09/still-2/#more-1891. It is an incredible privilege to be a part of what God is doing here at the Hospital of Hope. Since our opening in early March we have seen over 11,000 new patients (with return visits accounted for, it is more like 18,000)! Even more exciting are the 13 groups meeting for prayer and Bible study across Mango and the surrounding villages.

Ethan: With our senior team leader in the States on furlough, Ethan has been busy helping with team administrative duties and he also continues to work with the hospital administration and finances and also has responsibilities in several other ministries and areas of service. He enjoys fish and goat brochettes (think pieces of meat threaded on a sharpened tree branch and roasted over a charcoal fire) and has the “fish man” on speed dial. He also enjoys riding his moto through town after dark which adds an element of excitement and skill to the trip. He has mastered the skill of dodging donkey carts, goats and small children on his moto while carrying 60 eggs in his backpack and arriving intact (eggs and driver) at the house.

Melissa: With the absence of our nurse mid-wife over the past few months, Melissa has had to learn how to manage OB patients and deliver babies. This adds a whole new layer of complexity to her call shifts and has greatly enhanced her prayer life. To maintain her sanity, she has continued to run (usually in circles around the hospital compound…which may say something about her sanity) and she and Miriam (our hospital pharmacist from New Zealand) traveled to Accra, Ghana to run the Accra International Half-Marathon. Unfortunately, she has also battled malaria several times over the past few months and her most recent bout was the week of the race. Despite being ill, she enjoyed the race and is back to running again here in Mango. Her new goal is to run a half-marathon on every continent (3 continents are already in the books).

Molsee Boys: School started in September for Aaron (3rd grade) and Eli (1st grade). They love their teachers and classmates and we are so thankful for the MK school. Currently they are meeting in a rented house in town until the actual schoolhouse is finished in January. Aden (age 3) is disappointed that he can’t go along but has learned how to ride a two wheeled bike and do “burn-outs” as consolation (which consist of riding as fast as you can and then slamming on your brakes as hard as possible in loose gravel). He loves to ride the moto with Ethan through town and greets everyone he sees enthusiastically. Often the little kids in town yell the Anufo word for “white man” at us when they see us and Aden, not knowing any differently, yells that word right back at them. Not sure what impression that leaves. Ezra (18 months) does his best to keep up with his older brothers and loves to try any new Togolese food. He is an immediate favorite with all the patients and their families at the hospital when he comes to visit us and will make his rounds, offering his hand in greeting and eating any food they offer. The kids have had two fairly close encounters (or at least closer than this mother would like) with a deadly viper that has caused the majority of our snakebite deaths at the hospital. We are thankful for God’s protection! Melissa’s brother, Cory, was able to visit for three weeks and use his paramedic skills in our emergency room. It was lots of fun to have him around and to work side-by-side with him in the hospital.

Check out our photo blog for pictures of the life and work here at www.365.themolsees.com.

Praise: Thank you for praying for our support needs. While we are still technically underfunded, we have had a new supporter sign up and have had 2 other churches/individuals increase their monthly gifts. In addition, there is another church who is praying about supporting us financially. On another high note, we also received word that there is an OB/GYN provider coming to work at the hospital for two years in 2017 through the Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program. Praise the Lord!

Prayer: Please continue to pray for both short and long-term staffing needs. We have an urgent need for medical doctors/PA-C/FNP for November and December of 2015. Medical and surgical coverage is needed for all of 2016 as well.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. We couldn’t be here without you.

June 17, 2015

Rainy season is beginning! We have had a few big rain storms this week which is heralding the start to the rainy season. The water levels in the river (where the town gets its water) and the scattered little ponds/reservoirs (where some of the outlying villages get their water) are very, very low. The water has been cut several times to the town as there just wasn't enough in the river for the pumps to reach it. Unfortunately, the recent drilling efforts on the hospital property were not successful and we continue to be dependent on the city water supply. The farmers are anxious to begin planting their fields. Most of the crops they use for their food/livelihood all year are grown over the next few months. Also, since the water levels have been so low, we have had a chance to see our local hippos at a much closer distance. Check out the photos on our blog (www.365.themolsees.com).

Ethan and Melissa are keeping busy with their respective jobs. Now that our Togo North team leader is on furlough for the next 9 months, Ethan will be stepping up with more of those leadership responsibilities in addition to his role with the hospital administration and finances. Melissa is still being stretched as she cares for sick people in both the hospital and clinic. During her last hospital shift she cared for a very sick boy who was admitted with severe pneumonia. Despite almost dying a few hours after his arrival, through the prayers and efforts of multiple staff members, he has been making a remarkable recovery. His mother has been impacted by the love and care he is being shown and has been asking to know more about Jesus. Please pray for Ibrahim and his mother.

June is also the month that Ramadan starts. Even as I type this paragraph, I can hear the afternoon call to prayer from a local mosque across the wall (which recently upgraded to a very efficient loudspeaker!). Ramadan is a month each year when Muslims spend the daylight hours in a complete fast as a way to please Allah. Attached to this email is a prayer guide especially for our region and ministry. Please use it to pray more specifically for us, our employees, patients, friends and members of our community.

One of our hospital chaplains recently sent out an update (specific information has been changed or withheld for safety and privacy reasons) with news from this past week.

A man (from a primarily Muslim unreached people group) who is a chief of shepherds for a large regional area in Burkina Faso came to the hospital for treatment. He has a liver infection and had surgery this past week. He gave his life to Jesus after his surgery. He says that out of all the hospitals God brought him to this one so that he could know the true way and now he sees that Jesus is the only True Prophet.

A woman in the intensive care unit and her mom heard the Gospel for the first time on Monday. They listened to some audio resources in their tribal language with one of our chaplains. As they listened, the sick woman raised her hands in praise and they both confessed their sins and gave their lives to Jesus. The mom said that even if her daughter dies now (as it seems she soon will) she knows she will go to be with Jesus.

A man who recently received care at the hospital has been staying in the cuisine (a shelter on the hospital where patients can stay for free if they are discharged but need follow-up care and live too far away to make the trip back to the hospital). Our chaplains visited him last week and he told them that he had prayed on his own for salvation a few days earlier. This week they were able to follow-up and share more in-depth with him and his wife as they listened to scripture on an audio device in their tribal language. Both he and his wife were moved to tears by what they heard and both prayed together for salvation.

We wish that we could share with you the countless other stories that we hear about and see each week. Despite the busy schedules and occasional difficult moments, we are thrilled at the openness to the Gospel. What a privilege to be able to serve here. Thank you for your sacrificial giving and your prayers on our behalf that make it possible.

May 19, 2015

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 3 months since the opening of the Hospital of Hope! In the past 11 weeks we have seen more than 4000 patients and our clinic schedule is booked until late June. Even today more than 300 people had to be turned away after our clinic schedule for the day was filled. So far we have seen patients not only from all parts of Togo but also from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, and Nigeria (even from the border of Chad and Nigeria). We have been very encouraged with the general openness to the gospel through the compassionate medical care we provide.

One of our hospital chaplains recently sent out a weekly update. Here are some of the bits of encouragement from just one week of hospital ministry…

The family of a boy with a facial infection asked one of the chaplains to come and talk to them about Jesus. They couldn't come right away so the family asked if they could watch the Jesus film in the meantime. The next day when the chaplain and the other men went to talk to them, the family said they want to know more once they are discharged because they have never heard of Jesus before. 

A Fulani teenager (who accepted Christ last week) has been staying at a chaplain’s house and asked for prayer in their Sunday morning meeting because he wants to be able to go back to Burkina Faso and share the Gospel he's just heard with his family because they have never heard about Jesus before.

A mom from a local tribe who has lost a lot of pregnancies is now pregnant with triplets. Her husband was at first encouraging her to get an abortion when he found out she was pregnant again but now is very proud since finding out she is carrying triplets. She was very malnourished but has been coming every day for check-up visits with our midwives and to eat some high-protein foods. We praise the Lord greatly for the miracle that she is still carrying this pregnancy, now at 28 weeks! Pray that she can continue to carry the babies until sometime in July. Through the daily visits she has opened up and they are developing a good friendship with this Muslim/animist family.

We praise the Lord for all of the people who are getting the opportunity to watch the Jesus film. Many Muslim people who would never have been open to watching in another setting are open to watching in the hospital wards. Two new TVs were just installed which will allow for more viewing.

Thank you to all who prayed for the 7 year old boy who had the serious heart surgery this week with a visiting cardiothoracic surgeon. It was a very long surgery and though his heart stopped 5 times and we almost lost him, he is now doing very well, off of dopamine and oxygen. His family is very open to hearing the Gospel and amazed at the power of prayer and what God has done.

A young Muslim boy with infections in his bones was given a Bible this week. His mom gave permission for him to have it and he has been reading it.

Melissa appreciates the unique perspectives provided by working as a physician and also as a mother. Last Sunday she experienced the highs and lows of medicine several times over the course of her 30 hour call shift. Mother’s Day morning found her explaining to the family of very sick woman who recently miscarried that she was not going to make it and offering the family the choice of taking her home to die (which families often prefer to do for a variety of reasons). The heartbroken father was now left to raise his remaining 5 children by himself. Melissa couldn’t make it through her time of prayer with the family without weeping for their pain and loss. And yet over the course of the next 24 hours, she watched a young child who was admitted that morning very close to death with cerebral malaria, regain consciousness and be restored to full health (with his mother by his side). It was a Mother’s Day full of highs and lows!

Ethan has been busy sorting out payroll and Togolese payroll regulations, paying bills, and meeting with employees who have questions or concerns. Much of his time is spent establishing procedures, budgets, and plans, and working with the accountants to determine which patients need help with their bills. In addition to his work with the administration of the hospital he also spends time each week working with the team leadership as we continue to grow as a team and seek additional short and long-term team members.

The school year is coming to a close. We are so thankful for Aunt Megan’s excellent teaching that has brought both boys up to their expected grade levels or beyond. This fall Aaron will be taught by a new teacher who will arrive in Mango next month. Eli will continue to work with Aunt Megan. We have also been thankful for the ways the boys are able to be incorporated into the ministry here. Whether it is running errands or hanging out with Ethan at the office or visiting Melissa at the hospital, they are able to see first-hand the impact of the hospital on this community. As they listen to us talk about our day and our encounters with patients and families, they ask good (but not always easy) questions and we are able to share how God is working. It is so neat to hear them pray for our Togolese friends or for sick patients.

Items of prayer – 1) Medical workers: We need more providers. NPs/PAs, medical doctors and surgeons can all be used for periods of time from several weeks to long-term. We also need nurses who have at least one year of experience who can commit for 6 months or more.  2) School teachers: We need teachers starting the 2017-2018 school year; 3) Water: Due to water shortages over the past few months due to dependency on the city water, the current plan is to try to drill again on the hospital property. Pray that the drilling would be successful.

Items of praise – 1) Snake anti-venom: We were able to find anti-venom that can counteract the bite of one of the most common snakes here; 2) Elections: The last president was re-elected but the results were accepted peacefully; 3) Finances: Thank you for your sacrificial gifts that allow us to continue serving here. Despite an overall monthly support deficit, we have not felt an impact due to generous one-time donations.

We are so thankful for the privilege of serving here in Mango. Thank you for your support and encouragement and your prayers on our behalf. You can follow along with the ministry here by going to our website (www.365.themolsees.com) which has regular short updates and photos.

March 20, 2015

What an incredible past few weeks! The opening ceremony on February 26th went well with estimates of 5,000 people attending as well as many local dignitaries, the US ambassador and the president of Togo. Hours before the hospital opened on March 2nd, hundreds of people were lined up for care. Each day, more people arrive than can actually be seen. No matter how many days people wait, we are always thanked for the care we offer. It is truly humbling. It is also thrilling to see the openness to the gospel. Our chaplains are busy following up with conversations that are started as we see people who live as far away as Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin. Check out our photo blog (www.365.themolsees.com) for photos from the past few weeks and if you'd like to see a video of the hospital opening festivities here's a link... https://vimeo.com/121229304

We’re not in Seattle anymore! =-)  Melissa was reminded of this fact at work recently…

  • Listening to the strange breath sounds of one of our pediatric ICU patients and then realizing that the extra noise was from the braying donkey behind the hospital.
  • Finishing up with one clinic patient only to have the husband tell me to wait just a minute and he would get my next patient for me as it was his second wife.
  • Stepping outside the pediatric ward (which faces east) only to find myself in the middle of men kneeling and chanting in prayer.
  • Looking for my next clinic patient and realizing it was a 2 ½ pound baby who was actually in his mother’s arms and just buried in several layers of oversized newborn clothes and cloth.
  • Overhearing the discussion about how many cows (which are in Niger) a man needed to sell in order to cover the cost of an elective surgery for his wife (instead of saving money in a bank, the assets in this tribe are often in cows).

Family update:  Aaron (age 8 ½) finally lost his 2 front teeth and has found 3 more chameleons. Eli (5 ½) is starting to read and enjoys moto rides with Ethan. Both are doing well in school and love playing outside as much as possible despite temperatures consistently over 100 degrees. Aden (2 ½) does all things in life with 110% of the energy necessary. He is stubborn and independent, mischievous and sweet and too smart for his own good. Ezra (11 months) has 8 teeth and calloused knees from crawling over the rocky ground. The other day he was too quiet and was found outside in the rocks happily waving a dried lizard in the air by the tail (I don’t even want to know if he had been chewing on it).

We don’t often mention money in our prayer letters but we have been asked about our current financial situation by several churches. We learned recently of another supporter who has had to decrease their monthly amount. This means we lack just over $450/month in support. If you would like to partner with us in this way, please send us an email or donate on-line at http://www.abwe.org/give/commit-to-support-a-missionary (account #:  0134853). Thank you!

We continue to need medical providers (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians) to work for at least a month or more starting as soon as possible. Knowing French is NOT a requirement! We are also in need of nurses who have at least one year of experience to work for 6 months or more. Most of our 10 American nurses will be leaving in December and we are in the process of finding replacements for them. Thank you for praying with us about these needs. We look forward to the people that He will bring at just the right moment.

We are so thankful for the privilege of serving here in Mango. Thank you for your support and encouragement and your prayers on our behalf.

February 16, 2015

The level of excitement, uncertainty, stress and anticipation is at an all-time high here in Mango! Can you feel it? The grand opening of the Hospital of Hope is just over two weeks away. Much has been accomplished and much remains to be done.

Thank you for praying for several important missing pieces of equipment and for the needed personnel to arrive to install the remaining important components of the hospital. God has answered “yes” to those prayers and there are no foreseeable obstacles to our expected opening date. Please pray that the remainder of the construction and set-up continues as planned. The nurses’ aide training program finished just over two weeks ago. The Togolese staff that has been training in Tsiko at our southern hospital for the past few years arrived last month. We have also welcomed 10 nurses from the United States, two pharmacists (one from the States and one from New Zealand), a pediatrician who is here for two years with Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program and several other team members. Last week we ran multiple scenarios with fake patients to see how actual patient flow and care might work (you can see Eli’s role on our photo blog page at www.365.themolsees.com). This past week every hospital staff member attended a series of orientation meetings. It is the first time that we were all under the same roof. What an incredible sight! We wish that you could have been sitting right there along with us.

Ethan continues to work in the hospital administration and finance area. He is working with the church planting arm of the team as they decide the best way to approach building communities of believers in a primarily M*sl*m part of West Africa. He also continues to enjoy working with our team leader as our team grows from a small group of missionaries to a much larger group with diverse areas of ministry.

Melissa spent the last few weeks helping with the final part of the nurses’ aide training program and the mock patient scenarios. There were many chaotic moments, times of frustration and lots of laughter as we struggled through how patient care might actually happen. Running a mock code in two languages at the same time while discovering where all the necessary supplies are located with newly trained nurses and aides is not for the faint-of-heart! J It is better, however, to do this ahead of time so we are better prepared on the opening day!

The boys continue to love life here in Mango and especially their classes and friends at school. We are so thankful for the teachers that God has provided for our kids. Megan will be returning to the States for a few months this summer. She will return this fall for the 2015-2016 school year and is praying about a possible future as a career missionary kid (MK) teacher. There is another teacher who will be arriving at the end of May and will tutor some of our MKs this summer to help them prepare for their respective grades this fall. She will serve for two years and hopes to continue as a career teacher. Megan and Amanda have joined a career MK teacher who has been working with one family up to this point. When classes start this fall all of the MKs will divided up between the three since there will be over 20 children in multiple grades.  The building of the schoolhouse has restarted and we are praying that it will be ready for classes this fall! Please also pray for MK teachers for our 2017-2018 school year. At that point both Amanda and Megan will be back in the States (either permanently or in the process of becoming career missionaries) and that leaves just one teacher for all of the kids!

Speaking of staffing needs, we are looking for medical providers (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians) to work for at least a month or more starting as soon as possible. We were discouraged to learn recently that a physician who had planned to work here for 18 months has had to postpone his plans for medical reasons until at least January 2016. That leaves just a handful of providers to staff the hospital. With such a limited number, everyone will be stretched extra thin.  We are also in need of nurses who have at least one year of experience to work for 6 months or more here at the hospital. Most of our American nurses will be leaving in December and we are in the process of finding replacements for them. Thank you for praying with us about these needs. We look forward to the people that He will bring at just the right moment.

These next few weeks will continue to be busy…this week we are headed to the southern hospital in Tsiko for several meetings and then to Lome for a quick shopping trip. Melissa and Megan haven’t left the area since our arrival so they are looking forward to a change of scenery. February 26th is the date of the grand opening celebration. We are expecting thousands of visitors and possibly even the president of Togo. The actual opening of the clinic and hospital is March 2nd. Please pray that everything comes together for the opening and continue to pray for us as we work through the many challenges that will come in the first few weeks and months after the opening.

We have said this before and we really do mean it…we are so thankful for the privilege of serving here and appreciate your support and encouragement that has helped make it possible. Please check our photo blog for regular updates, prayer requests and pictures (www.365.themolsees.com).

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year from dusty Mango!

The Harmattan season is here bringing with it cooler temperatures and dusty winds. We are enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the mornings and many Togolese are wearing large overcoats with hoods. Cool nights also bring out the critters…we have killed several scorpions in and around our house and Ethan spotted a big snake next to our porch. It is also the time of year that farmers burn their fields after bringing in the harvest so thick clouds of smoke often hang in the air (see our photo blog at www.365.themolsees.com for a photo (dated 12/12/2014) of a nearby fire).

Between the weather and the arrival of our container, it truly has felt a lot like Christmas! We have been busy unpacking and moving in and our house is now truly feeling like home. Thank you so much to those of you who donated items and helped sort and pack our container. Words cannot adequately express how much we appreciate you!

Construction on the Hospital of Hope continues with several big projects still left to finish before the opening which is projected to be March 2, 2015. Enough of it is completed that we are able to start putting away the many pallets and boxes of donated items. We wish that we could take each one of you on a tour of the hospital…you would be blown away by the size and the quality of the work! Please continue to pray that the final critical parts come together. The last container safely arrived with the needed parts but there are several key people that need to travel from the States to put the parts together for important components like the boiler.

Ethan is in process of learning his roles in the hospital administration and finance department. He has been busy setting up the accounting software and deciphering the intricacies of the Togolese wage system.  He was also recently asked to help our team leader as our team grows and struggles with the transition from being a small team to a much larger team with many exciting projects in the works.

Melissa has been assisting with the training of the nurses’ aides. This provides an excellent opportunity to practice her French skills, learn new medical vocabulary and build relationships with the students. These students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include Christians and Muslims. Several of the masons who built the hospital wanted to continue working here so they decided to become nurses’ aides. It has been fun to see these tough guys learn how to give bed baths and help with other patient needs! They are proving to be some of our best aides though as they are quick learners and very compassionate. The students have been able to practice taking vital signs in the community including visits to a local school and the Mango prison. The prison visits have given us a tremendous opportunity to show love and compassion to people who are truly desperate and without hope. There is a real need for healthcare in this population and we will continue building relationships with the prisoners and guards.

Aaron (age 8), Eli (age 5), Aden (age 2) and Ezra (age 8 months) are all doing well. The older boys love their classes taught by Miss Megan. They are learning to read English and enjoy practicing their writing skills. Another missionary teaches French classes two mornings a week which helps them retain some of the things they learned in France. Aden has had a few minor medical problems but has maintained his cheerful, energetic attitude. He loves to visit Melissa at the hospital and greet “his friends” (the nurses’ aides). Ezra has joined Melissa for the classes on several occasions to play the role of a pediatric patient so that they can practice weighing, measuring and taking vital signs on a baby. He is a big hit with all the students and his laid-back attitude helps keeps him calm as he is passed around from person-to-person. The boys have a revolving menagerie of bizarre insects and different types of lizards. We are now very careful when opening random containers on our porch as we are never sure what they have stored inside!

As we enter the New Year, we are excited to see how God will orchestrate the events and projects here in northern Togo (and West Africa) for His glory. We are so thankful for the privilege of serving here and appreciate your support and encouragement that has helped make it possible. Please check our photo blog for regular updates, prayer requests and pictures (www.365.themolsees.com).

In Christ,

Ethan, Melissa, Aaron, Eli, Aden and Ezra Molsee

October 20, 2014

Bonjour from Mango, Togo! We arrived in Mango on September 2 and have spent the last few weeks transitioning to life in rural West Africa. We are thrilled to finally be here and in time to help with the preparations for the opening of the hospital! Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and prayers over the past few years that has carried us through to this moment!

The summer was busy as we finished our language studies in France, packed our container, tied up loose ends in Albertville before moving to Togo. We were able to fit in a week of rest and family time just before our move though. God provided us with the perfect place to stay…an old farmhouse which is rented out at a low cost to pastors and missionaries near Neuchatel, Switzerland. We enjoyed playing games, reading books, taking long walks in the nearby woods and fields and spending time together as a family. What a blessing!

Thank you for praying for us as we completed our language studies in France. We finished well and appreciate the ability to speak and understand French (something we weren’t able to do on our previous trips to Togo). We are continuing to work on our French though through Togolese conversation partners (who also are great resources of cultural information) and talking with our French colleagues.  Melissa has especially appreciated working with Dr. Myriam Deglon who is a French general practitioner and who is helping her learn new French medical vocabulary. We are also starting to build friendships and relationships with the Togolese in our surrounding community.

As some of you may have heard, the Hospital of Hope will be opening in March 2015 instead of January. The opening date was postponed due to delays in obtaining needed equipment and the personnel to install it. Please be praying as this delay has an impact on everything from the ordering and storage of supplies like medications to the hiring and training of hospital workers.

So what are we doing in the meantime? Ethan is busy getting up-to-speed on the hospital affairs such as the finances and hiring process. He will be traveling to HBB (the southern ABWE hospital) early next month to learn more about hospital administrative and financial affairs. He is also leaving next week for a leadership training conference in Ghana with several other teammates. Our yard is looking a bit more civilized after Ethan was able to move some dirt piles, mow and begin planting some trees and bushes to give us some shade (and maybe some fruit) in the future.

Melissa is busy preparing to teach some of the courses for the nursing assistant training program starting in November. She will also be helping with other aspects of the course. This will be a great exercise for her French medical vocabulary skills! She is also seeing patients unofficially several times a week with Myriam at the gate to the hospital compound. Sick people are already beginning to seek care and even though she is not able to help in large ways, she is able to provide counsel and to pray with them. These experiences reinforce the need to have the hospital up and running as soon as possible. There are currently no practicing physicians in Mango. The nearest doctor is in a larger town about 45 minutes north of Mango. Check out our photo blog page for a picture of her with one of the little patients she saw recently (dated 10/15/2014).

Many have asked how our kids are doing. Overall, they seem to be adjusting well to our new life. They were a little surprised by the number of animals being sacrificed at the recent Tabaski festivities (blog post dated 10/4/2014) but are taking everything they see in stride. Aaron and Eli are enjoying their classes in the MK school taught by Megan MacKenzie. We are so thankful that she was willing to leave the comforts of life in Boise to brave the challenges of life in Mango while teaching up to 8 kids (in grades K-5)! Aden loves to make friends wherever he goes...even in the busy Sunday market. He doesn't notice the differences but instead sees the other kids as potential friends and playmates. Ezra is almost 6 months old and is still a happy, content baby. The Togolese people love babies and enjoy holding him at any possible opportunity. He doesn't seem to mind being passed around from person to person. We are thankful for each one of our boys.

Thank you again for your faithful support and prayers on our behalf. We count it a privilege to be serving here in Mango.

May 29, 2014

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our 4th boy – Ezra Jonathan Molsee. He was born at the hospital here in Albertville, France after a very short labor on April 23rd missing being born on Ethan’s birthday by about 7 hours. Stats: 7lbs 14oz, 20.5in, reddish-looking hair and blue eyes. The other boys have been very loving and helpful although Aden with his usual enthusiasm is in danger of loving him too much! He is a very content baby as long as he doesn’t miss his meals every 3 hours. Thankfully, this allowed him to attend Melissa’s classes with her without causing too much disruption.

Classes

Melissa has now finished her required language classes but her learning continues as she meets with her language partners, reads books and listens to the radio in French and adds French medical terms to her vocabulary. She will stay home with Aden and Ezra and work to make Ethan’s life as easy as possible. Ethan continues to work hard at his studies. His next exams are June 19th-24th. We will graduate on June 30th but he will take a 3 week summer course which focuses on speaking in French. He will also take the national French language evaluation test at the end of July which will give him the opportunity to pinpoint any weak areas he has to allow him to continue his language learning in Togo.

Move

Our date of departure for Togo will be August 31st! We are in the process of buying tickets, getting our travel immunizations in order and obtaining a passport for Ezra. Ethan is planning on returning to the States at the end of July to pack a container with our household goods, donated items for the hospital, and items for Megan MacKenzie (our MK teacher).

Hospital

Construction continues on the hospital and its opening is planned for early 2015. Currently, there is focus on furnishing the hospital with medical equipment. Please let us know if you would like a list of needed equipment or would like to be involved with funding this project.

Older Boys

Aaron (7 ½) is doing well. He is learning to read in French and play football (soccer). He loves to play outside rain or shine when he is not in school. Eli (almost 5) enjoys his class and also loves to play outside. He has a sweet, sensitive spirit and loves his younger brothers. Aden (2) is learning new things every day. He loves being around his friends (there are around 5 kids his age here). French and English words show up in his ever-expanding vocabulary. His mischievous grin puts smiles on our faces and fear in our hearts as we wonder scheme he will come up with next.

Photo Blog

We keep our photo blog post updated with short descriptions of our daily life, studies, prayer/praise requests, interesting cultural experiences and, of course, with pictures. Please check it out as another way to stay connected with us:  www.365.themolsees.com

MK Teacher

We were thankful for the opportunity to get to know Megan better when she stopped by Albertville while in Europe to visit another friend. Megan is in the process of selling her house and packing up her curriculum and household items to send to Mango. She is 95% supported and planning on moving to Togo in September to start the school year.

Prayer

  • Megan – rest of support, sale of house
  • Our French visa renewal
  • Language partners – salvation
  • Moving preparations
  • Ethan’s exams (June 19th-24th and July 24th)
  • Construction/furnishing of hospital

Praise

  • Ezra’s safe arrival
  • Moving date in place
  • End of Melissa’s classes
  • Our French church home
  • Our MK teacher – Megan MacKenzie!

Many of you have expressed an interest in helping with funding or collecting items for our container. If you would like to receive a list of practical ways to help, please send us an email and we will share the ever-growing list with you.

Thank you for your prayers, notes, and interest even as we begin another move and chapter in this adventure. We are so thankful for each one of you who make up our support team and enable us to serve with this project.

November 6, 2013

Ten Months In France

Wow, has it really been ten months since we arrived in France? We continue to progress through our French language studies. While there have been difficult days, long nights, and many humorous moments, God has provided for and encouraged us throughout this process.

We are thankful for the prayers on our behalf, encouraging notes and emails, and the sacrificial giving of so many. Just this past week as we were trudging through new and difficult points of the French language, we received a note and hand-written prayer that reminded us of the faithfulness of our God.

There are now four other families that are also headed to Togo studying French here in Albertville. We gather as a Togo team regularly to pray for the work in Togo and for personal and ministry concerns. It is a privilege to get to know our fellow teammates before we arrive in Togo. We continue to make plans to be in Togo next year in order to assist with the opening of the hospital.

We are blessed that our boys have adjusted so readily to life in France. Eli and Aaron are both doing well in their respective schools. This year Aaron’s school began a bilingual program so they now teach half-time in French and half-time in English. Aden is expanding his French vocab in the school’s nursery. If you would like to see regular photo updates and tidbits of news visit our photo blog www.365.themolsees.com

Construction Continues…

In Mango, construction on the project is moving forward. Finish work is being done in the clinic, pharmacy, and reception areas. Stone and tile are being installed and trusses are going up on phase 3 of the project. Our team of fulltime missionaries in Mango continues to grow. Teams from the States are playing a crucial role in the progress of the hospital construction.

Prayer Update…

As many of you know, in August Ethan made a whirlwind trip to the States to help Dan and Rachael Stoner and family move back following Dan’s diagnosis with an aggressive form of cancer. We praise God that Dan is responding well to the chemo treatments. His family and doctors are VERY pleased with his progress. Follow his recovery at www.caringbridge.org/visit/danstoner

Answered Prayer…

Megan MacKenzie is a gifted and energetic teacher who is planning on coming to Mango in the fall of 2014 to help with the schooling needs for the northern team. Megan is beginning her 8th year teaching in the Boise, Idaho school district. She has taught kindergarten through 4th grade and this year she is teaching 29 fourth graders. Megan loves teaching but she also is very excited about being involved as a mentor and encourager for the MKs in Mango. We are SUPER excited to have Megan as part of the Togo north team! Megan is initially planning to serve in Mango for two years but is open to career missions.

We’d really like to see Megan supported and on the field by the fall of next year. Please contact us or feel free to contact her directly to find out how to become a part of her prayer or financial support team. Megan’s email address is… mmackenzie@abwe.cc

December 2012

At Christmas we celebrate God’s provision of a deliverer for all mankind. How incredible that God in human form came to dwell among us. Christmas is also a time when we step back and reflect on how God has carried us through and provided for us throughout another year. We have a lot to be thankful for! Let me share some of our praises…

God has allowed us to see 100% of our monthly support needs raised so that we can leave for language school. While we will need to continue to raise ministry funds and additional funds for the construction of our Togo home, we have the funds needed to make the next step in this journey. How exciting to see God pull together old friends and new friends and amazing churches that all want to be a part of His work in West Africa.

Our tickets have been purchased for our flight to France for language school. We will fly out of Seattle on January 1st of 2013 for Albertville, France where classes will begin on January 7th. We expect language school to take about 16 months and then it’s off to Mango, Togo, where we should arrive in time to help prepare for the opening of the Hospital of Hope in late 2014 or early 2015.

God has provided safety and encouragement for this busy year that included trips around the world and across the country. We are blessed people and excited about the journey God has placed before us.

Pray for the Fulani People

Recently, just a couple miles from the hospital construction site a refugee camp was quickly assembled in a field to house about 400 Fulani people who had to flee their village. These Fulani people who are traditionally nomadic herdsmen, had their village attacked, a tribesman killed, and their houses set on fire or damaged.

Our teammates in Mango had the opportunity to show compassion and neighborly love with visits and gifts for those housed at this refugee camp. Later, as it seemed an agreement was reached so that the Fulani could return to their village, some of the hospital construction crew took time for house repairs for the Fulani.

Please pray for the Fulani people and for opportunities to share the gospel with them and show compassion to this least reached people group.

The Molsee Family

Do you ?nd yourself wondering where 2012 went? For our family 2012 was packed full of activities, milestones, and memories. Most of our year was spent getting ready for our big move to France for language school and then on to Togo, West Africa to be involved with the Hospital of Hope. Since January 2012 we’ve visited and shared our heart for the people of West Africa with more than 20 churches in the northwest, attended 14 conferences and training seminars that together totaled 52 days, and been in 22 states and 3 continents.

Until November 1st, Melissa worked full-time as a physician at a local clinic. She took a “vacation” in May to deliver the newest member of our family, attend several training seminars, and study for and pass her board certi?cation exam. In addition to being a board certi?ed physician, she continues to be a busy mom and wife but somehow found time to train for and complete the Seattle half-marathon last month.

In May, Ethan joined a group of men from the Boise valley for a 20 day trip to work on construction of the Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo. While he did miss Aden’s birth, it was a great time of working on the hospital project, meeting teammates, and seeing where we will live and serve in Africa. Ethan was recently ordained and continues to be involved with church ministry (when we’re home) leading youth group, teaching Sunday school, and working as an AWANA leader.

Aden is now 21 lbs, enjoys eating new foods and has his ?rst tooth. Since his birth on May 21st, he has crossed the U.S. four times. Aaron (age 6) loves playing with Legos and listening to the Sugar Creek Gang books on CD. Eli (age 3) thanks God daily for his AWANA Cubbies club and loves making his new little brother smile. We are thankful for the boys God has loaned to us and for the joy and laughter they add to this journey.

God Bless and Merry Christmas! 
Ethan, Melissa, Aaron, Eli & Aden

September 14, 2012

Summer in Review

Wow, where have the months gone? At the end of May Melissa was on maternity leave, Aden was born and Ethan was in Togo with a group of men from the Boise valley. The day after Ethan returned from Togo, we all flew to the east coast for a month of classes and conferences. We returned home the last week of June and spent two weeks in the northwest before beginning our drive back to Harrisburg, PA for further training seminars and conferences. At the end of our time in Harrisburg Melissa and Aden flew home so that Melissa could focus on studying for a big medical exam and Ethan, Aaron, and Eli made the drive back to Washington State.

In August Melissa returned to work and we held a yard sale to help fund the ministry we will be doing in Togo. Thanks to the efforts of family and friends and to the donation of items from individuals from local supporting churches we raised over $1,500. We are blessed and amazed to see how God uses individuals, churches, VBS programs, and others to join us in His work in Togo. Your prayers and generosity allow us to do our part. Thank you for being a part of this team.

We now have less than four months before we leave for language school. After completing language school we will fly to Togo where we will assist with final planning and preparation for the opening of the Hospital of Hope in late 2014.

While we are scheduled to share Hope for Mango with many churches and missionary conferences, we still have a few open dates before we depart and would enjoy the opportunity to tell your church what God is doing in Mango, West Africa.

Hospital of Hope

Construction continues at the hospital site thanks to the efforts of the 30 Togolese employees, a number of our teammates, and the short-term teams that arrive in Togo eager to serve each month. Continue to pray for the safety for those involved with the construction process, for a resolution to the supply of water and power, and for the hiring and training of the Togolese needed to operate this ministry.

The Boys

Aden is healthy and growing! Since his birth on May 21st Aden has flown across the U.S. three times, been in 20 states, received his passport, and been accepted to the language school nursery. Eli turned three in June and Aaron will turn six in October. Aaron and Eli are enjoying their baby brother and are great big brothers. They were all amazing travelers this summer and add smiles and laughter to this crazy journey.

Language School

We have been accepted to language school and will begin classes in Albertville, France on January 7th. This is an intense 16 month course that will prepare us to communicate in our ministry roles in Togo. Please pray for our transition to France and the many details that need to be taken care of before we leave.

How You Can Help

 

  • Pray for the many details such as packing, sorting, storage, travel, etc.
  • Pray for the leaving process (the many goodbyes, that our visa process would go smoothly, etc.).
  • Pray that funding would come in for the training of Togolese hospital staff ($30,000 is needed).
  • Pray for the construction process and the safety of those involved.
  • Pray for the Togolese people, that God would prepare their hearts to hear and receive His Good News.
  • Pray for teachers willing to commit a year or more to help teach the 20+ missionary children in Mango.
May 8, 2012

Heading Out

We are packing… Not for the BIG move (that won’t happen until December), this time Ethan and Melissa are headed in different directions. Ethan will be joining a group of volunteers from the Boise valley working on the construction of the hospital in Mango, Togo from May 9th to May 28th. This trip will allow us to better prepare for our move and give us first –hand information on the Mango area (we spent two months in Togo but have never been to the northern project in Mango.) One of our supporting churches has paid the entire expense of this trip!

Melissa’s bags are packed for a trip to the hospital when baby #3 decides to make his/her appearance. We are thankful for the wonderful support of our family as they help Melissa on her journey and help with the boys while Ethan is in Africa in the weeks ahead.

We currently have 96% of our monthly support committed and are on track to leave for language school in December 2012! We give God praise and stand amazed at the support team He has brought together.

So far in 2012 we have shared the work in Togo with 12 churches and two pastors’ conferences. We also attended a medical conference and a conference on Islam and we continue to work on assignments and training we need to complete before our departure.

MedSend Grant

We were recently notified that Melissa’s application for a loan repayment grant was approved by the MedSend Board. This approval is the first in a two stage process. MedSend will now begin raising the funds needed to make Melissa’s monthly student loan payment for our first 4 year term. We are thankful for MedSend and would appreciate your prayer for this organization as they strive to fund their 2012 grant recipients.

MedSend enables highly qualified and dedicated healthcare professionals to serve spiritually and physically needy people around the world in the name of Christ. They do this by making their monthly educational loan payments while they serve. Without MedSend, these healthcare professionals would need to spend years working in the U.S. to pay off their educational debt before going and being able to answer God’s call to serve – and many would never make it to the mission field at all. To learn more about MedSend visit them online at www.medsend.org

Upcoming Dates

 

  • Ethan’s Togo Trip: 5/9 to 5/28
  • Molsee Child #3 Due: 5/16
  • Medical Conf., NJ: 5/30 to 6/2
  • Medical Missions Conf., PA: 6/8 to 6/10
  • Bible Classes, PA: 6/11 to 6/22
  • Missions Training, PA: 7/16 to 7/29

 

Praises

 

  • Seven believers were baptized in Mango on Easter of this year.
  • Work on the hospital and other buildings has continued to move forward.
  • MedSend approved our application for a loan repayment grant. They will now seek donors to cover this grant which takes over Melissa’s monthly medical school loan payment once we leave for the field.
  • The pregnancy is going well and the baby is making good progress.
  • One of our supporting churches raised the funds for Ethan’s trip to Mango.
  • Despite readjustment of our monthly support we are 96% supported!

 

Prayer Requests

 

  • Safety for Ethan and the team as they travel to Togo and help with the hospital construction.
  • Health and safety as Melissa looks toward the birth of our 3rd child (any day now).
  • Wisdom and safety as we make plans for the activities/conferences/travel this summer.
  • That MedSend would find funding and assume my medical school loan by the time we leave in December.
  • For the remaining monthly support needed to take us to 100%.