The cables are melting...

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Sun, 27 Nov 2011 | 7 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

People always ask “how is the work going?”. That’s difficult to answer but I will try and give you a brief glimpse in this blog.

I came here thinking I would be working mostly on medical equipment. Not long into our time I realised it would be much more complicated than that. The job title ‘Site Engineer’ seemed vague and now I know why – it covers almost every kind of engineering – this realisation was terrifying.

The electricity supply here is poor. We have large generators to keep things going when ‘mains’ is not there. When mains is available, we experience surges and uneven voltage. This is one of the major causes of our equipment failures. It seemed obvious – if we can ‘fix’ the power, we won’t have to keep fixing the equipment.

Cables were melting. That sounds dramatic but it was what we discovered. The big 3-phase cables couldn’t handle the load so they began to melt. That was a good enough place to start. Some new cables, voltage stabilisers, new contactors and surge suppressors later, things seem a little more stable. We have a team of volunteer electricians coming from Northern Ireland next year to move things further.

In August, we received a special tool for testing the output of our oxygen machines. It is probably the only analyser in Uganda. We tested our 25 Oxygen Concentrators and found 12 of them were providing little or no oxygen to the patients whose lives were dependent on it!

Replacement machines are very expensive but the funds arrived. Now we are sure the patients connected to these machines are actually getting the oxygen they need.

Three or four years ago the first computers arrived in the hospital. Now we have 50 laptops, 25 PCs and all the other gear that goes with it. Up until the summer we had 2 IT support technicians. For different reasons they both moved on from Kiwoko. From then, IT was another thing to keep me occupied.

Then, of course, the IT network had some major problems. A severe lightning storm destroyed a lot of equipment, and soon after, a virus swept through the systems.

A couple of busy months later, things are more stable. The IT network has been restructured, lightning protection is being installed this week and a new IT support guy, hired locally, starts next week.

The challenges we face here are very different to any I faced at home. The work is varied and often mind-boggling but I have seen God’s hand in it throughout. The building with the melting cables should have burned down, but it didn’t. The cost of replacing the IT equipment after the lightning strike was way beyond our budget, but an unexpected donor from Ireland met the need. A mission hospital in the Ugandan bush can’t afford 12 new Oxygen Concentrators but God made it possible for us to buy 15!

As an engineer, I never expected to see miracles in my line of work but we are witnessing miracles here all the time. It’s not down to our work but God’s protection and provision. All the glory goes to Him. A lot of work is still to be done but what we have witnessed so far strengthens our confidence that God is in control, even when cables are melting.



Gillian Maganda said Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:39PM
Excellent blog Paul & Tania, and even in the midst of all the challenges, you are seeing and sensing God's hand at work! Be assured of our continue love and prayers in the HQ!
Will Herron said Sun, 04 Dec 2011 01:13PM
So good to hear from you guys! It's encouraging to hear of Gods faithfulness and provision amidst challenging situations. God bless you guys!
Gerald kelly said Sun, 04 Dec 2011 03:55PM
Hi folks Yes God is Great and his faithfulness endures forever. I have no doubt that you both will be blessed for your dedication to his work. god bless you both. Lots of Love Gerald & Linda
Adrian said Sun, 04 Dec 2011 04:48PM
Hi Paul and Tanya Wow what a great update. So encouraging to hear all that is going on. Nothing is more thrilling that seeing God at work in the everyday events of life and to see his concen for the most practical of details. Great to hear from you. I trust that you are both well and that you continue to see God doing great things
Neil said Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:29AM
Keep er lit Paul. Perhaps only eternity will reveal just how important and significant your work is!
Dan & Ivy said Thu, 22 Dec 2011 02:10PM
Hi Paul & Tania, it has been great to get your blogs throughout the year so we can keep up to date with your progress and pray for you. Wishing you both a very happy Christmas and God's blessing in all you do for Him in 2012.
Pauline Marshall said Fri, 10 Feb 2012 12:45PM
Great news you both are doing a great work i will be giving a talk at our GFS mission night and have picked up on a few we points the girls in the GFS think alot of our mission partners which is great God Bless you both

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