Like many countries now, DR Congo requires foreign travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure.  Tim had his Covid results in hand, but Kathy did not, even though the tests were taken at the same time.  Would be able to fly??  Or would we have to reschedule?  Before heading to the airport on the day of departure, with all 11 bags loaded up in the van, we made a quick stop at the clinic where our COVID-19 tests were done. And…..we were able to get the results and drive directly to the airport to get on the airplane with our 11 checked suitcases.
Now about that luggage….  Since almost all of our supplies from the States (and Canada) must be carried as luggage when we travel, we end up travelling with a lot of bags.  Shipping containers are only used for large medical equipment and incur heavy import taxes.  We ended up filling 11 suitcases with items for the work here in Vanga. The cost of luggage from St. Louis, across the Atlantic, as well as for the flight from Kinshasa to Vanga totaled $2,300.Was it worth it?  Keep reading…… 

We appreciate all our many donors who have continued to support us making it possible to purchase tickets and bring extra luggage with us to support the work here in Vanga.  The most exciting piece of equipment we brought with us was an ophthalmology slit lamp.

Carefully disassembled and packed Haag Streit slit lamp, like the one in this picture, was in our luggage for our Ophthalmology program.

     Our friends and partners in Canada donated a used slit lamp.  This will make our newly-trained opthalmologist very happy!  This slit Lamp would cost us $15,000 if we bought a new slit lamp in Kinshasa.  So yes, I’d say the baggage fees were well worth it!
Dr. Shannon Potter was able to give donated supplies for the Vanga Hospital Operating room.  In addition, the women of Third Baptist in St. Louis donated 70 layettes to give to the new moms giving birth at the hospital.


Tim and Kathy Rice welcome short-term volunteers who are in the medical field.
Christ followers back to the banks of the Kwilu River

Organizations related to this story: American Baptist International Ministries


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  • Timothy Rice

    Timothy Rice

    We would love to connect with anyone interested in either short term or long term work in Africa.