On March 20, 1968, four years after his death, Loko Hospital was dedicated in memory of Dr. Paul Carlson. 50 years later, the CEUM (Covenant Church of Congo) held a celebration and worship service on April 14-15, 2018 to thank the Lord for the legacy of the hospital and what God has done over the years.
On Saturday, following a worship service, CEUM doctors gave an overview of the history of the CEUM medical work, particularly at Loko Hospital. Certificates of recognition were given out to many who have served at Loko over the years. Madame Ngbako Mbilisi Anastasie, Minister of Health for the Nord-Ubangi Province, also gave a speech. Pete and Cindy Ekstrand, ECC/Serve Globally missionaries, attended the celebration and read a letter from Paul Carlson Partnership.
Dr. Justin Gado, Medical Director of the CEUM, presented a 25-year plan for Loko Hospital:
- Complete Hospital Services – laboratory, incubators, resuscitation capacity
- Human Resource Development – staff training in all areas, specialists in eye care, sonograms, and radiology
- Infrastructure – improving the hospital building, water source, and solar power.
Sunday’s worship and celebration service included a speech from the Nord-Ubangi governor’s representative. With 1,681 people in attendance, he turned to Pete and Cindy and said in Lingala, “Please convey to the Americans our profound gratitude. Their gift of Loko continues to give to the Congolese population without priority for tribe, language, or religion. The palm tree when alive gives us shade, oil and even palm wine. When it falls down and starts to deteriorate it produces other items for us, such as mushrooms. And lastly it gives us compost for our gardens. We celebrate the fruit of Paul today. Don’t leave us. Don’t abandon us. We are committed to this partnership.”
He then turned to local government officials in the area and said, “Protect Loko. Take care of it.” To those in attendance he said, “Protect the hospital and its equipment. You need to love your country and your province.”