The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
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    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
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    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
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    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
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    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Farrans' work in South Africa continues 2012.11.28

Written by David Green.

farran.interiorBy DAVID GREEN

When a patient returns home from Calvary Care Home in Richards Bay, South Africa, it's a bittersweet moment for Kyle and Heather (Fankhauser) Farran.

As directors of the hospice home, the Farrans are delighted to see an HIV-positive person become well enough to leave. But on the other hand, they know they aren't saying goodbye for good.

"We know they'll be back," Kyle said, because the recovery won't last. Still, the former patients are welcome back whenever the need is there.

"When sickness returns," Kyle said, "we want them to come stay with us for a couple weeks."

In 2007, the Farrans moved to Richards Bay to begin work with the Zulu AIDS population for the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. They left with the financial backing of several churches and individuals in the United States, and more assistance was obtained a few years later when they saw the need for a hospice home. 

The four-bed facility opened in November 2011. That's when the hard work began, Kyle said. He picks up and drops off patients, leads Bible study and handles the administration and maintenance of the care home. Heather, a Morenci native, handles the medical side of the facility and provides training for the staff.

When patients began arriving, the Farrans were in for a surprise. They thought their center would serve as the last resort for their guests. Instead it was a more of a stepping stone.

"The vast majority were able to go home," Kyle said.

Heather, who trains the hospice staff members, explained what they learned about HIV-positive patients: They face continual cycles of health and sickness.

"We never really know which time of sickness will be too much for their immune system to handle and bring about death," she said.

When a person is admitted to the center, there's no way to know what lies ahead.

"What has been incredibly exciting is seeing very sick people get stronger and go back to their homes," Heather said. "There are many variables involved in this, but a few are a clean, germ-free environment, compassionate care, quality food and getting them properly back on their medications."

The  cultural stress of facing AIDS in the Zulu populations can further weaken a patient. HIV-infected victims are ostracized by their families. The Farrans' first patient had been kicked out of her own home by family members.

The health prognosis for the Richards Bay area doesn't look good.

"Nothing is really improving," Kyle said. "If anything, things are getting worse as tuberculosis numbers rise. Because of a compromised immune system, HIV-positive patients easily succumb to TB and battle to fight it off."

From the start, the Farrans wanted Calvary Care Home to serve as a model for others to replicate, and that desire might become a reality.

"We were able to show the facility and share our training material with a family from another city hoping to start this type of hospice care," Kyle reports.

In addition, Heather was asked to lead some training sessions for other hospice groups when the Farrans return to South Africa.

The couple has no idea how long they'll stay in Richards Bay, but for now their direction is clear.

"We see the need in South Africa and want to keep working to care for those dying from AIDS."

A very challenging year is coming to a close for the Farrans. They say they're continually learning and they still love what they're doing.

Each day in Richard's Bay they work to fulfill the motto of their clinic: Loving people to the last breath.

 

OPEN HOUSE—Kyle and Heather (Fankhauser) Farran have scheduled an open house from 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Morenci Area High School cafeteria. Guests are invited to stop in for a quick visit or stay for a PowerPoint presentation on their ministry, scheduled at 2 and 6 p.m.

"Because our furlough is very short," Kyle said, "we are unable to visit every church [that has supported us], but we would love to see everyone."

To make contributions for the operation of the care home and for the Farrans’ personal expenses, find details on their website at www.farran.abwe.org.

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