Dear Friends and Supporters,
Recently, I learned an African proverb: A Bashful Beggar Has An Empty Bowl*
Often, when telling a new person about Kateri Medical Services, someone will ask: “Are you a doctor?” And my answer is always: “No. I am a beggar.” I beg my American friends to help us pay doctors and nurses and midwives and lab technicians to serve people who cannot afford to pay for medical care. I beg on behalf of the rural and urban poor in Nigeria who live on less than $2 per day. And I try my best to be a non-bashful beggar. Why? Because it is a matter of life and death for many of the people we serve.
During the past 12 months, I have contracted COVID 19 twice (despite being vaccinated and boosted) and my heart has been misbehaving in ways that worry me and my doctors. In every case, I have received excellent medical care on very short notice. Within one day of experiencing any adverse conditions, I have been given appropriate medical help from competent and caring medical professionals. Each time I have received this extraordinary level of care, I think about the millions of people who have no medical care available. And that motivates me to beg un-bashfully.
These are the people our clinics serve – the poorest of the poor. Our motivation is rooted in our Christian faith. Jesus spent his earthly life teaching people about God’s love and demonstrating that love by healing the sick, the lame, he blind, the leprous and the mentally disturbed. Our goal is to continue the work of Jesus by healing hurting people. It is our way of demonstrating God’s love.
In this Thanksgiving season, we reflect on all of the material blessings we have received from
God, including good medical care. In the coming Christmas season, we reflect on God’s love for us expressed in the birth and life of Jesus in our world. We ask you to please share the blessings that God has given you by giving generously to our work of providing medical care to people who need it.
We really need your help. I am not a bashful beggar. Please fill the bowl as generously as you can.