This lady has four children. Her husband is a block layer who is no longer able to work because of an injury. She supports her family by cooking food over an open wood fire and selling food to foot traffic walking by her house on a busy city street. The wood smoke hurts her eyes. She is not able to see out of one eye. Do tors have told her to quit cooking over wood fire but she has no other way to support her family. She is one if the hundreds of people who came to our eye clinic thus week. We are working in partnership with a local eye hospital which provides medicine and eyeglasses.
These two old folks we're waiting at the gate when we opened up at 5:00. AM. The man is a Muslim and offered an opening prayer to start the or nine devotions. The 90 year old woman is a Christian and offered the closing prayer for the morning devotion. They were on the crowd of over 1,000 that was gathered at the gate when we started seeing patients. We worked hard all day and helped 750 people. By the end of the day, there were 500 people that we were not able to help.
These figures underscore the depth of human hurt and the desperately needed medical care. One family arrived at 12:30 AM after a 3 hour car ride from Jos. They slept on the ground until we opened the gates at 8 AM. There are hundreds of stories like these.
We team members are totally exhausted at the end of each day. We are able to help more people than we have ever done before and yet it is still a small drop in a vast ocean of human need. Even though exhausted, we are all grateful to be here and doing what we are doing. Every morning, I go out and tell the waiting crowd that we are all here for one reasononly; to express the love of Jesus through medical care. That is our motivation and that is our strength.
We are helping unprecedented numbers of people this year. For the past several years, we have helped an average of 500 per day. This year is different. Due to an amazing increase in the number of Nigerian doctors and nurses, and an amazing tell of servant hearted volunteers from Kaduna diocese, we have been helping many more than in previous years . First day:775; second day 860; by noon on third day 500.
In the photos you can get some idea of the enormity of the crowds gathered at the gate each morning. It is a very challenging job to maintain order and keep people on lines to insure fairness to everyone
And it's important to remember that behind every one of those numbers is a person. A sick child bad his worried mother. A family in distress. People who have no resources seeking medical care they can't afford.
Above are some faces of children. Look into their eyes. This is why we are here to help hurting people and so demonstrate the love of God.
Record Day For Faithcare First Day in Kaduna, Nigeria
Despite a few glitches in our start up on Monday mornong, we set a record for the first day on a Faithcare medical outreach. We helped 775 people with medical care today.
We had four things contributing to this great result : 1) servant hearts of so many team members, 2) more doctors than usual due to a national strike, 3)good weather, 4) all of our and your prayers. Please keep them up.
Faithcare Team worshiped at two churches this morning Contemporary church at St Matthews Cathedral, and St Christopher . Both strong supporters of our medical mission.
After 27 hours of air and ground travel, the American Faithcare Team arrived in Kaduna. At the airport, there were no obstacles at customs and we sailed right through. This was an as we're to prayer and a testimony to the advance work of our hosts. We are resting now and will begin setting up the medical clinic on Saturday night. Thank you all for your prayers. we will keep you posted.
The annual trip to Nigeria with the FaithCare team is set with the team leaving on July 24 and returning on August 9. Four members from Trinity Church will join other members from southern Connecticut and New York.
As in previous years, the team will set up on the diocesan property of Jacaranda. The amenities on site make it an ideal location. The large conference hall serves as a triage area, lab, dental clinic, and pharmacy. One dormitory serves as an operating theater while another dorm is used as an eye clinic. Team members lodge on the premises and are able to eat at the restaurant that is located near the dormitories. The compound is walled, making it easy to control the crowds and provide adequate security.
The disadvantage of using this property is that it is located on the outer boundary of a major city, Kaduna. It is a trek from rural villages where the poorest of the poor usually reside. However, many are willing to make the trip and arrive mid-way through the first week.
Last year, just over 6,500 people received medical care, a new record for the trip. This year, with more medical people from the U.S. participating, the team is hopeful that the record can at least be matched if not broken!
The following team members ask for your prayers:Dr John Nwangwu, team leader; Ven. Tom Furrer, Paul and Peter Williams, Dr. Randy Owen, nurses Erica Lussier and Kathryn Bartus, Dr. Tioluwa Olokunde, and Elaine Chagnon.
Dr.Tioluwa Olokunde Receives Advanced Degree
Dr. Tioluwa Olokunde, long-time participant in the FaithCare mission in Nigeria, was awarded her Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University on May 19. In attendance were well-wishers and friends from Trinity Church, Tariffville, as well as friends and
relatives from New York and Maryland. It was two years ago when Dr. Tioluwa stepped off the
plane in Newark with all of her belongings in tow, her first trip out of Nigeria. Church members collected her and got her set up in her dormitory room, just in time for classes to start several days later. In an amazing transformation, the shy young woman from Nigeria has
become a presence that speaks volumes...and people listen! She was voted by her peers to give the commencement speech, which she did with grace and wisdom. Her personal testimony, along with her advice to “dream big” were inspiring to her peers and the attendees. We are excited as she begins a new chapter...with congratulations.
Dear Friends and supporters of Kateri Medical Services,
As I write this, I am preparing for our annual medical mission trip to Nigeria. This will be my 13th mission trip to Nigeria. Every year, I find the trip to be totally exhausting – and totally fulfilling. Both at the same time. Last year, we helped 6,571 people in two weeks. I am hoping that we can help that many, or perhaps more, this year.
We are now in the process of reconstructing our web site www.katericlinic.org . We will be posting daily reports of our mission trip on our website. So please go to the web-site to read the stories of the many thousands of people we will be serving this year.
As you may know, Nigeria is a turbulent country. Over the past five years especially, the trend toward violence has increased under the Boko Haram reign of terror. This reality has made it more difficult for us to do our work. In response, we have been forced to relocate our intensive medical mission away from Kateri Clinic because of security concerns. We have also had to in-crease our security measures. In the early years, we had no security whatsoever. Now we have the Nigerian Secret Service, the Nigerian Army Special Forces and the Nigerian Peace Corps helping to protect us and our patients when we conduct our missions. Despite the risks, we are determined to continue this work because the people we serve are in such desperate need.
On a more positive note, a new president has been elected in Nigeria with a mandate to stop the terrorist vio-lence and to clean up corruption. President Buhari is a retired Army General with a reputation for toughness, honesty and a true patriotism that seeks the common good. From everything I have heard and read since the election, there is good reason to think that things are improving in Nigeria. Please keep the nation and our medical mission in your prayers.
And please keep supporting our work. We have helped more than 130,000 people over the past 13 years. Every year our numbers increase. Please help us continue with your prayers and generous contributions. Every dollar that you donate to Kateri Medical Services, Inc. goes directly to pay clinic staff and medicine. We have no overhead costs of any kind. We all volunteer our time and even the postage to mail this newsletter is donated by Trinity Church in Tariffville. Every dollar you give goes directly to providing medical care to very poor peo-ple. That is our promise to you.
Ven. Thomas Furrer
President of Kateri Medical Services, Inc.