On Sunday morning, just was we were leaving to go to church, this lady showed up to say "thank you" for helping her. She had a very large goiter and had been unable to afford the surgery to have it removed. She came to us on Wednesday and the thyroid was removed on Thursday.
She was one of the 3,723 people we helped last week. This is a new record for us and we are grateful to be used by God for this mission of mercy. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin this new week.
In August of 2015, Rev. Tom Furrer met with Bishop Markus Dogo, who is the spiritual leader of the Anglican Diocese of Kafanchan. Along with a diocesan planning team, including two doctors, two clergy and the diocesan financial officer, they reviewed plans for a new clinic. The new clinic will be built in a town named Gidan Waya, about tem miles from the Diocese headquarters in Kafanchan. Gidan Waya is a medium sized city which presently has no medical clinic at all. The new clinic will be located immediately adjacent to St. Mark’s Anglican Church and the Anglican Junior Seminary. The school has 150 students, including about 30 orphans. There is housing at the school for the orphans. The land for the clinic is already owned by the diocese and is in an area which has been spared from violence inspired by religious tensions.
Our goal in locating the clinic adjacent to the church and school has may dimensions. First, we are replicating the early missionary model of connecting faith with education and healing. Secondly, we want to build and the reserve of community good-will already fostered by the church and school. We want to minister to a community through faith-formation, education and health care. Thirdly, we want to provide a training ground for students at the school who aspire to become doctors, nurses, lab technicians and pharmacists. Bishop Markus has a vision to eventually develop a larger health care facility here to minister to a wide range of medical issues.
Tonight we had a celebration -appreciation dinner to thank and recognize the 200+ volunteers that helped with our medical mission this year. Every volunteer got a certificate of appreciation plus some gifts. The speeches were mercifully brief (a miracle in Nigeria), the music was loud and the food was great. Lots of laughs and tears and "snaps" .
All together we served 7,704 people with medical care. Included in that number were over 200 surgeries and 894 people helped at the eye clinic. Even person and family was prayed for and over 300 people expressed a desire to make a significant spiritual commitment.
All of our team members are told exhausted and yet we are filled with gratitude and joy. Grateful to have been used by God for this ministry of mercy and love.
Pictured is one of our prayer team members praying with two sisters. We counsel and pray with every one of the 7,000 people we have helped these last two weeks. And if you add on the accompanying familyembers, we have prayed with many more people.
Healing takes place on many levels, physical, emotional and spiritual. Following the example of Jesus, we minister to the whole person and to family systems. We seek to encourage people to overcome their various challenges, in health care and on many other areas of life. We also invite them to accept Jesus as their Savior and follow him as their Lord. More than 250 have accepted that invitation since we began.
In everything we do, we strive to let every person know that they are loved by us, and more importantly, be God. This is the whole point of doing what we do- to demonstrate the love of Jesus through medical care.
These are 3 of the 858 people we helped today: grandma leaning on her walling stick, mom holding her child. Almost everyone comes here with family members. Autonomous individualism is not an African priority. Family loyalty is first; individual opinion and choice a distant second.
So when you heal a child or a grandma or a dad or mom, the effects are felt by all. We often have the whole family stop to say thanks after having been helped.
The date we have helped 5,396 people in 7 working days. That's a lot more than we have ever done before. We are all totally exhausted and very happy. It is a great blessing to serve God and our brothers and sisters in this way.
This is the launch team for our new clinic in Iburu - about 40 minutes drive from our main mission venue. Included above are 2 doctors, one nurse, 3 pharmacy workers, 2 registration workers, 3 security/crowd control workers, 2 prayer counselors, 3 media team members and the team leader.
We began the day with torrential rain and were all thoroughly soaked when we arrived at the clinic building at 11:15. At 11:30, we began seeing patients. And by 5:00 pm. we had helped 165 people with medical care.
Back at the main mission venue, we helped 754 people. Our combined total was 919 for both locations. This is, far and away, the highest number we have ever helped on one day. We are all very tired and yet very happy. We are grateful to be used by God for this good purpose.
What motivates people to stand in line for 10 hours, including 5 hours on continuous heavy rain, waiting to see a doctor? The only possible answer is that they are desperate and have no other options.
Despite very heavy rain, we had the largest crowd to date this morning. The line of people, arranged 5 abreast stretched a quarter of a mile down the road from our gate.
It was a miserable day by any standard and yet people stayed in line as the rain poured down. The rain finally ended by noon time. By the end of the day, we were able to serve 765 people. There were still more than 500 waiting at the gate, hoping against hope that they might get to see a doctor. Persistent people. Desperate people. Hopeful people.
Today we met Sister Rita (second row far left in group photo) who runs an NGO called "Hope For The Village Child" (HFVC). It's center is immediately adjacent to the venue for our medical mission. HFVC has programs for children and women in 6 areas: Womens empowerment, children's education, a medical clinic, a Rickets amelioration program, special needs children, and improvement of agricultural techniques.
We met to learn more about HFVC and to see how might work together in the future.
Amazing woman leading a very effective organization. We were all deeply impressed.