Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are celebrating our 20th year. We began with one small clinic in May of 2003. Now we have eight. Despite many trials and challenges, especially in the last three years, we have continued to help more people every year. This past year (2022) we helped more people than ever before: 29,128.
How did this happen? Three words sum it up: Prayer, Partnerships and Perseverance.
PRAYER. We began with a visit to our friend, Bishop Josiah Fearon, in Nigeria. We were looking for a way that our relatively small parish in Connecticut could help his diocese in some way. While we were there, we visited an empty building in which the diocese wanted to start a rural clinic to help rural poor people with medical care. Right then and there, God spoke to us and gave us the vision to help fund a doctor and two nurses to get started. Ever since then, we have relied on the guidance and encouragement from God through prayer. Prayer is the “rocket fuel” that propels our work.
PARTNERSHIPS. The key to the resilience of our work is that we don’t micro-manage things from the US. We work with reliable local partners and we trust them to make the day-to-day decisions that are needed to function in a very challenging environment. Our first level of partnership is with local dioceses of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. (We currently have 8 clinics in 6 different dioceses.).
We have also benefited from partnership with other faith-based medical ministries working in Nigeria. For many years, FaithCare (with active chapters in the US and Nigeria) has helped us with intensive medical outreach missions, providing a dedicated team of surgeons to augment the efforts of our regular clinic staff. More recently, we have partnered with Cornerstone Health Foundation to do mobile clinics for urban and rural poor which we have been unable to do because of the worsening security problems. While many other charitable organizations have withdrawn from Nigeria, we have increased our work. These partnerships have helped us to serve many more people than ever before.
PERSEVERANCE. Over the past 20 years, we have had many challenges to our work. The last three years have been the most challenging, by far: COVID, a ruinous multi-year recession, kidnapping, tribal warfare, marauding gangs and a general breakdown of law and order. And yet, in the face of these challenges, our local partners have found a way to persevere and we have continued to support them with our financial support.
And that is all thanks to you, our loyal and generous supporters. Please keep giving as generously as you can. You are making a real difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on earth.
Rev, Tom Furrer