EMMA mission to Liberia 2013
Dates from: March 19th -6th April 2013
After the reconnaissance visit to Liberia in July 2012 it was decided that a team will go to serve Gods people in Liberia doing both gospel and medical work.
Upon arrival at Monrovia, received a very warm welcome by the President of the United Liberia Inland Church - who hosted us in a church guesthouse for a night ready for the 11 hour journey the next day across bumpy roads to Saclepea which is the interior of Liberia started by missionaries about 70 years ago. This was led by Rev John Bleah, Director of the Saclepea Mission.
Over 100 members of the local church waited to welcome us by the roadside in traditional costume, with dancing, banners and great joy! We stayed at the newly renovated guesthouse at the Saclepea mission station.
Each day started with a 5 minute gospel talk before the medical work commenced. Queues built up and there were opportunities to pray with patients as they were treated from various pains, infections, women's problems, children - providing physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as popular glasses. In Saclepea, evening missions were organised by ULIC and members of the team were involved in giving testimonies and preaching after the Jesus film was shown. and the team members prayed for those who came forward to commit their lives to Jesus at the end of the evening.
God had sustained the team in the heat and about 800 patients were seen over 3 days in Saclepea. The team also encountered great joy when a baby was born 10 minutes away in the bush! The mother and child were cared for by the team and a local gynaecologist (volunteering from a nearby maternity hospital) and some baby clothes were dispensed to the mother for her new born. At times the team encountered deep pain for e.g. A 3year old boy had malaria affecting the brain 3 months ago since we arrived and had been deaf, mute, and epileptic all that we could do was pray for him . Malnutrition is not an isolated problem children and adults face as they only eat a single meal of rice each day so it was encouraging to see 30 acres of swamp that was cleared to grow rice for the area.
The team members were divided and took part in the Sunday services in 2 churches with vibrant t African worship songs and vigorous dancing while some team members were tasked with preaching others bravely ran a Sunday school for 200 energetic children.
From Saclepea, the next mission station was Flumpa spending 3 days at each. Patients were examined on the dusty floors for lack of beds but the only difference was that no evening missions took place but gospel work was done through sharing testimony with patients and praying for them and with them.
In hilly Bahn, the team were greeted by joyful singing local women which felt like a celebration, as a kilometre uphill march to the mission station on a steep path.
The local church converted their hall into 16 temporary clinic rooms, constructed with wooden frames and plastic sheeting. The patients and local believers sat on the hillside around the entrance as we started the day with a song "Above All Powers" followed by a testimony and then the medical work . A local gynaecologist, joined the team for 2 days and patients were treated lying on an old mattress on the floor. The team continued to encounter deep sadness. Many epilepsy patients suffering from stigma, where families refuse to share food with them, and they are driven out from schools. Another issue was a girl who was deaf, mute and unable to walk after neurological damage from a failed abortion.
On the Saturday before Easter, the team ran seminars for the local church community and about 500 children attended the children’s programme. Seminars included diabetes, water sanitation and cardiovascular disease, how to share the Gospel clearly, how to disciple, for the youth it was on sex and marriage.
Easter Sunday was a great celebration. A team member spoke compellingly about Jesus' death and resurrection. 3 Liberian guys acted out the account, carrying homemade wooden crosses through the church hall. The 4 hour service was full of joy and up to 400 children attended Sunday school.
The mission trip concluded with a visit to a leper colony, the African Bible College, which offers theological training combined with practical courses like education and media but civil war destroyed the infrastructure - running water, electricity, sewer system, international schools, restaurants - putting the country 70 years backwards. The team also stopped at Hope Orphanage to donate clothes to babies whose mothers abandoned them, died in childbirth, or needed help with malnourishment and then the Liberian International Christian College building a library which will be open to local schoolchildren. It also has plans to build a health centre, and develop local agriculture. Most foods like rice and meat are imported currently, which Liberians find difficult to afford. During the trip, we've seen how the churches and Christian organisations are motivated to make a difference, step by step and many Christian men and women in their 20's and 30's have dreams of serving their country- as pastor, teacher, civil engineer, nurse, administrator, geologist- despite incredible hurdles in their personal lives. What a privilege to walk a few steps with them on this journey. A highlight had been the privilege of praying with a patient t accept Christ. What joy!
Reconnaissance Visit to Nimba County, Liberia July 2012
From the 20th to the 26th of July 2012 a reconnaissance visit was carried out to assess where both gospel and medical work could take place in March 2013 as there has been no such trip ever done in that country since the war which ended in 2006.
The team were invited by Daada Lougon and Pastor John Bleah in 2010 and 2011 respectively as they felt that this county would benefit from such an intervention.
Three of the six previous mission stations were visited and assessed and it was sad to see what the war had done to both the county and its people there. Churches and medical centres were in disrepair, neglected and lacked basic furniture, some of the rooms were not used to their full potential and pharmacies were practically empty. There are nominal Christians and some of them still believed in witch craft.
There is no agriculture in that area although at one time that county provided food supply for the whole country. There is much poverty and no capital to fund small business projects. Rice (staple food) and eggs are some of the provisions being imported.
It is felt that with the medical teams encouragement the Christian brothers and sisters in Liberia can live transformed lives and this can have an impact in their economic situation. Even though it is a drop in the ocean we can still make difference with the help of our Lord.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2Chronicles7:14)
Caroline and Henrietta Louis with Daada Luogon.
King's Village Mission, Ghana Oct 2012
A team of 11 health professionals (4 from Emmanuel Christian Centre, 4 from EMMA , 2 from USA and 1 from Ghana) embarked upon a weeks long medical missions and outreaches hosted by the Kings Village, Bontanga near Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana.
The team was made up of 5 doctors, 4 nurses, 1 nurse practitioner and 1 physiotherapist. Over the cost of 5 days we saw over 1200 patients with medical conditions ranging from malaria, gastroenteritis, hypertension, skin diseases, malnutrition and several tropical diseases. We spent two days of medical outreach in a village called Dalun (about 5km from the King's Village) and 2 days in a village called Saakuba (2 km from the Kings Village). This area is predominantly a Moslem population, very rural and very high in illiteracy. Majority of the inhabitants are also involved in traditional religion.
We had two nights of open air crusades where the Jesus Video in the local language (Dagbani) was screened. During the break, the gospel was preached and we had a total of 78 decisions made for Jesus Christ over the course of the week. Unfortunately rain storms prevented 3 nights of open air crusades.
Our host, Pastor Ben and Marion Owusu-Sekyere and the Kings Village staff really took care of us. On the Friday of the week, the team worked with the staff of the King's Medical Centre and our unused medications from the Medical Outreach was donated to the hospital. The team also made some gift donations to The King's School.
God bless you all for your prayers, support and financial giving toward this worthy cause.
Dr Kwasi Appiah, Team Leader Ghana 2012
Rural Andhra Pradesh, India March 2012
Dates: March 3rd to 17th 2012
The visiting team of 5
GP, Cambridge (team leader)
Emergency physician, Auckland, NZ
Primary care nurse, Margate
Occupational therapist, London
and supported by a general physician from Hyderabad, who joined us for the second week.
Our hosts were the pastors of churches belonging to or in relationship with the Sion Fellowship Ministries network. Students from the Sion Disciple Training Centre in Hyderabad took time out of their course to serve as translators and general helpers. Pastor YS Premkumar Babu (Prem) was the local coordinator, with whom Tony Males has worked on his previous visits.
The “hub” of the mission was Guntur where the team was accommodated in a comfortable hotel. Clinics were mostly held in villages between 10 and 30km from the town, except for one held in a small maternity hospital in Guntur itself and another in a large church building in Ponnur, a smaller town about 50km to the south.
The middle weekend of the mission was spent in coastal Chirala, when the team stayed in a beach resort and enjoyed some rest as well as conducting a Saturday clinic and contributing to a Sunday service.
Ponnur and Chirala
Most clinical days were followed by an evening outreach event held in or just outside a local church. One included performances of solo and group worship songs, and dances by a group of children. The visiting clinician sang and performed dramas at several meetings. Tony gave gospel presentations and there seemed to be responses from between 10 and 30 people each time, although it was hard to tell if these represented conversions or re-commitments from established believers.
Feedback after the mission from Prem indicated that the communities served were very grateful for their treatment and the local pastors were pleased with the raised profile of the churches.
The clinics themselves ran from late morning to early evening. We developed a triage system with Shanti Thumaty using her native Telugu to sort patients into those with optometric, musculoskeletal and medical problems (although many patients presented with more than one problem). There were then sub-waiting areas for the three clinical needs. Tony mainly saw those with visual problems.
Equipment and Drugs
The team members provided their own diagnostic equipment and collected around 1000 unwanted glasses. A similar number of ready-made glasses were purchased in Hyderabad in advance of the mission and drugs were obtained from local wholesalers. Supplies of both were topped up during the mission as needed. We had anticipated basic lab facilities as per the 2011 mission but unfortunately lab technicians were not available. As it turned out, there were no seriously ill patients apart from one girl with suspected typhoid. There were many anaemic women and the one piece of equipment that would have been useful was a haemoglobin level machine for reading capillary blood. We were able however to perform simple near-patient tests such as blood glucose, pregnancy tests and urine analysis.
· Eye problems: 1020
· Musculoskeletal problems: 452
· Gastrointestinal: 163
· Anaemia (mostly women of childbearing age): 86
· Respiratory :66
· Skin, including minor trauma and ulcers: 46
· Cardiovascular: 44
· Diabetes (only a few as new diagnoses:) 28
· ENT: 28
· Women’s health: 25
A grand total of 2360 patient encounters were recorded.
Dr Tony Males Team leader 2012
Maasailand, Kenya March 2012
From 8th to the 25th March 2012 a medical team from the UK visited several areas of southern Kenya ministering and providing medical care to the Maasai.
This was the second such trip to this area, the first being in March 2010.
The group were invited once more to bring ministry and medical help to the area by Pastor David Kereto of the Maasai Evangelistic Association.
We were 14 in number comprising of the following:
4 nurses, 1 physiotherapist, 1 occupational therapist, 5 GPs, a laboratory technician, and 2 dentists.
Through donations from individuals and churches and from fundraising, money was raised to purchase in the UK boxes of medical supplies, mainly medication, to be distributed free of charge at the three ‘camps’ that were set up during our trip in different very isolated areas of the country where medical provision was lacking.
Pastor Kereto had put out the word through Kenyan national radio and through church contacts on the ground that a medical team would be in a certain place for several days beginning on a particular date. Queues of people from babies to the elderly awaited our arrival each morning. From 9 till 6 each day then, medical and dental care was provided at no cost. The team had interpreters to assist them in speaking with the people.
Over 3000 folk were seen and treated in total. 100s of bad teeth were extracted!
There were many opportunities for the team to provide holistic care in its fullest sense, by presenting the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Team members gave testimonies and preached the word on many occasions. The local Christians I believe were greatly encouraged by our visit. Many people heard the Word of God, some even whilst waiting in a queue to see nurse, doctor or dentist .
In the evenings the “Jesus Film” was shown. A number during our stay expressed great interest in learning more about Christ and some made a commitment to follow Him. On-going vital discipleship of new Christians was left in the hands of Pastor Kereto and his team of pastors and church workers on the ground.
Monies left over at the end of the mission were left with Pastor Kereto along with unused medicines. The monies will support on-going medical care and treatment of particular needy children, and will also support the building of a Rescue Centre for teenage girls in distress.
We give thanks to God that the team remained healthy and worked very well together, a team in which many of the individuals had only met once or twice before at briefing sessions.
We give thanks to Almighty God to have been able to participate, even in a very small way, in providing healing for the body, and by His Grace healing for the soul, as the Word of God was preached.
“Not to us O Lord, not to us, but to your Name be the Glory , because of your Love and Faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1)
Dr Mark Harney, team leader 2012
Results from Past Missions
Kenya 2010 -17 'medics' treated 3,500 patients with 737 decisions for Christ.
India 2011 - 7 'medics' treated more than 2,000 patients; many responses to evening outreaches to crowds of over 200.
India 2012 - 5 'medics' 2360 patient encounters recorded.
Kenya 2012- 14 'medics'
Ghana 2012-11 medics 1200 patient encounters
Liberia 2013-15 'medics' 2748 patient encounters.