Awa* huddled at the side of the dirt track suckling her just-born daughter. The forest night held its own dangers, but this was as far as she had been able to walk before the infant had insisted on making her appearance.
Her husband had helped her thus far and they had done their best with the delivery, but there were still some miles to walk before he could fetch the nurse. At least it was dry season. If the little one had been born during the heavy rains, they would have had a long slog through ankle-deep mud.
As morning dawned, a chuntering engine heralded her husband’s return, seated behind the nurse on an old motorbike. Awa was thankful that the nurse owned the vehicle and could come to her aid. Soon she and her baby were bundled onto the back of the motorbike and on their way to a medical facility in the city.
When Awa needs medical help, she must walk miles to the nearest clinic in the city.
Awa and her family live in a rural village out in the cashew forest where the dirt roads are rough and too narrow for cars or trucks. If they want to use a taxi, they have a long walk before they reach the end of a suitable road. During rainy season, the deep muds make the track impassable even for bicycles and motorbikes. When Awa needs medical help, she must walk miles to the nearest clinic in the city.
During rainy season the mud roads are impassable.
Meanwhile, far away in England, a 14-year-old boy was making plans. After nearly two years of cancer treatment, Josiah knew he would soon be going to heaven. Throughout his treatment, he had been aware that across the world, there were huge numbers of children who would never have the kind of healthcare he had been given. Now he wanted to do something for them. He asked his parents to choose a charity – Christian, medical, for children, in Africa – and to donate his money to be used there.
Far away … a 14-year-old boy was making plans. After nearly two years of cancer treatment, Josiah knew he would soon be going to heaven.
When Josiah’s parents chose to support our medical ministry here in Senegal, they suggested purchasing a piece of equipment. But the Lord had put a dream in our hearts – we asked if we could use Josiah’s gift as seed money to start a new medical outpost in a rural setting where people have difficulty accessing healthcare. The Lord has blessed that seed, growing the gift so that land has been purchased and work begun. And as we show the love of Jesus through practical service, we also share the good news about a relationship with Jesus.
A new health ministry
Awa and families like hers are excited about the new clinic that is being built in their village. Soon they will have access to medical care without the long trek to the city. Health checks, maternity services and basic treatments will be available only a few steps away.
As Awa watches her daughter Ndeye running and playing with the other village children, she knows that in the near future, it will be less likely that another baby will be born at the side of the road.
Please pray with us that this new health ministry will be established well and will be a good witness. Pray that the Lord would open the hearts of the local people to receive the good news of Jesus. And pray that the Lord would raise up co-workers who share our passion for quality, compassionate health care given in Jesus’ name.
Foundations are laid – an update
From old to young, everyone was involved in laying the foundation stone on 8 January 2023. Give thanks that the new clinic is being established. Watch the film here.
As we show the love of Jesus through practical service, we also share the good news about a relationship with Jesus.
*Some names are changed for security reasons
UFM workers serving in evangelism, medical care and hospitality in Senegal