Jeff Bleijerveld (right), Director of Global Ministries
The following email was received Wednesday morning, January 11. Director Bleijerveld and associate director Michelle Harris are at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone with a medical team which will return on January 14.
Our time in Sierra Leone is running down but the patients are increasing, especially since we were interviewed on the radio.
With the increase in patients, we have also dealt with some challenging needs. Three children under two were admitted with cerebral malaria. This morning one of them passed away. Continue to pray for the other two. We have also had three women admitted with cervical cancer. All three are terminal. Nothing can be done by the doctors to change their diagnosis. As Dr. Ron Baker always reminds us, “We treat, but it is God who heals.”
Micheal, who had major surgery, is doing better. So are a number of other patients who have had a variety of procedures, including a successful c-section and two hernia repairs. A molar pregnancy and DNC will take place today.
We have meetings with Bishop John Pessima and the hospital board later this day. There are some important, yet delicate issues to deal with. We’d appreciate your prayers.
Tomorrow, a group will be doing a medical clinic in Madena where Francis Mustafa and his wife, Bobbi, have started an elementary school with 400 students. Francis is from Sierra Leone, but taught high school biology in Indiana for many years. In fact, he was recognized as Teacher of the Year in Indiana some 15 years ago. The group will also visit the missionary cemetery in Gbangbaia where Dr. Ron Baker’s eight-year-old brother was laid to rest following a boating accident. Also buried there are many other missionaries who succumbed to a variety of diseases as young adults.
Yesterday we signed a contract with Daniel Kamara. He will be the new business manager at the hospital and will help us stay on track with the new income from the solar and water projects. He will be moving here with his wife and daughter and get started on January 30.
The team is healthy (aside from itchy bug bites) and sleeping relatively well. Unity has been great, and our interactions with the leadership and staff have been very encouraging. However, the pressing needs and sorrow many of the patients deal with on a daily basis weighs heavy on our hearts. Pray with us that our work today and in the future might be effective and seasoned liberally with God’s love and mercy.