Home > Andrew's Blogs, Mango Mission > Mango Mission # 14: Last Doctor Leaves Town

Mango Mission # 14: Last Doctor Leaves Town

Update # 14 from ABWE Missionaries in Mango, Togo – Northern Hospital Outreach.

February 15, 2009

We can tell that March is just around the corner.  For most of you that means spring is nearly here.  For us it means heat, plain and simple.  The women were preparing food yesterday, and the heat from the oven raised the temperature in the kitchen to over 100 degrees, with a much cooler 93 in the rest of the house.  Right now it’s 95 in our office, and both Esther and I are beginning to feel the lack of energy that we experience with constant heat.  Thankfully, by the end of April we can look forward to more reasonable temperatures (we hope).

I wrote last Monday about the meeting with government officials concerning the property we want to purchase for the Wendell Kempton Memorial Hospital.  We hope to have more information by tomorrow, as the report on planned airport expansion should be available to us.  Please continue to pray.  I learned today that there is, in effect, no longer a government hospital here in Mango.  We had heard that the doctor would be absent for two weeks.  Now we hear that it is more likely going to be several months, and that the doctor who has been here for a number of years simply said goodbye to Alain Niles, implying that he would not be coming back.  It’s hard to believe that the government would leave the entire region without medical care, but that is where we currently are.

From Tuesday evening through Thursday morning we had a team of Togolese, along with missionaries Sharon Rahilly and Judy Bowen, up for a visit.  The purpose was to discuss CHE, or Community Health Evangelism.  We learned, for example, that fully 85% of all diseases here in West Africa, are preventable.  It is much cheaper and better to deal with these diseases through prevention, than it is to cure them.  A team of Togolese Christians that has been trained to work in community health can establish long-term relationships with a community, and enable them to evangelize and make disciples in their community.  This is a great way to strengthen an existing church, or to establish a new one.  We definitely hope to start a CHE ministry here in Northern Togo.

I visited my friend, Imam Abdoulaye on Friday.  The previous week he neglected his medication (once again!) and it showed in a blood pressure of 200/110.  So I told him to try taking his medication for four days, and I promised to return and check on him this past Friday.  Could he remember to take his meds each day for four days?  He promised me that he would remember.  When I stopped in on Friday afternoon, he was visiting with his cousin, another Imam from a nearby village.  To lighten things up a little, I suggested taking the blood pressure for his friend.  He is about the same age, but thinner, and more active.  His pressure read 120/76, and he just beamed when I told Abdoulaye that it was perfect.  Now we had a good example to show him.  I was delighted when Abdoulaye’s pressure read 146/86, and I was able to say, “You see what happens when you take your medicine?” Now it was his turn to smile. He then thanked me for being a true friend, and for showing him love in my concern for him.  On Saturday morning he and his son came to visit us at our house, and he brought a gift of two pineapples to express his appreciation for my regular visits to his house.  Before he left, he made the statement that I have shown him a new way to live, and that he
wants to show love to others in the same way I had shown it to him!   My
prayer is that he might come to know the love of Jesus Christ, which is far above anything I can show to him.

Today we met for our Bible study at our house, since the owner of our guesthouse is in town for his mother’s funeral.  (She died four years ago, but local tradition requires a big to-do at some point within four to five years of death.)  He asked permission to stay at his house, and we could hardly say no.  Things will be back to normal next week.  But that kept the guard, Mumoni, from attending today’s study, since he was expected to remain at the guesthouse to care for the needs and wishes of the various government people attending the funeral.  In today’s study we looked at the Trinity, which is surely a hard doctrine for Muslims to accept.  With four Muslim men in the room, we wondered how it might go, but if there is strong disagreement, they are keeping it to themselves.  We know that the truth of scripture is spiritually discerned, and that leads us to remember each of these men in prayer.

We are getting moved into our house, and I’ll send some pictures, provided we have phone service tonight.  Phones have not been working most of the day.  A storm just moved in, and we have a rather strong south wind kicking up a lot of dust.  We actually heard thunder and felt a few drops of rain.  It’s the first rain in about four months, and it didn’t amount to much, but it is God’s way of letting us know that the heat will eventually bring the rain.  The rainy season is still at least two months away.  Oh, the storm kept Esther and me from getting out on our post-Valentine’s Day bike ride.

Thanks much for your prayer on our behalf, and while it is a rather mundane request, please pray that we might be able to get our washing machine repaired.  So far I’ve not had success with GE, the makers of the machine, and the local repairman in Kara wasn’t much help either.  It can’t be a major problem.  There is a good book on medical help titled, Where There Is No Doctor.  I wish someone would write a book on where there is no repairman.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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