South Sudan, the newest country in the world, received its independence in 2011. Due to continuing conflict among tribal communities, the country remains void of infrastructure and in need of many things—especially protein. Children who do go to school, are often weak and don’t perform well due to malnutrition.
Cindy and Rachel Warner, working in collaboration with Partners in Compassionate Care [PCC], are making measurable change in South Sudan. As PCC addresses the considerable medical needs, Cindy and Rachel are helping to expand their community development by supporting the community through a Sudanese-run chicken farm. This farm provides a renewable source of food and income which is essential as they build their country from the ground up.
Visit the Partners in Compassionate Care website to learn more about how you can take part, or email Cindy and Rachel with questions.
We are getting close to opening the Women's and Children's clinic in Bor. Here is a photo of the freshly renovated facility. Some staff from MCH hospital will relocate to this clinic to be more available to women and children who can't travel to the hospital. We are pleased with the clinic's progress and are excited it will be opening soon. The Bor location will be extremely beneficial to patients during the rainy season, which is quickly approaching. The rainy season makes the roads between MCH and Bor extremely difficult to travel. More to come on this in our summer newsletter.
Our new Growth Center is currently being constructed in Werkok. We are excited to see the progress and thank you for your support in making this happen. Kevin Kinsinger is at Memorial Christian Hospital now and provided the following report: One of the things I have been doing this week is being the eyes and ears of Steve H., PCC's construction expert, as the new Growth Center is being constructed on site. As you can see from the photo, the steel sheeting is going up on the roof. Just now when I took this picture the guys up on the roof said it was too windy. I agree, the wind is blowing fairly hard at times. The thing that surprised me is that there was no mention of the heat. There is just a very light hazy overcast in the sky at times and I just measured the temperature IN THE SHADE and it came in at 96.5 F!!!!!! I have no idea what it is in the sun, let alone what it is on the roof and one of those guys has no shoes on up there!
There are many exciting things happening at MCH and South Sudan. We will be sharing more stories soon. Please continue to pray for our friends in Sudan.
Partners in Compassionate Care is very excited to enter the 11th year of bringing hope and healing to our brothers and sisters in South Sudan. We cannot count the many blessings that God has given over the last 10 years. While South Sudan is now a free and independent nation, the challenges that inspired the construction of Memorial Christian Hospital remain the same: very high infant and maternal mortality, minimal access to quality healthcare, poor sanitation, rampant incidence of preventable illnesses, etc.
I want to narrate story of a woman who came to Memorial Christian Hospital during the time I served as MCH Site Administrator. A pregnant woman walked onto the hospital grounds around noon accompanied by her husband and two other women. The poor woman had been in labor for about two and half days and traditional birth attendant could not help her anymore. The family decided to walk (covering a distance of about 3 miles) to MCH to seek professional help.
The family arrived safely, but our doctor was in Bor town for his weekend time off. The nurse examined the baby and the mother and found the baby’s heart rate was good, but the mother was exhausted due to prolonged labor. Nurses found the cervix dilated to the fullest, but the mother had no more energy to push. The nurses measured the cervix and they determined that the cervix was too small for the baby’s head to pass through. The nurses concluded that the mother needed a cesarean section, but there was no way to contact the doctor and no running vehicle that could take the woman to another town. We were helpless.
Before I tell you how this story ends, let me tell you why I’m sharing it with you. Memorial Christian Hospital is in the same situation today as we were at that time. We serve a rural community and currently have no running vehicle. The roads are often impassable due to mud and ruts and even in the dry season, the conditions are very harsh. Without a vehicle, we are not able to transport patients and supplies when needed.
Now back to my story. We asked the family to carry the mother to the road junction and maybe they would be lucky to find a vehicle going to Bor Town. The two women agreed, but the husband strongly disagreed saying that he did not want his wife to go through C-Section. The woman being submissive to her husband and not aware of her rights, remained silent during our attempt to convince her husband. We became frustrated with the man and asked him to sign a document indicating that he refused to follow medical advice to take the woman to Bor for surgery. During this time, the staff and relatives began to pray, asking God to soften this man's heart. At the end of our prayers, the husband agreed to take his wife to the road junction where they would wait for a vehicle to take them to town.
As we were preparing the blanket to carry the woman to the road junction, the woman insisted that she would try to walk. I was amazed and humbled by her courageous attitude. I silently prayed to God, “Lord this woman has already broken water and the baby’s head is already on the cervix and she wants to walk?” I went into my room and cried.
As I was crying in my room, many thoughts came to my mind. If this was the United States, this woman would have been at the emergency room within a few minutes and the needed procedure would have been done many hours ago. But this woman and her unborn child are going to die because they happen to be in South Sudan. They are going to die because I could not transport them to Bor Hospital on time. More importantly she is going to die just because she is a woman in South Sudan.
The family managed to get the woman to the road junction and they found a vehicle that took her to Bor hospital. She had a C-section and by the grace of God, the baby boy was born healthy. They spent two days at the hospital and then were discharged. The next month, the mother brought the baby to MCH for immunizations. We all celebrated what God had done for her and the child.
The reason I am telling this story is to highlight the urgent need for a vehicle at the MCH. Our old vehicle has had too many trips over the very rough roads and is now beyond repair.
The good news is that the US dollar goes a long way in South Sudan and the cost of a brand new vehicle is the same as what we bought a used one for in the past. The total cost of a new 4-wheel drive Land Cruiser is $45,200 including shipping, taxes and all the registrations. Amazingly, God had already provided $5,000 through an anonymous donor. We are asking for your help so that we can secure this vehicle for MCH as soon as possible.
Make a secure online gift HERE!
With gratitude for your care and help,
Deng Jongkuch Partners in Compassionate Care Executive Director
When PCC was founded in November 2003, our desire as a Board was to someday see both the Hospital in South Sudan and Partners in Compassionate Care in Grand Rapids being led by Sudanese. We were blessed to have Jacob Gai (a former "Lost Boy") after he graduated from Grand Valley State University in June 2009 become our first Site Administrator at Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH). Jacob stepped down when his contract expired in July 2011. Then God led us to Deng Jongkuch, (another of the "Lost Boys") who had earned a Masters in Public Health Degree in San Jose, California, to serve as our second Site Administrator. Deng served in that position until June 30, 2013 when he had decided to bring his family to America after his contract expired. Deng gave a great report to PCC of what our strengths and weaknesses were at MCH in July 2013. The PCC Board was amazed with his wisdom and insight. After that meeting with the Board, I suggested that we consider Deng to become the Director of Development for PCC subject to God providing funding to PCC for him and his family. This was a big step for PCC since we were all volunteers and had never had any paid staff in the US.
Even though the PCC Board knew that we served a BIG GOD, we were simply amazed when God provided more than enough funds for his first year of salary in just a couple of weeks. Deng and his family moved to Grand Rapids from Louisville, Kentucky in September 2013 and now works daily with me and other Board members. He has been a phenomenal blessing to the PCC Board and has brought us to the next stage of ministry.
I recently presented my vision for the future of PCC and suggested that the time had come for PCC to be led by a Sudanese. Rev. Kevin Kinsinger, who had served as PCC's Executive Director, willingly stepped aside (Rev. Kinsinger remains a PCC Board Member) and Deng Jongkuch was elected as PCC's new Executive Director. Congratulations Deng!!
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter to introduce PCC’s new Executive Director, Deng Jongkuch. He has prepared the enclosed letter for you to highlight the recent accomplishments and current needs of Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok, South Sudan. Deng has a unique insight to the challenges of the hospital because he is Sudanese and he served as Site Administrator for two years.
January is the beginning of 12 years of working in South Sudan. God has done many amazing things for PCC on behalf of Sudanese who have struggled through years of civil war. The road has not been easy for us - actually there are no roads in South Sudan and we have been blazing new trails, figuratively and literally, in this fledgling country.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers and support over the years. As I prepare for my 17th visit to South Sudan, I am reminded that this ministry is truly a partnership of God’s people being the hands and feet of Jesus as we share hope and healing with people who so desperately need it.
With sincere gratitude,
David Bowman Partners in Compassionate Care Founder and Chairman
It has been a longtime goal of Partners in Compassionate Care (PCC) to support a village in opening their own self-sustaining clinic, and now that dream is realized. It has taken many months, but the village of Malek has prepared a building that is now a clinic operated under the guidance of Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) and the Malek Diocese. After a few finishing touches the week before, the Malek Clinic opened on November 2nd with much joy and celebration. Children from the Malek Diocese Choir shared song and dance that brought tears of joy to those in attendance. The Mayor of Bor attended the celebration as well as many other regional dignitaries.
41 patients were seen on opening day and 61 on the next day. The clinic is staffed by Abraham Maduk and John Garang from MCH who provide diagnosis and treatment for most conditions and refer those needing additional services to MCH or another facility. The village provided the building for the clinic and PCC provided the start-up supplies and staff. The clinic will be sustained through patient cost sharing. If this project is a success, it may serve as a model for other villages as well.
Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) has the only x-ray machine in the greater Bor region, which has proven to be useful in a number of ways. A woman was recently referred from Bor Community Hospital to have x-rays done of her head, shoulder and arm. The woman first sought medical care after being beaten until unconscious, reportedly by her son-in-law. Domestic violence is not uncommon in South Sudan, and police want to make sure that people inflicting this type of injury are brought to justice. It was for this reason that the police asked MCH to conduct x-rays and determine the extent of her injuries. These images, along with her medical report, became part of the investigation and court case to follow.
Helping end domestic violence by bringing perpetrators to justice is part of being a good citizen. Partners in Compassionate Care joins with South Sudanese citizens to care for the oppressed and stand against injustice.
Mary Brown, founder of Sow Hope, traveled with David Bowman and Fox news reporter, Cassie Arsenault, to South Sudan this past Spring. In addition to the news articles reported by Cassie, the following Pay it Forward feature told the story of Mary's passion for women in poverty. Much of the video shown in this report was filmed at Memorial Christian Hospital and in the surrounding villages.