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.
The September 1 devotional from Our Daily Bread features Partners in Compassionate Care's founder, David Bowman.If you've ever met Dave, you know what a humble man he is, but he wants his simple story to inspire others to continue to serve Christ even when they feel they are not qualified. God will do the work, but He will use people, who make themselves available, to reach others with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Visit Our Daily Bread to read the September 1 devotional, Age Is Not a Factor.
Partners in Compassionate Care is pleased to introduce Dr. Elijah Makander Makec Mangok as the new doctor and chief medical officer at Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok, South Sudan. Dr. Elijah comes to MCH after serving as a medical officer for UNMISS in Rumbek, ROSS. Even though he has extensive experience in surgery, Dr. Elijah prefers to teach preventative measures and approach treatment with conservative tactics and reduce the need for surgery and the potential for surgical complications.
12-year-old Ayak and her brother walked to Memorial Christian Hospital from their home village about 30 miles away. The girl was suffering from a sharp pain in the bottom of her foot which made the long journey on muddy dirt roads seem even longer. The children had first walked to the State Civil Hospital in Bor town, but the hospital has no X-Ray machine and was not able to diagnose the problem. The doctor at the state hospital referred the girl to MCH for X-Ray services since MCH has the only x-ray machine to serve the 1.4 million people in the region. Upon examining Ayak’s foot, MCH nurse Abraham Maduk found localized swelling in the painful area and what seemed to be a foreign object in the midst of the swelling. Grateful for the new x-ray machine at MCH, Abraham sent Ayak to the x-ray technician, Deng Bol.
Deng took two images of Ayak’s foot and found that she had a large, sharp fish bone in the bottom of her foot. Ayak’s brother said that in September of 2014, Ayak was playing barefoot in the Nile river near where the fish bones are dumped. She had been walking on this fish bone for almost a year. With the help of the x-ray, MCH staff were able to diagnose Ayak's problem.
Ayak’s family is grateful God led people to give to Partners in Compassionate Care which provides safe and affordable healthcare through the work of Memorial Christian Hospital. While MCH does charge a small fee for services, no patient is turned away because they cannot pay for treatment. In Ayak’s situation, the family paid a small fee of 65 SSP ($10) for the x-ray.
Without an x-ray in the area, the cost would have been much more. Ayak and her brother would have had to travel to Juba and pay either 1000 SSP ($200) for round trip airfare or 300 SSP for a very dangerous road trip. The family would also have the expense of food and accommodations in Juba. The x-ray services in Juba would have cost the family about 200 SSP ($30). Her brother would have to take time off from the family farm, which would had result in a loss of food for this farming season.
Overcoming obstacles of rain, mud, and lack of materials, the construction on the GROWTH Center on the compound of Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok, South Sudan has begun. It takes a big truck to tackle this job. Local contractor Abraham Chol boasts, "These trucks cannot get stuck." He says he is often called upon to pull government tanks from the mud. While Abraham was right that the truck did not get stuck, it did make a really big rut.
The idea for the GROWTH Center began years ago with a vision from PCC founder, David Bowman. The name is an acronym for the building's purpose:
The MCH staff remains optimistic and enthusiastic about the construction project. Their teamwork and positive attitude will be an asset through all the challenges that a project like this will likely bring. The building will be a valuable resource to provide a training facility and a meeting place for the entire community. Please join us in prayer as construction begins.
The rainy season is the time to raise crops in the village of Werkok. The challenges of insecurity over the last year have caused a severe food shortage, and it is very important that the agricultural season is successful this year.
To help meet the need of both the community and Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH), the staff decided to ask the government for some help. Two tractors were sent to the compound and the majority of the unused land was tilled to prepare for planting. The land was divided up into plots that each MCH staff member would care for. Some land was also provided for the general needs of the hospital compound and other land was made available to members of the community.
MCH Farm Manager, Michael Maguet, also make a demonstration plot utilizing the Farming God's Way techniques he learned during his training with Partners in Compassionate Care board member, Dan Janzen, last year. He planted okra in the demonstration plot and plans to compare the results with the okra planted in the traditional manner.
Fox News reporter, Cassie Arsenault, recently accompanied David Bowman on his 16th trip to South Sudan. The following are news reports aired on Fox 17 as a result of her visit.
PCC founder, David Bowman, will lead a notable team of first-time visitors to Werkok, South Sudan this week. The team includes two doctors, a nurse, a business consultant, a news reporter, and several non-profit leaders. Bowman, at 78 years old, is making his 16th trip to South Sudan and looks forward to celebrating a new decade of ministry with the arrival of the region's first x-ray and the reopening of the surgical suite in Werkok. Bowman says that he looks forward to meeting with the Memorial Christian Hospital staff, the community leaders, government officials, and others in a public celebration on April 3. "We will celebrate God's provision of this x-ray machine and the work of MCH that has saved thousands of lives in the past decade," says Bowman. "We also will be seeking God's guidance as we begin our 2nd decade of ministry."
Please pray for each member of Bowman's team, which departs March 28:
Cassandra Arsenault: Fox News Reporter and Journalist Erika Bauer: Registered Nurse Blodgett Memorial Hospital Intensive Care Unit Timothy Bauer: Founder, Capstone Ministries – www.capstone-ministries.com David Bowman: Founder of Partners in Compassionate Care – www.pccsudan.org Scott Bowman: Clareo Partners - www.clareopartners.com Mary Brown: Founder of Sow Hope - www.sowhope.org Dr. Kevin Laser: Severna Park Md. Dr. Pam Ogor: Family Practice Doctor - Milwaukee, Wi. Dr. Jeff Stam: Founder of Set Free Ministries – www.setfreeministries.com
The hospital was evacuated on December 30, 2013 and has since been seeing hundreds of patients everyday in mobile clinics in multiple locations. A few months ago, the staff began the process of reopening the hospital. First came the clearing of the tall grass from around the compound. This is a bigger project than getting out the lawnmower. First you cut the 4 foot tall grass with a machete, then you have to burn what's left. All while avoiding snakes, scorpions and spiders.
Next came the evaluation of the buildings and services. We found that bats had infested the hospital, dogs and destroyed the satellite system and everything was dirty - really dirty.
The work has been worth it. The hospital in Werkok is now operating (actually performing surgeries) once again. In patients are also being accepted at the Werkok facility.
The need for the mobile clinic in Bor remains high, so the staff is currently rotating between the two locations to best serve the community.
Executive Director Kevin Kinsinger arrived in South Sudan on a Tuesday and immediately went to work. Together with members of the Memorial Christian Hospital staff, a complete inventory, including expiration dates, of the hospital’s pharmacy has been completed. This gives the staff a snapshot of what medications are currently on hand in the pharmacy, and is the first step in being able to order medications in a predictive fashion so that the hospital has the appropriate medications on hand when they are most likely to be needed.
Keeping track of this important information is no small task since the team has been operating in multiple locations for the last year. Helping the staff complete this inventory will also assist in ordering the appropriate medication for the re-opening of the Werkok hospital. We look forward to being able to see surgical patients and care for in-patient needs once again.
Our year end emphasis is to raise the balance needed to send a portable x-ray machine to Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok, South Sudan. This will be the only x-ray machine in Jongelei state (approximately 1.25 million people reside here).
The initial donation came from Spectrum Health when they donated a complete x-ray room set up to PCC. We then worked with Block Imaging to give this equipment a second chance at life. They advised us to keep some of the equipment (saving approximately $40,000) and to trade in the remaining equipment for a machine that would be more appropriate for South Sudan.
So we ordered a portable x-ray machine, simple to operate and designed to stand up to harsh conditions. In fact, this is the same equipment used by the military. The unit comes with spare parts and will be easy for our staff to install once it arrives.
This machine, as well as the CR and spare parts, are crated and ready for shipment to South Sudan. We are also interviewing Sudanese who can be trained to operate the x-ray so that the MCH doctor can have access to vital diagnostic images and better serve the Bor County region.
Our goal is to raise $44,000 to cover the cost of the balance of the machine, air freight delivery, maintenance for the first year and the salary of an x-ray technician for the first two years. As of mid-December, we have gifts, pledges and pending grants to cover more than half the goal.
If you'd like to help send this x-ray machine to South Sudan, please click here and designate your gift "X-Ray".
*Online gifts made from December 17 - December 21 will be increased by 3% by a matching grant from our gift processing vendor.