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.
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.
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.
Dan Janzen, PCC Board member, and Michael Maker, MCH Farm Manager, recently visited with the diocese of Malek. This meeting wasn’t about healthcare, however, it was about agriculture. When the meeting was initiated they were told they were the first group to meet with their newly establish diocese. This meeting resulted in an invitation for Janzen and Maker to return to the village on Tuesday, February 17th and conduct a training on stewarding the resources God has given each of us. While the program is geared around agriculture, it is taught in such a way that students naturally begin looking at every area of their life as a gift from God for which they are responsible.
Janzen has taught Maker how to conduct the training, which they’ve done at least a dozen times together, and now Michael teaches the program himself in his native Dinka language. “It’s far more effective to have Michael teach, since he doesn’t need a translator,” says Janzen. He goes on to explain how important it is to equip young leaders like Michael with the skills to teach others rather than always having a western face at the front of the lecture hall.
More than 60 farmers from Malek attended the training taught by Janzen and Maker on February 17th. The program concluded with each attendee receiving a packet with a variety of vegetable seeds.
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.
Jima was brought to the Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) mobile clinic in Bor by his parents. He was unconscious and the family explained that they had already taken him to the civil hospital where they were told he had no illness. Friends advised they take him to see the skilled staff at MCH.
Dr. Gai examined Jima and ran some tests which showed he was suffering from cerebral malaria, an often fatal condition. Jim was very weak and ill and his family and even the MCH staff were concerned he would not make it. When Jima began to improve, his parents thanked the MCH staff for healing him. Dr. Gai replied, "give thanks to God since He is the healer." Join us, along with Jima and his family, in thanking God for restoring this young man's health.
by Deng Jongkuch
Many people did not believe they would live to see the day of independence for South Sudan. It was a joyful day for those who were born before the first civil war and equally to younger generations born in the refugee and displaced people camps. Independence was a hope that many South Sudanese wished to see, but it came at a cost of more than 2 million people’s lives since the beginning of the second civil war.
The people of the Republic of South Sudan will be celebrating the third anniversary of their independence from the Republic of Sudan on July 9, 2014. The people of South Sudan have experienced prolonged civil wars since 1955 before Sudan was independent from British colonial powers in 1956. The first civil war started in 1955 and ended with the 1972 peace agreement. This agreement was abrogated by the Khartoum regime and forced Islam on the People of Southern Sudan. This led to the 1983 civil war that lasted for 22 years. The international community and regional leaders helped negotiated a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that allowed the South to decide through referendum if they wanted to remain part of Sudan or have a separate country. On July 9th, 2011, the people of South Sudan voted to have a country of their own. The Republic of South Sudan was born after more than 45 years of bitter struggle against the Arab and Islamic dominated Sudan.
More than 4 million Southern Sudanese were displaced from their homes during conflict. Millions seek refuge in neighboring countries and some resettled in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Many South Sudanese who sought safety in refugee camps would not believe that one day they would have a nation of their own. These people experienced so many humiliations in the hands of the host countries. They did not have a freedom to choose what to eat, wear, drink, or sleep. The host countries denied them freedom of movement and confined them in refugee camps for so long. Millions of people were separated from their families for many years and now they are united again.
There is nothing more important than having freedom in your own land. South Sudan independence from Sudan has brought freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom to farm and grow food. These are basic human freedoms that are celebrated today by South Sudanese.
The government of South Sudan has been disabled by many issues to deliver basic services to the people of South Sudan. The current conflict shocked many South Sudanese because nobody was aware that South Sudanese would be fighting themselves after long civil wars. Despite the current conflict, all South Sudanese are celebrating because they know nobody will take away the Republic of South Sudan.
The past 6 months have been very difficult for PCC and our Staff at Memorial Christian Hospital in Werkok. On December 30, we had to evacuate our Staff and close the MCH due to the 15,000 Rebels in the White Army advancing toward Werkok and Bor. We sent out many emails asking prayer for a hedge of protection and a legion of angels around MCH and God answered your prayers!! I believe that these rebels saw angels surrounding MCH as nothing was looted or destroyed as many of the other homes and properties were destroyed in Bor and surrounding communities. Even though our Staff and PCC have endured struggles these past 6 month, PCC has seen the faithfulness of God in the following ways:
- He has enabled us to open a clinic in the Capital City of Bor at the Mission Garden of Christ (MGC).
- We opened a 2 room Clinic in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp across the Nile River where 100,000 Sudanese have fled the fighting.
- We have been treating an average of 130 persons per day in both clinics which has saved many Sudanese lives.
- The used vehicle that we purchased in 2006 is not repairable, but a donor has contributed $15,000 for another vehicle.
- The Minister of Health for the Jonglei State, Dr. Angok Kuol Tiir, visited our MCH Staff recently and he told them that the MCH is rated by the Sudanese Public as the number one Hospital in the entire Jonglei State.
- Due to the increase patient load, PCC is going to hire 2 new Nurses, 2 new Pharmacy Technicians, and a new Lab Technician. We also are hiring a Sudanese to be in charge of logistics for MCH. This will enable our Administrator to stay on the MCH Compound to do his job
- We are planning to reopen MCH in July as there are many patients seen in the clinics who are needing surgery. We also feel that Sudanese who fled communities to the IDP Camp will feel that security has returned when MCH is reopened.
When PCC was founded in 2004, our goal was to someday turn MCH over to Sudanese leadership. The PCC Board felt that Rev. Dr. Stephen Mathiang is the Sudanese Leader who is capable of providing the oversight and leadership for MCH. We have worked with him from our beginning days in 2003. Pastor Stephen built the Mission Garden of Christ Leadership Training Center in Bor that is just 11 miles from MCH. When I was with the Staff in Bor in April, I discussed PCC's desire to have MCH be under a Sudanese Non Governmental Organization (NGO). After much discussion and deliberation, the MCH Staff unanimously agreed with this plan. PCC will continue to be involved with MCH but will do so as a Supporting Agency. Pastor Stephen and his NGO Board will be involved with the day to day Administration of MCH. It has been very difficult for PCC to Administer MCH from a half world away!! PCC is finishing the first Draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will send that Document next week to Pastor Stephen for his comments and suggestions. This is the Document that will state how our 2 Organizations will work together as MCH moves forward under Pastor Stephen's Leadership.
Thank you for your prayers and support. We were not able to begin construction of the Growth Center and a house for our Doctor and Administrator this year. Please continue to pray for complete security to return to South Sudan so that these important additions can be provided for MCH.
The Government and County authorities told the Sudanese that they are thinking of closing shops and other things at the IDP Camp so that Sudanese will go back to their rural villages. Deng Alier, who sent me this information, said as he passed MCH on his way to this meeting at Zion Church, it was so sad for him to see MCH sitting idle without humans. PCC has talked with the Staff about re-opening MCH as soon as Michael returns from Juba with the used vehicle to replace our old one that broke down.
This past Monday, a record of 150 Sudanese were seen at the Clinic that MCH is running at Pastor Stephen's Mission Garden of Christ. MCH is also running a Clinic in the IDP Camp across the Nile River from Bor.
The Minister of Health for the Jonglei State, recently told the MCH Staff that Sudanese have said that the Memorial Christian Hospital is the best Hospital in the entire Jonglei State. Please pray and ask God to provide added strength to our Staff as they treat and minister to the physical and spiritual needs of Sudanese who come daily to these 2 clinics. Please pray that God will continue to supply PCC with the funds needed to continue bringing Hope and Healing to Sudanese as the Memorial Christian Hospital will soon be reopened. Many Sudanese have been seen will be needing surgery which we cannot do at the clinics (another reason we need to reopen the hospital). Pray that lasting peace will soon return to South Sudan.
The PCC board, MCH employees, and the South Sudanese extend special thanks and much appreciation for keeping the hospital in your prayers during this crisis in South Sudan. Your prayers have been answered in so many ways. Jesus said, if we have faith in Him, we can move mountains. God answered your prayers by protecting the hospital when rebels were using Werkok as a base camp to invade Bor. The village of Werkok was burned to the ground but Memorial Christian Hospitals is still standing and the rebels never even ventured into the hospital. MCH was preserved intact and all of the staff reached safety and now are serving the traumatized people of Bor County. This is a direct answer to your prayers for the hospital.
Please continue praying for peace in South Sudan and around the world. The South Sudan government and the rebels have been negotiating their differences in Ethiopia. Pray that the Lord opens their hearts and they find the means to settle their differences and find resolutions that can bring an end to the suffering of their people in South Sudan.
This is a great film that explains the conflicts between the tribes in South Sudan. Stories of Peace from the Nile's West Bank
Film produced as part of USAID's South Sudan Transition, Conflict and Mitigation Program. Currently being projected to youth audiences in order to help create positive dialogue amongst neighboring communities in Lakes, Unity, and Warrap States.