MCH

Walking on a Fish Bone

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.

fish bone x-ray
fish bone x-ray

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.

Time for Farming in Werkok

Farming God's Way demonstration plot.
Farming God's Way demonstration plot.
Newly ploughed land around the MCH compound.
Newly ploughed land around the MCH compound.

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.

Land Use Agreement Signed

meeting with chiefs
meeting with chiefs

On a recent visit to South Sudan, Partners in Compassionate Care's Executive Director, Kevin Kinsinger, met with village chiefs to sign a land use agreement for the property on which Memorial Christian Hospital is built. PCC has been a guest of the village of Werkok since 2005. We've operated on a 40 acre plot, in cooperation with the village, with a verbal agreement for the use of the land. The need for a formal agreement came about as we work towards the goal of turning the management of the hospital over to local leadership. We want to make this transition with all paperwork up-to-date so that the new administration is able to assume their new role as smoothly as possible.

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While there was no opposition to the land use agreement, these types of things take time to make sure that everyone is well informed and comfortable. There were some who questioned why the agreement needed to be in writing since we've cooperated with a verbal agreement for so long. We explained that this was a requirement of the government of South Sudan in order for the hospital to be in compliance with non-profit status. It was agreed that the document was necessary, but to make sure that all the chiefs were able to have input and sign the document, the Executive Chief asked that the meeting regroup in two day's time.

The second meeting began mid-afternoon and went well after dark. On Saturday, November 22, 2014 the village of Werkok and Partners in Compassionate Care agreed to formalize the land use agreement on paper.

The vision for MCH from the very beginning is for the hospital to be self-sustaining and independently operated under South Sudanese leadership. This agreement brings us one step closer to that reality.

1.25 Million People Waiting for an X-Ray!

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Our year end thrust is to be able to send a brand new portable X-ray machine to South Sudan, to be installed at MCH.  Spectrum Health donated the CR, the part that turns the X-rays into digital images, as well as half the cost of the new x-ray machine.

Now we need your help to get this machine to South Sudan.

The new x-ray machine waiting to be shipped to South Sudan.
The new x-ray machine waiting to be shipped to South Sudan.

When this equipment is installed at MCH, it will be the only x-ray for 1.25 million Sudanese living in our service area in South Sudan!!  It will help save lives by giving our doctor the information he needs to properly diagnose patients. It will also help MCH generate additional income towards becoming self-sustaining since people who can afford to pay for their treatment will pay a fee for the x-ray service. We’ve already seen this proven by the revenue generated from our ultra-sound machine.

We have a former Sudanese "Lost Boy" who trained to be an x-ray technician here in the States, and he is willing to return to South Sudan and work at MCH. He wants to give back to his own people as the nation learns to be independent and free.

In order for PCC to accomplish this year end goal, we need to secure $44,000 to cover the remaining balance of the machine, transportation to South Sudan, the critical spare parts to have on hand, and the costs associated with the first year of implementing the machine.

We have been so blessed in America to have access to the latest in medical technology while many in South Sudan do not even have access to basic diagnostic equipment like x-ray.  Please consider what you can do to help PCC bring this needed equipment to Memorial Christian Hospital as we continue to bring hope and healing to South Sudan.

Secure online gifts can be made by clicking the Donate Now! button at the top of this page.

God is the Healer

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.

Memorial Christian Hospital Update

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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.

Blessings,

David Bowman

Sudanese Gather for 2 Days of Prayer in South Sudan

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Last Saturday and Sunday a meeting was called for all Sudanese to come to historic Zion Church.  This is the Church that was built in the early 1990's where the Sudanese came to burn their idols and decided to worship God. This site is just 1 mile from MCH.

Last Saturday and Sunday, 2 big days of prayer were held at Zion Church.  Many Sudanese came from Bor, Juba, refugee and Internally Displaced People (IDP) Camps to pray at Zion Church.  Former Bishop Nathaniel Garang, local leaders and Government Officials from Bor and Juba were also present.  This meeting was even broadcast on South Sudan TV in Juba.

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.