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IHCF (International Health Care Foundation Hospital)

IHCF Missions Update: November 2016

In the past couple of months, several small construction projects have been completed, a lab at Tanzania Christian Hospital and the renovation of a guesthouse at Nigerian Christian Hospital.  In the last few years, IHCF has also become involved in African prison medical missions.  In most of the prison efforts, IHCF provides and funds the medical component of a larger evangelistic prison outreach that last 2 or 3 days.  On the last day, a mobile clinic is held inside the prison walls ad the prisoners can receive health care assessments and medical treatment.  The guards and other prison workers are also invited to be treated.  At a recent outreach at the Aba Prision in Nigeria, there was a huge response to the Good News message and 14 prisoners gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in a recently built baptistry on the prison grounds.
Facility Reports

Tanzania Christian Clinic---I spent a week there on my recent trip.  Our organization has just built a birthing and maternity center at TCC. It is not yet open but the building is pretty much finished.  We are just waiting on the furnishings and equipment to arrive which are on a container that is now in Mombasa, Kenya.....that's relatively close so it shouldn't be long now.  I took Charlotte Meeker with me.  Charlotte and her husband live in Indiana and Charlotte has been a nurse midwife for 40 years.  She is helping set up procedures/protocols at this new center.  Great evangelism is taking place in and around this clinic too.....many are being led to Christ.  In fact a veteran missionary couple has just moved there to help follow up with interested patients.

Fisherfolks Dispensary--- I spent one week there with Bob Bentley, a minister from Texas who is also a veteran of African missions.  Bob and his wife Michele (an RN) were our point people on this project from the beginning so it was great to visit the clinic with Bob.  Also, Bob speaks fluent Swahili so that is always a blessing.  This clinic is doing fine although the census is down a little since there are no longer any "westerners" present.  You may recall that this is a majority Muslim area so that always brings unique challenges too.

Nigerian Christian Hospital-- This is our biggest facility by far and is really just a large "General" hospital that does most surgeries and employs about 9 doctors and about 200 other staff members including two full time chaplains (evangelists) who work with the patients and their families.  Dr. Brian Camazine, a Texas surgeon just returned from spending a month there.  His team did 170 surgeries.....a record on one "short term" trip!

Palmer Hospital---Our smaller rural hospital in Nigeria.  Not much to report.  It is business as usual each day there.  The entrance to the hospital did "wash out" from large rains and we've just about got that repaired for easy access for the patients.

Mbaise Christian Health Centre....also in Nigeria.  We are building a new maternity center at this hospital at this time.  Things are going well in the construction.  We are hoping it will be done by year end.

Church of Christ Mission Clinic at Kumasi.  This clinic in Ghana is just doing great.  They are doing an excellent job from both medically and evangelistically.  They are one of the leading organizations in CHAG....Christian Health Association of Ghana....a large consortium of faith based clinics and hospitals.  We are actually at the early states of considering doing an upgrade of this facility to hospital status.  This clinic sits right next to Bomso Church of Christ....the second largest congregation in Ghana.  We have  close working relationship with the congregation.

Church of Christ Mission Clinic in Yendi.....   This clinic in northern Ghana is in a primarily Muslim area.  It sees a large number of patients and does a good job.  We are now moving into our new clinic building which is right beside the smaller older clinic.  This new structure was built earlier this year and we hope to transfer all aspects of the clinic to the new building over the next six months.

Whittaker Clinic in Swaziland....  We are helping Dr. Bob Whittaker build a clinic in Swaziland at this time.  He is already helping the sick on an informal basis but is eager to get this mission clinic open to have better physical resources where he can help larger numbers of patients.


Sponsored Student Program

We facilitate the sponsorship/scholarship  of about 30 young Africans who are studying Medicine, nursing, pharmacy, lab sciences, etc.  They are all Christian young people who have the academic ability to succeed but lack the needed resources to further their education.   They will join our efforts upon graduation.

Medical Missions Seminar

We are preparing for our 33rd annual medical missions seminar that will take place in Ft. Worth, Texas onJanuary 16 and 17, 2015.

Prayer Needs

At Fisherfolks Clinic give us wisdom in how to help medically, build bridges,and minister in the name of Jesus in the Muslim region we serve.

Prayers are needed for Lazaro, Innocent, and Medson who are all being trained as Clinical Officers in Tanzania.  Lazaro and Innocent are both preachers who are becoming doctors (more like PA's or nurse practioners really).  Medson is a strong evangelistic young Christian.

Pray that Ebola can be stopped in West Africa.  Also, we pray that it will not come (again) into the countries that we work in although some are very close to Liberia.

Pray for Ashli Rousell, a young Harding graduate (RN) who I am working with who is going to go and do medical mission work in Burkina Faso, West Africa.  Ashli is as mature and bold a young Christian woman as I have ever met.  In fact she was one of the main speakers at my wife's (Lisa's) funeral earlier this year.

Pray that Boko Haram.....the terrorist group working in Nigeria can be stopped.  This is the group that kidnapped 300 schoolgirls earlier this year.
A few things of note:

Dr. Bob Whittaker has now opened his clinic in Swaziland, near South Africa.  You may recall that Bob was the doctor who was kidnapped and gunshot four or five years ago in Nigeria.  Although that clinic isn't under our oversight, we have still been helping him quite a bit with getting it opened.  Swaziland is a very small country that is practically surrounded by the country of South Africa and the clinic is actually contained in the local church facility.  This clinic and doctor Whittaker will bless many in the area in the name of the Lord.

In the past few weeks we have purchased a large quantity of  Bibles for our Bibles for Patients program.  This latest purchase now puts the number of Bibles purchased for our patients at over 12,000.  We always want to have a copy of God's word available to give to patients who our chaplains discern to be "seekers".  We offer Bibles in English as well as in 7 different African languages.

It looks like we may be pulling out of our work at Fisherfolks dispensary in Tanzania.  Unlike most of our clinics and hospitals...at this clinic we are being provided the facilities (at no cost) by another organization.  When I was in Tanzania last fall, I met with the board of the other organization and they made it clear that they thought our clinic was being "too Christian" and they wanted more of a humanitarian clinic rather than a mission clinic.  I told them that our Christian emphasis was not negotiable and that we would respectfully agree to part company if they insisted  on quieting our Christian message.  The old saying is that when the Lord closes one door he opens another.  This seems to be true in this case since we are now exploring a very innovative  way to take medical care and the gospel message to some remote villages in Tanzania in a way we have never done it before.....more details to follow.

I am planning my next trip to Africa in June.  I will be leading a small team to Ghana to visit and work with our two clinics there.  I would appreciate your prayers. 

We are about finished with our new maternity center in Nigeria.  I would say the construction is about 90% complete.  We look forward to helping the women of Owutu and surrounding villages with their prenatal, delivery, and postnatal needs.

We hosted a very successful Medical Mission Seminar a few weeks ago in Texas.  It was very well attended and our keynote speaker was Dr. Kent Brantley....an ACU grad who got ebola while serving the poor and sick in Liberia.  The seminar was probably the best we have ever hosted.  In addition to the adults who attended, about 100 students came from almost all of the Christian colleges associated with our fellowship....even Pepperdine had three or four students present.

That's about all I can think of.  Thanks for asking for and update....I am always glad that you feel comfortable doing that.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Take care and God bless.  Please give my Christian love to all those at the Frederick church.

Tom

 

 

 

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