Rev. Joshua Jadri and N'gani villagers thank World Missions Possible donors and supporters for their beautiful new dual-purpose church/clinic facility.
The WMP medical team was not to be stopped! Due to heavy rains, the water had flooded the only road taking the team into the rural area. As you can see in the 1st picture, the water was hip-deep! So the team had to abandon the vehicle, gather the villagers and get everyone to carry the boxes of supplies and equipment to the village, about a 4-meter walk in the hot sun.
But some villagers already had a load to carry!
On this first day of the clinic, Nov. 31, 2009, despite the arduous task of walking a few miles with supplies in hand, the team was ready to offer free care to the people who had already gathered to be seen at the clinic. On this 3-week medical outreach, over 900 patients were given free medical care by the WMP team. Later in the day, Rev. Doku was able to bring a smaller truck that could successfully cross the swollen road.
The medical team - Dr. Thomas Flowers, Dr. Didier Amehi, Dr. Salifu Bawa, Gifty Mante, Alidu Zakaria and Roxane Richter - all welcomed the people and expressed great joy at the new building and their gratitude for the work of the day-to-day oversight of construction by Most Rev. Eric Doku.
As always, the lines were long of patients ready to receive free medical care. Gifty Mante, RN, a nurse from a Maternity Clinic in Ekumfi, always has a warm smile for the people when they receive their medications! Her care and love for people is present in everything she does.
Dr. Flowers hard at work!
Some pictures of local people waiting, at work and then at play!
Pictures of the Opening Day
November 1, 2009
Some Notes to Understand Witchcraft:
The days of the notorious 17-century Salem witch hunts are not over – in fact, they are alive and thriving in remote areas of the world like northern Ghana, West Africa.
In the smaller, rural Ghanaian villages, a woman can be proclaimed a witch for any number of reasons: They are considered too beautiful, or they have been "caught" walking about in the moonlight, or some ill-fated circumstances (like a child's death or an outbreak of disease) have been supernaturally linked to them...or perhaps they have done nothing more than simply grow old and are now no longer useful for farming or childbearing.
Indeed, witchcraft is a quixotic mix of the natural (disease, birth and death) with the supernatural (omens, black juju, spirits, potions and curses). And both of them combine to form one of the most brutal forms of human rights abuses alive and well today.
What may be most heart wrenching is that the "spell" of today's witchcraft in Ghana is used against the most vulnerable and frail members of its society – old women who can no longer fight, protect or fend for themselves. The overwhelming majority of people proclaimed as "witches" are older women, usually over 50 or 60 years of age. And when they are "found" to be a witch, they are sometimes killed or brutally beaten, and then cast out of their family and their village – forced to live in extreme poverty in a designated witch's village – shunned by the children they birthed, and victimized by a society they once strengthened. The people are mainly pagan, the “tindana” (witchdoctor) is considered all powerful, and no one dares to help these proclaimed witches, lest they be cursed by their supernatural powers.
In N'gani, a witch's village in northwest Ghana, there are some 1,400 resident witches (counting about 7 male witches, all the rest are female). Each resident "witch" has an important story to tell of their journey into darkness – their savage beating, rejection by family and neighbors, punishment, poverty and enforced confinement. To make matters worse, the older women are often “given” a young family member (usually female) child to care for them while they are exiled in the witch’s village. This is often a “life sentence” for the child, who now has little hope for a decent education, career, marriage or any life outside of the village. There is one main “gaziya,” or leader of women, who is speaks on behalf of the women, and the chief of village (see photo #8) resides in Yendi, about a one-hour drive away, but has warmly welcomed our medical services and clinic support over the past 3 years.
The proposed building of a dual-purpose facility in 2009 that will serve as both a spiritual community and health center for those who otherwise are afforded no hope.
Getting there's the hard part...It's a 16-hour journey into the remote northern area from Accra, the capital city. It’s a very difficult road, and there's no running water or electricity in the village, so water must be driven in for mixing medications and all of the medical’s team’s diagnostics have to run on batteries. Photo 2: Here is Rev. Eric Doku, our host in the north, and a local pastor. He stands in front of the current structure, made of thin sticks and woven palm fronds, which is now too small to hold the members.
What WMP’s service has meant to the village, directly in their own words:
“We were here hopeless, but now we are in the mood of happiness since we first saw the World Missions Possible” – Amadu Zeinabu (63 years old)
“I have been here 3 years and there was nothing given to me until the World Missions Possible came with drugs and medical equipment. We are now in good health. We have seen great changes in our health and have renewed our strength to do our farming. So I thank the doctors.”
– Abdul Ayuisheitu (46 years old)
“I would like to say that without your help, some of us would have died through illness, so I hope you will not stop helping us.” – Budahi Asane (33 years old)
The service in N’Gani breathes life into WMP’s motto, taken from the words of Mother Teresa’s selfless service: “As human beings, we can do no great things, only small things with GREAT LOVE.”
It is this Great Love that touched both the lives of the people in N’Gani and the WMP Ghana Medical Team. And because of it, we are all changed, encouraged, and enriched – and ready to continue to serve those in need all across the world.