All posts by Alex Smith

June 2018 Newsletter

Happy Healthy Homes!

The ‘Happy Healthy Home’ initiative is part of our CHE program. CHE is continuing to gain momentum in the villages of Bobi, Warrak & Guaria. Over the past few weeks our team have visited several hundred homes of CHE participants as part of our ‘Happy Healthy Home’ competition between the villages. We encourage CHE families to implement changes in the home to make a Happy Healthy Home and receive a certificate. They are evaluated on eight physical components, like child vaccination, sleeping under mosquito nets and using a tippy tap for hand washing. They are also evaluated on seven spiritual components like being part of a bible study, and able to share their testimony.

photo of Agum Kuj using a tippy tap
Agum Kuj using a tippy tap

We were so blessed to see so many homes having implemented all 15 criteria! Warrak won the award for the most completed Happy Healthy Homes, and Bobi for the most participating homes (almost the whole village!). Over the coming weeks we’ll be having feasts in these villages to celebrate their achievements.

 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” – Psalm 127:1

Maternal Waiting Home!

South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and one of the key contributors is women giving birth in remote villages without any skilled health attendant or way of getting help if there are complications.

Our medical clinic has a thriving Antenatal program but a lot of the women who attend our clinic come from villages miles away for their check-ups so they don’t come back during labor. Thankfully, we can predetermine those women with high risk through ultrasound and advise them accordingly.

Last year, Dr. Destinee Macleod proposed we start a small maternal waiting home for women with high risk pregnancies living in remote areas so they can stay in their final weeks of pregnancy and have a safe birth.

The maternal waiting home is a hut big enough for the entire family to come so children can stay with the mother. It is built on our land so the mother can be monitored closely and attended to in labor.

Photo of Dr. Destinee with our first MWH baby
Dr. Destinee with our first MWH baby

In March, Achut along with her husband and daughter arrived to stay in the home. They had lost their two previous children, and scans showed potential complications in this pregnancy.  Achut gave birth safely to her first son at our clinic, and she named him Richard after our missionary who passed away in March while building our new Maternity & Pediatrics ward here in Tonj.

Volunteer Short Term Missionaries!

One of the ways God is using short-term missionaries is through training programs. These vitally needed trainings can only happen when we have the extra help. This year we have volunteer STM from March up until October. Amy Nilsson is a nurse from New Zealand and was here last year for 5 months and staying 4 months this year.

Photo of volinteer Amy training our new Community Health Workers
Amy training our new Community Health Workers

She has been training our new Community Health Workers, none of which have been through any formal training. She set out some learning objectives and ran a training workshop teaching them key skills they need for working in the clinic; setting up infusions, giving injections, wound dressings, assessing patients and recognizing a deteriorating child. They were all very eager to learn.

Email us for more information on volunteering short-term.

Please pray for us as we enter into the busy malaria season.

May 2018 Newsletter

Medicine Arrived!

Every year, before the heavy rains start, we truck thousands of dollars of medicine from Kenya to South Sudan. This enables our clinic to stay open year-round and provide lifesaving medicine to pregnant mothers and children.

Unloading our medicine

Last year we saw over 40,000 patients and this year we expect the number to rise. During the rainy season from May to October, we see increased numbers of malaria patients sometimes over 300 in one day! It only costs $5 per patient to cover the running costs of our medical clinic, which includes year-round medicine supplies and staff.  EVERY patient hears the gospel, and many receive Christ through our three full-time chaplains who offer counseling and prayer.

God has called us and entrusted to us this amazing work for His Kingdom and His Glory. We know He owns it all and we’re the instruments He is using to accomplish wonderful things here in Tonj. When God directs us to share the needs of this ministry we take that responsibility seriously trusting the Spirit to stir hearts in response. As you pray for our ministry this month, please pray if this is an area the Lord is directing you to be involved in. We currently have 52% of our monthly needs met by fully invested financial partners. This is an opportunity for you to join us in furthering His Kingdom!

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” – Psalm 24:1

CHE in Bobi!

This past year you have helped us establish CHE in three remote villages. Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is thriving and every week we are hearing testimony after testimony of lives being transformed through CHE.  Our villages are currently working on getting their “Healthy Happy Home” certificates. Bobi homes are digging pit latrines which in turn will reduce the spread of diseases.

Bobi Village CHE Team

By supporting our CHE training you are saving lives in three remote villages in one of the poorest countries in the world. We believe CHE is working effectively because we have you, our amazing prayer partners, covering this program and we know that prayer changes lives. Hundreds of people are coming to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Churches have been planted and are growing dramatically. Household incomes have increased, death in young children has decreased. Instead of turning to witchcraft to solve their problems they are turning to Jesus. He is answering prayers for healing, protection, and provision. This is what CHE is about, focusing on preventing problems while growing in Spirit and Truth. Join us in praising God for the fruit of our CHE program!

A New Smile!

It’s so awesome to see the body of Christ working hand in hand to bring a new smile and more importantly a new hope to people born with a cleft lip. A volunteer medical team from Samaritan’s Purse notified us they would be in Juba repairing cleft lips in April and if we could register any patients that have a need, they would send an airplane to pick them up, do the surgery in Juba and drop them back to Tonj a few days later. This is the third time we have partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to transform lives through cleft lip surgery.

Baby Akech before surgery
Baby Akech with her mother after surgery

Almost all people born with any kind of disfigurement in South Sudan are considered cursed, they are often shamed, shunned by their peers and abused. Over 20 patients were sent to Juba and treated. This is a new beginning for them physically, socially and spiritually as they return home with a new smile.