We have just returned from our medical mission trip to four remote villages in Benin, Africa where Global Hope Network International is our
“boots on the ground” partner.
Our team of fifty-one people, including six physicians, numerous nurses and healthcare professionals, over twenty pastors from Benin and nearby countries, interpreters, and other support staff, provided medical treatment and offered spiritual counseling to more than 2,100 patients in Benin.
Benin is a former French colony and French is the official language in Benin to this day. It is known as the home of voodoo, and many slaves were taken from Benin to Haiti. Benin is a very, very poor country with very limited infrastructure and financial resources. To this day, farming is accomplished through manual labor; not once did we see a tractor or any other mechanized machine during our long travels through the countryside. Travel is slow and difficult as the country roads are full of ruts and often soft, without any gravel surface. When it rains, the roads become almost impassable. While traveling to one of the villages, two of our three vehicles got stuck in the mud. We lightened the vehicle’s load, placed branches and plants uprooted from the roadside under the wheels for traction, and used manpower to dislodge the vehicles from the mud so we could continue our journey.
The people we ministered to were overwhelmingly kind and considerate, often waiting hours in line for their first visit to see a nurse or doctor. We encountered malaria, high blood pressure, serious wounds untreated for months or even years, rickets and other deformities among children, and abnormally high rates of blindness. Tragically, some of the cases of blindness were caused by severe trauma or by acid.
On our second day of visiting villages, we traveled to the village of Dassa. We saw just over 200 patients and, of these, 83 gave their hearts to Christ after speaking with one or more of the pastors. Despite the hardships in traveling to Dassa and the limited number of patients seen in that village, the mission to Dassa was a tremendous success. Global Hope Network International had already established a presence there as the first latrine (or outhouse) in Dassa was near completion. Unfortunately, the only water well in the village is an open well perhaps 20 or 30 feet deep and dug in 1966. It had only a puddle of water in the bottom along with some trash.
Most months of the year, the villagers must walk approximately 30 minutes to another location simply to get water for drinking and cooking. Furthermore, they have to pay for the water from their very scarce resources.
We would like to encourage the villagers in Dassa, and the community at large, by providing $20,000 US Dollars for a new hydraulic well (there is no electricity). The funds will be used by our partner, Global Hope Network International, to oversee the engineering related to, and installation of, a modern water well. Global Hope has a good deal of experience concerning such wells in West Africa. For more information please visit Global Hope Network International’s website.