Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 NYAC VIM Ghana YAM Mission: “Why have you Forgotten Us?”

Rev. Joseph Ewoodzie
A reflection on my visit to Methodist Dorcas Clinic.
“Why have you Forgotten Us?”

I met Bishop Nathan Samwini of the Northern Ghana Diocese, Methodist Church, Ghana on Thursday November 10, 2016 at his office in Tamale.  The two items we discussed were a) the hosting of YAM 2017 in February 2017; and b) the state of the Methodist Dorcas Clinic.
Bishop Samwini is a “northerner,” the first elected bishop, native to the Northern region and serving the Northern Diocese.  His enthusiasm, passion, and determination to serve and transform the lives of his people is remarkable.

After he welcomed me with a bottle of cold water, his next question to me was; “Why have you forgotten us?”  This was a very difficult question.

Bishop Samwini was referring to the uncompleted medical facility that provides hope and healing to seven remote villages in his Diocese.  The Methodist Dorcas Clinic ministry that stands in need of critical renovation and improvement.  Our last visit to this project was in 2013.  Bishop was glad to hear that the YAM 2017 will be in ministry at the Methodist Dorcas Clinic.

The clinic provides a very important medical need to over 2,000 inhabitants of 7 communities scattered in the hinterlands.  Most of them walk an average of 2.5 miles to and from the Methodist Dorcas clinic for their basic health needs including pre-natal and pregnancy care.

During my visit to the clinic this morning (Friday, Nov 11, 2016), I observed the nurse attending to the medical needs of women and children.  A grandmother brought Wumpini, a 4 year old girl to the clinic for care.  The nurse told me that Wumpini has a high temperature and so she will receive paracetamol to reduce her temp.  I couldn’t interact verbally with Wumpini due to a language barrier, but we had a moment of silence together.  Her gaze was very intense. I wondered if she wanted to ask me the same question Bishop Samwini asked, “Why have you forgotten us.”

The Methodist Dorcas clinic is not just a medical facility, it is a HEALING place; a refuge for weary, a shelter for fatigued, and a place where the most vulnerable and the marginalized receive solace and comfort.

This place provides a unique opportunity for Global Health ministry.  Here is a place where “our promise to our children” could be fulfilled. Let’s Imagine Abundant Health with Wumpini the 4 year old girl, and not forget them.

The Bishop, the leaders of the Diocese and the Chief and elders of the community are preparing to host the YAM 2017 team.  The YAMs will have the opportunity to help with the renovations and also interact with the local school children. Logistics such has housing, meals and transportation have already been secured.

This “Place is a gift, and as a gift it reflects back to us the beauty without ourselves and in our own life and work.” (The Soul of Place, Michael Jones.)

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