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An Unexpected Blessing

As we step into another season of gratefulness and celebrations, Christians take time to acknowledge the Lord as the source of all our blessings. You may recall a time when the Lord gave you a special answer to prayer—or a time when He acted before you could even stop to pray. You may recall a time of great joy or grief—and He gave you the gift of His overwhelming presence there in that moment. Whether tangible or intangible, whether physical things or the fulfillment of His promises—the Lord loves to give good gifts to His children! Can you think of when He did something unforeseen for you? Sometimes, the greatest blessings are ones we do not expect—such as what MissionGO just experienced!

After finishing a two-week car rally through six different African countries, a Canadian travel blogger found himself at the end of his trip in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He felt the desire to donate his travel vehicle (a stripped ambulance) to a nearby local medical ministry. He learned about our MissionGO clinic and donated the vehicle to be used for good. When the blogger reached out and told us of his donation, we informed him that we were unaware of an ambulance arriving at our compound! Sadly, it became clear that a man claiming to be with MissionGO forged his credentials and offered to facilitate sending the ambulance to Mokanji. Through straightforward deception, the fraud had the vehicle transferred to him, falsified the new registration, and sold it privately! We informed the local government and tribal leadership that a vehicle donated to serve their community had been stolen, and they quickly recovered the vehicle to our village. Although this man meant to use it for his personal gain, God honored the travel blogger’s original intent for the ambulance and sent us a tremendous, unexpected blessing!

Ambulance with Driver
This ambulance is in great working condition, yet there is a big need to restock it! We have stepped out in faith to fund this project as we cannot deny what a phenomenal gift this is to the locals we serve! The nationals are in support of us having it in our possession for safe-keeping, care, and maintenance.

As we certainly consider this ambulance as an overwhelming blessing to the community and our clinic, it is also an unanticipated strain financially. The community knows we have this vehicle now to help them and expects us to rise to the occasion. In addition to stocking it with needed medical supplies, there are further operational costs as well—such as oil changes, new tires, and more.

You may be wondering about the impact of an ambulance in the middle of the African jungle. Having our own ambulance means that it is readily available when needed. In the past when an ambulance was needed, a call had to be made to a government hospital. If an ambulance was available, it could be sent once all the approvals were made. Upon arrival after a 90-minute drive to our clinic, the government nurses had to check paperwork and fill out their own documents, usually taking 30 minutes. Once the patient was loaded, there was another 90-minute drive back to the hospital. Valuable time is lost, and unfortunately, it is time which sick patients do not have! Now, once the nurse in charge sees the need for an ambulance, a call is made to the keeper of the keys, who notifies the driver and within as little as 15 minutes, the patient can be on his way to the hospital. If, God forbid, a patient died, it would cost grieving families 3-months’ salary to use transportation services to bring the body back to their home village for a proper burial. After receiving our ambulance, we have done this multiple times just for the cost of fuel!

Malaria is a rampant disease our clinic witnesses daily. Once the parasite enters the bloodstream, it eats away at the blood cells of its victims, robbing them of life-giving iron and oxygen. Unfortunately, our ambulance does not have oxygen tanks. Just two weeks ago, one of the chiefs of our Mokanji village desperately needed oxygen. Though we had the means to quickly transport and admit him to the nearest hospital, no oxygen was available to give him in our ambulance! Sadly, he lived only a short while upon arrival. Had he been given oxygen earlier; we strongly believe he would still be alive today.

Due to the poverty in this area, children are not brought to the clinic until the malaria is often advanced, and the need for oxygen is critical. Having stood at the gravesites of too many adults and children, our missionaries cannot help but wonder how many of these lives could have been saved if oxygen had been administered 30-minutes, an hour, or even two hours sooner. With a well-equipped ambulance, we are confident that numerous lives will be saved!

The great news is that with this ambulance, we have already transported two laboring mothers who were taken to the hospital for emergency C-sections! In both cases, the mother and baby are doing well. The alternative has been to scramble to find a motorbike and a driver that would be willing to rush the expectant to the nearest hospital, 90 minutes away over dirt, pot-holed roads. What a difference this ambulance is already making!

Medical missions provide phenomenal open doors for the Gospel! It serves as an avenue into hearts as families are in desperate situations. Over these past 10 years at the clinic, we are continually building relationships in order to share Jesus Christ with lost souls! Our missionaries tell them that Jesus, the Great Physician, sent them—and locals never turn away from hearing about Him!

We are asking for your help! God gave us this incredible opportunity. The cost to fully stock the ambulance is $3,000—and it will take $2,700 for operational costs over the next 12 months ($225 a month). Some items that will need to be purchased are as follows: two oxygen tanks and masks, surgical masks, bandages, syringes, needles, IV’s, iodine, gauze, cotton wool, along with multiple medications for patients who will need them. Once we receive the funds for this project, our staff will take the 5-hour trip to get the medical supplies! We are eager with anticipation that God, who began this great story, will help us complete it! Would you prayerfully consider giving a gift today that will radically change the reality of nationals living in Mokanji, Sierra Leone?

In His service,

 

Dennis Campbell

Executive Vice President of MissionGO Country Director of Sierra Leone