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Each year, our doctors, nurses, and staff at Pioneer Christian Hospital work tirelessly to serve a population of approximately 300,000 people including small children, elderly, villagers, refugees, AIDS orphans and widows. When they come for treatment, they each carry their own challenging life circumstances and compelling stories. PCH cares for their patients spiritually, socially, physically—and they are burdened to care for them nutritionally.

Food and nutrition are essential to health and healing. The Congolese people are a hunter-gatherer society—hunting or shooting whatever they can find. Many times, they go hungry. Their diet may include carbohydrates yet it lacks proper nutrients, vitamins, and protein. In fact, because of poverty, 61% of children are not fed well, and in neighboring areas of our hospital, 45% of children under the age of five are not receiving the nutrition they need to not stunt their growth.

When a new child or adult patient comes to the hospital, it is expected that a relative comes along. In this culture, it is normal to see a family member bringing a pot, along with a few cups and bowls. During the day, the relative goes to gather food to bring back and cook. However, not all patients are able to bring a relative.

Many patients are poor or neglected, and some have no family to speak of. Emily is such a patient. Emily (pictured) suffers from epilepsy. During a seizure, she fell into her cooking fire and sustained significant burns to her body. Her family rushed her to Pioneer Christian Hospital, where surgeons did their best to save as much of her extremities as  possible. Try as they did, the damaged sustained to her body resulted in losing most of her right arm and parts of her left. The family, now hours away from their village, employment and home, were stressed at the thought of a long term stay at the hospital. The hospital staff and missionaries did all they could to assist the family, but Emily’s prognosis was not good. She wasn’t healing and was becoming frailer by the day. An infection would have been lethal. Then, it was discovered that the money given to the family to provide food for Emily, which is only available in the direst of circumstances, was being consumed in the form of alcohol by her relative, her supposed care provider. Emily, now a burden to her family, was not being fed. She  was going to die.

Emily is one of many patients in dire situations at Pioneer Christian Hospital. The 60-bed facility serves some of the most vulnerable. The hospital, like many in the developing world, is strapped for resources and cannot provide the adequate nutritional needs of patients. That was left to the patient’s care provider. For many though, like Emily, that system wasn’t conducive to healing. And without nourishment, healing is impossible.

There is a solution, and we have the privilege to take part in it. We have begun a Hospital Feeding Program. This program alleviates hunger, and also, it improves recovery time, promotes healing and impacts the overall well-being of the patients. The feeding program provides rice, beans, and a vegetable mix. The dehydrated produce packs provide an adequate and sustainable amount of micronutrients essential to healing and boosting the immune system. These are also easy to store and prepare.

It has been a huge success not only from a nutritional standpoint, but many also have received Christ as Savior from hearing God’s Word while being under PCH’s care. We praise God!

Fortunately, this Feeding Program started two weeks into Emily’s stay, and it made all the difference in her life. Thanks to these warm nutritional meals, Emily made a  complete turnaround in her recovery. A victory step was when she was able to feed herself independently!

While staying at PCH, Emily learned of Jesus. She now attends the hospital’s chapel and prays to our powerful God. There are many similar victorious stories of God’s great provision.

We are currently looking to continue this project’s funding! Our Director over the Hospital’s Feeding Program let us know that there is less than a month of food left. To provide, prepare and ship a supply of food for one year, the estimated cost is $42,422. This will provide 84,844 meals over one entire year at a cost of just $.50 per meal! Your gift of ANY amount will make a huge difference! Your gift of $50 will provide 100 meals!

By providing both physical and spiritual nourishment, we believe we are fulfilling the Great Commission and our duty to bear the emblem of Christ. As Colossians 1:6 reminds us, the Gospel is bearing fruit and is growing throughout the whole world. Will you be a co-laborer in this cause for Christ today and take part in this life-changing project?