Sunday, July 1, 2012

Volunteer Testimony: FBC Hurst (June 2012)

On Sunday we visited Y* and KK* to meet with the Majors at the clinics & explain the food distribution effort. Both Majors were very receptive & very appreciative of what we were doing & gave us their full support. We camped at the clinic in KK Sunday night. Monday, we held an assessment clinic at KK to find young children (2 years old & below) that were malnourished. Hundreds of women & children began arriving shortly after sunrise. We weighed & measured babies & infants all day long & there were still women and children waiting in line when we finally had to break camp & head back to Niamey. Here are the stats from Monday:
  • Assessments performed: 352
  • Malnourshied children that qualified for food aid: 158
  • Severely malnourished children: 34 
  • Overall, 45% of the children assessed were malnourished. Of those that were malnourished, almost 22% were severe).
Tuesday was one of those days that I wish everyone could experience. We distributed food assistance to 154 needy women/familes with malnourished infants. Then we went down to the Niger river & baptized two new believers. Then we had a short Bible study on the banks of the Niger river with the believers & new believers from KK. The Bible study would have gone longer, but a really big sand/rain storm came up quickly & we had jump in the vehicles & high-tail it out of there.

Here's the back story on the 2 new believers in KK: There were three believers in KK & they recently led another man to the Lord (i.e., within the past two weeks). It's pretty awesome that Songhai believers led another Songhai to the Lord. On Tuesday, we found out that this new believer wanted to be baptized. The second new believer is the brother of David*, one of the 3 believers in KK. On Sunday, we had a Bible study with the believers in KK under a shade tree & this man sat in on the study along with our bush taxi drivers & several other men from the village. On Tuesday, that man accepted Christ & he was also baptized at the river. One of the Songhai believers performed the baptisms.

On Wednesay, we went to Y* to do our second assessment clinic to determine who will receive the food aid. We saw some truly heart-breaking sights. A few children were so malnourished it was surprising that they were still alive. We saw one girl that was a year-and-a-half old & weighed 11.9 pounds. I almost lost it. I can't even type this without tearing up. Here are the stats from Y*:
  • Assessments performed: 348
  • Malnourished children that qualified for food aid: 178
  • Severely malnourished children: 50
  • Overall, 51% of those assessed were malnourished and 28% of the malnourished were severe.
After an emotionally tough day, however, Mark told us that as we were packing up to leave, a couple of the men that do some work at the Y* clinic said that they wanted to believe in Christ & be baptized. Such an incredible thing.

We conducted the food distribution in the village of Y* on Thursday. The food truck got stuck in the sand trying to drive into the clinic compound so we improvised on the distribution logistics and everything went very well. While we were doing the distribution, Randy (member of the IMB Songhai missions team) got to spend time with one of the local men who expressed a desire to believe in Christ and be baptized. Cephas (local missions partner and translator) got to spend time with the other local man who expressed a desire to believe in Christ and be baptized. Both men reaffirmed their desire to believe in Christ and be baptized but they both expressed concern about being baptized on the same day as the food distribution ...because they didn't want the villagers to think their motive was to get food. I thought that was very discerning on their part.

After we completed the food distribution, we had a short time of encouraging the believers and saying our goodbyes. On the way back out, we stopped at KK and said goodbye to David* and his newly-saved brother.

No comments:

Post a Comment