NALERIGU, Ghana (BP)--Villagers line up outside the Baptist Medical Centre in northern Ghana as soon as the sun peeks over the mountains of this mud-hut town. A baby sweating with malaria fever. A woman with a cough that could be tuberculosis. A farmer bitten by a cobra in the fields. Hypertension, hernias, tumors ...
NALERIGU, Ghana (BP)--George Faile III was just 8 years old when he started tagging along as his father treated patients at Ghana's Baptist Medical Centre 50 years ago.
NALERIGU, Ghana (BP)–Missionary Cherry Faile smiles when she hears villagers singing songs in the Manpruli language about how to properly nurse children or cook nutritious meals. In a place where accurate statistics are tough to track, the songs affirm that the public health programs she helped develop at the Baptist Medical Centre in rural Ghana […]
JOS, Nigeria (BP)--At least 12 Nigerian Baptists were killed and five Baptist churches burned during Thanksgiving weekend riots sparked by local election results in Jos, Nigeria. International Mission Board workers in the area were unharmed by the violence that began Nov. 28. The workers and several Nigerian Baptist congregations are reaching out to comfort and house those left hurting and homeless. News agencies report more than 300 people killed and thousands injured in fires and riots. Dozens of churches, mosques, businesses and homes were burned in Jos, a city located between Nigeria's largely Christian south and Muslim north. When gunfire quieted Dec. 2, a local Baptist pastor ventured into the still-smoldering city to assess the damage. "One Baptist church lost five members and one deacon," he reported. "At least one pastor's home was burned down. It was a very, very sad day." Unscathed by the violence, the pastor's church is housing some of those who have lost their homes. Other local Baptist churches are doing the same. Church families also are helping to house boarding students evacuated from the Baptist high school there. "Everyone is sad and afraid, but we have faith," the pastor said, noting rumors swirl that the fighting may start again.
In the Bambara culture of West Africa, pride often prevents people from admitting they're hungry. But evidence abounds. Mud-wall granaries stand empty. Five-year-old Mariama* sprouts reddish fuzz on top of her head — a sign of malnutrition. When asked what his family has been eating lately, Mamadou* plucks a green leaf from a nearby tree. […]
MALI, West Africa (BP)--In the Bambara culture, pride often prevents people from admitting they're hungry. But evidence abounds. Mud-wall granaries stand empty. Five-year-old Mariama* sprouts reddish fuzz on top of her head -- a sign of malnutrition.
MALI, West Africa (BP)--New believers who recently started meeting as a young church in the Mali bush were angry. Starving farmers in the area were about to receive 500 tons of free grain to help feed their families until the next harvest. But the Christians wanted more grain than everyone else. After all, they argued, Christians from the United States were sending the grain through the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. Why wouldn't they feed their own first? "The palm tree is a bad tree," the new Christians told International Mission Board worker Steven Roach, using a Bambara proverb. "It casts its cooling shade far from its roots. Don't be like the palm tree. The [non-Christians] are laughing at us." Roach, who has worked among the Bambara for the last five years, hoped to use the opportunity to strengthen the disgruntled new believers in the teachings of Christ. In fact, Roach expected their reaction. "Any project like this is going to face some issues," Roach said, "but when they told me they were eating the weeds on the side of the road, I knew I had to do something anyway." In the last 18 months, Roach enlisted help from Beulah Baptist Church in Hopkins, S.C., which has sent teams repeatedly to help the village church grow. Pastor Brad Bessent brought a team to help facilitate the food distribution, but at night, he gathered the new believers for a moonlit Bible story under the stars. By the glow of a lantern, Bessent put two sardines and five pieces of bread on a plate. Through a translator, he told about a young boy who had packed this small lunch, but when he heard about all the hungry people nearby, he gave it to Jesus to distribute. Jesus multiplied that food and fed more than 5,000 people. "Not all of them were Christians," Bessent told the Bambara men, "but Jesus had compassion on them." The believers listened intently, the lantern throwing shadows into the creases of their pensive faces. "So if I give to God what I have, He can make it more than if I kept it for myself," said one believer.
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Dustin Allen, 22, didn't even notice the potent smell of fish in the saltwater air that had overwhelmed his senses a couple months earlier when he arrived at a seaside village in Senegal, West Africa. It was just part of daily living for the missions volunteer from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga. He rose every morning from the foam mat on the floor where he slept and bathed using a bucket. He ate rice and fish with his hands out of a bowl on the floor along with his friends. He slipped on his flip-flops and trekked through thick sand to visit the homes of young believers who have never been to church in a building. "This is a great life," said Allen, who learned enough of the local language to teach simple Bible studies to the believers. "I could really see myself doing this long term."
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Jenny Barker is not a typical summer missionary. With colored streaks in her hair and a tiny rhinestone stud in her nose, she's an artist confident that "the Lord can use that for His glory."
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--High school student Matt Constantin looked out from the highest point of Dakar, Senegal's capital city, and prayed. On his last afternoon in the African city, the U.S. teen saw much more than the sprawling metropolis.