Even though COVID interrupted many plans, it also provided wonderful opportunities for health ministry!
In the midst of the COVID crisis, we had an exciting year in Senegal! The lockdown kept us confined until August, but after the restrictions were lifted, a group of church members helped us hold a health expo at our outpost in Mbirdiam. About 50 people came out from Mbirdiam and neighboring villages. We offered health screenings and lifestyle consultations, and we gave presentations on charcoal, natural immune boosters and steam inhalations.
After the health expo, we held a 3-day health camp for youth ages 7–16. The kids enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to continue, so I started a weekly Teen Club where we discuss health, character development and other topics. About 10–15 teens attend every week!
Amidst our health ministry activities, I got a message from a missionary in Tanzania asking if I could host a medical missionary from the United States for a few weeks. That’s how Maria came to spend three months in Senegal. Part of her service here included helping with seminars on the medical missionary work at the Bethel and Keur Massar churches.
In early October, our outreach group conducted another health expo in Keur Massar, a very populous town about ten miles outside Dakar. In addition to the regular health screenings and presentations, I took my massage chair, which turned out to be popular! Later that month, we held an expo in St. Louis, about 100 miles north of Dakar. Staying with a church member, we made it a weekend event with a health expo on Friday, a showing of the Jesus film Friday evening and a children’s activity Saturday evening.
Although I didn’t take my massage chair to St. Louis, I had the opportunity to work on a soldier who came to the expo. He had injured his knee during training exercises, and he limped badly because of his pain. I prayed as I massaged his knee and I gave him some instructions for a hot and cold treatment to do when he got home. The next morning during our Sabbath worship, he came to the house and jumped up in the air to show us how much better his knee felt!
Late in December 2020, I held a 3-day medical missionary training at Mbirdiam. I did workshops on massage, simple remedies and essential oils, and another team member did a wonderful training on nursing skills. Everyone learned a lot!
Thus, even though COVID interrupted many of our plans, it also provided wonderful opportunities for us to witness through the health message. As we shared practical ways for people to improve their health and use simple remedies, we made friends and found open doors for us to witness.
In February 2021, I got a call from a lady who had gotten my number from a friend of a friend. My colleague at one of the schools where I work had a stomach issue, and after we prayed together, she had experienced healing. She told her friends about it, and one of them had shared with this woman who was now calling me for advice on her own health challenges. It just shows how receptive people are when they need help with their health! Of course, I gladly went to her home to counsel and pray with her.
Although I am in the United States now helping my brother with his health challenges, I pray for my friends in Senegal often. Will you pray with me that the seeds we planted through health ministry will spring up in people’s hearts? Will you ask God to open more doors for us to serve?
Deborah Ndione and her family are missionaries working near Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.
How You Can Help
Pray for the people whom Deborah is influencing in her area!
Pray that the medical missionary efforts of Deborah and the other Christians in Senegal will clearly show the Father’s love to their Muslim neighbors.
Give by sending your gifts marked “Senegal” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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