Marje went to Rwanda in 2018 to encourage the volunteers and to go on visits with them to assess the needs. She also explored some possible sources of funding locally to make the project sustainable.
She reports - I was so encouraged to see many of the trained volunteers for palliative care doing the work and making regular visits to our patients providing necessary food, meds, listening support, encouragement and prayer. Poverty is so deep that nearly all our patients are hungry as well as sick. I did not have a report from our goat farmer friend but she was very supportive and will advise. To advance the work more funds are vital - we look to the Lord. Overall it was a very worthwhile trip and the highlight was going on home visits with the volunteers and seeing what good they are doing.
Marje made a follow-up visit this summer. She reports:
Overall it was a significant time with several of our objectives achieved.
1 . A married couple who asked if they could come and look turned out to be a wonderful addition and used their skills to full capacity - both medically and practically - the Rwandans fell in love with them both. They are very keen to return - could they be Gods provision for the future?
2. We agreed with the pastor that a young man in the volunteers' team be paid as team leader for a full day per week. This will bring better organisation as well as record keeping, making us more accountable.
3. The day centre was launched - praise the Lord - several fears and objections were overcome and everyone agreed it had been very successful. 9 of our patients, including a carer, received the invitation very gladly and commented on the importance of leaving their tiny homes for a few hours and being treated to healthy food and drink and the opportunity to do handicrafts - including crocheting, knitting cotton face cloths, hand massage and adult colouring as well as chatting amongst themselves.One lady was carried by a volunteer across ditches to get there and she said she felt they were the arms of Jesus! Some of our more poorly patients were obviously not well enough to attend. There is ongoing discussion as to how often the team could repeat these sessions.
4. Sharon the nurse led a good health education morning " how the heart works and how to keep it healthy". Big needs arose in this session, which included 3 mums who brought their Downs children babies for Sharon "to fix". Sadly they had no idea what the syndrone meant but Sharon chatted to them and answered their questions. We have made plans to ensure that these three families can receive health insurance cards and further support.
5.The medical work of the church is being recognised increasingly in the community - we pray that the community "will see their good works and praise their Father in heaven."
I believe that the Lord is shepherding us in this programme - we want to walk where He leads and trust Him to "equip us with everything for doing His will" " Hebrews 13 v 20
Thankyou again for your commitment - please feel free to ask anything you wish.