A good missionary imposition


(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

A couple of years ago Adventist filmmaker Paul Kim shot a documentary on the young medical team who operate a remote AHI hospital in Tchad. It got a lot of attention at the (lamely named) SONsceen Film Festival. I caught the film at the 2005 GC session and found Kim's storytelling and the modern ministry of the main characters very inspiring.

This clip -- not from the documentary -- focuses on Samedi, "a nurse who started out as a janitor at a small bush hospital in rural Chad and after working 28 years there has so much experience that during the years when there was no doctor at the hospital was able to save many lives by doing emergency surgeries in addition to all his other duties."

One of the things I appreciate about the mission itself is the less-mediated attitude of the young team who work there. It is a pretty raw story.

Loma Linda University graduate Dr. James Appel writes: Meanwhile, in Béré, Noel, André and the rest were preparing to leave church when a raging man broke in violently and tried to attack our chaplain. Before he could reach Noel, he was restrained and Noel was quickly ushered into a back room. The man was identified as the son of one of our janitors and was finally convinced to return home. Noel continued on to the hospital to see the patients and was followed by this man. When it was seen that he was heading for the hospital, the gatekeeper quickly locked the gate and Noel hid inside. The man jumped the fence, now armed with a knife. As he ran around hunting for Noel, the hospitalized patients' caregivers fought him off with sticks, brooms, and anything else they could get their hands on to keep him away from Noel. Finally, Andre was able to contact the gendarmes who came and subdued him, but not before he had stabbed and destroyed one of the two air conditioners in the operating rooms (the only two on campus and necessary for surgery in this hot climate). The man was taken to prison where he struggled so hard he managed to break one of their doors before finally being locked up.That same day, it is discovered that our Accountant, Ganota, who we'd just fired for embezzeling, has managed to sneak into the garage and steal five bicycles, several large cooking pots and a generator. Somehow, he'd broken in the back door and little by little been carrying things off. We onlyfound out because these items were left by patients as collatoral for their hospital debts and one came back to reclaim his bike only to find it wasn't there. Andre and Pierre were able to go to the market and find that that very day Ganota had packed all the stuff up to ship to his home town of Lere and they were able to recover all the lost items. A warrant was immediately put out on Ganota who managed to slip through the fingers of the gendarmes.Read more here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4226