The global mission breakout session featured the restoration of the hospital in Rotifunk, Sierra Leone that was destroyed in the 1902-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone.
Plagued by poverty, Sierra Leone has an average life expectancy of 46 years. Eighteen percent of children die before age five. Nine percent of babies die in child birth. Fifty percent of the population is under the age of 18 years old. Seventy percent of the population is illiterate. There are only 150 doctors to provide medical care for 6 million people.
In 2014, Rotifunk Hospital reopened and was rededicated as Hartsfield Archer Memorial Hospital, following a two year effort by the General Board of Global Missions and with support from Wrightsville United Methodist Church.
Edith Gleaves, Bishop Yambasu, Dr. Dick Morrison, and Pam Stone relayed that 150,000 people in the Mayamba area virtually have no health care, reflecting a desperate need for a country that has been adversely impacted by Malaria and the Ebola virus.
Two mission teams are scheduled to return to Sierra Leone in the Fall of 2015 to conitnue the good work that has been done:
• An initial assessment was completed to prioritize needs.
• A partial refurbishing of select sections of the hospital.
• A deep bore well was drilled and installed which provides water to the hospital and persons in the surrounding area.
• Much needed medical supplies, equipment, and medicine from North Carolina were shipped and delivered to the hospital.
Bishop Yambasu offered some powerful words as to the importance of mission: “You have preached a good sermon when someone comes down and asks you, ‘what should I do?’” Once we go out in mission to assist those who are disenfranchised and marginalized all for the Kingdom of God we will never be the same.
Bishop Yambasu’s presentation was inspirational and sermonic. He relayed to us that God looks at our availability and not qualifications for mission. Bishop Yambasu also informed us that God will only work miracles using you and me, even though God is able to do it alone. He also reminded us that from Genesis to Revelation we never saw God working miracles alone. We are interconnected and are God’s children regards of ethnicity, geographic location, gender, and or religious beliefs.
The most poignant statement that Bishop Yambasu made was when referencing Jesus healing the blind mind who said that he could only see men walking as trees and then Jesus intervened again and he was able to see men walking as men. He reminded us that when we see men walking as trees we see others as objects and not as brothers and sisters.
Many of us are blessed, and God calls for us to be a blessing for others. We applaud Wrightsville United Methodist Church, Board of Global Missions, Bishop Yambasu, Rev. Edith Gleaves, Dr. Dick Morrison, the mission work teams, and all that support the efforts to bring medical healing to the people in Sierra Leone. The world is surely our parish.