(From left) ​Kendra and Natalie Neufeld, Steve Wiebe-Johnson, Rick and Joy Hostetter, Gladys Harder, and Steve and Cathy Schmid were part of the Senegal and South Africa Learning Tour from June 2014. Not pictured: Leslie Harder, Stanley and Ursula Green.
Cathy Schmid
Thursday, January 8, 2015

In June, a group of 11 travelers went on a learning tour to Senegal and South Africa led by Stanley W. and Ursula Green, and Steve Wiebe-Johnson. Stanley Green is the executive director of Mennonite Mission Network, and Wiebe-Johnson is Mennonite Mission Network’s director for Africa. The group visited Mission Network ministries and met the dedicated people who lead them. Throughout the trip, the travelers were asked to journal about their experiences. This is Cathy Schmid’s journal.

 

 

Monday, June 16 (Thies, Senegal)

We were joined after breakfast at La Massa Massa by Antoine Dione, church-planting coordinator for Mission Inter Senegal (MIS). Our first stop was Barthimée Hospital, an MIS ministry effort, where we were greeted by William Musaba, the finance administrator, who filled us in on the history of its growth.

On the rooftop of Barthimee Hospital, where Antoine Dione took the group.

The MIS health outreach began in 1990 as a mobile unit; by 2004, a small clinic was established that achieved the stature of a hospital in 2010. The goal remains to share the love of Christ through caring compassion/social ministry to people in need.

Barthimée is the third hospital in Thies (the other two are public and Catholic facilities) and currently has 50 beds. They hope to have 103 beds when construction is completed. There are 46 doctors on staff – many of them part-time – who are assisted by specialists and student doctors from the university. A dental clinic, a pharmacy, and a lab are fully functioning, and a well-run area blood bank, run by an NGO, provides critical blood supply when needed.


Barthimee Hospital in Thies, Senegal.

Dr. Adamson Phiri, chief of staff, graciously took the time to meet with us. An anesthesiologist by training (from Zambia), he had spoken the previous day in church on behalf of the twins who were being dedicated.

Most patients deal with high blood pressure and malaria. Patients pay upfront except for emergencies, and little health insurance is available for middle and lower classes. A key evangelism strategy for the hospital is to keep the core staff Christian, though many consulting staff are Muslim. Bibles are in all the exam and patient rooms. The chaplain and nurses pray together every morning.

We next visited the MIS headquarters and were joined there by Annelise Goldschmidt, Johann Isaak, and William Kalamo, the pastor of the Baptist church with whom we worshiped, and the accountant for the MIS leadership team. MIS acknowledges that there is no one way to do mission work in Senegal; thus, they seek to do holistic ministry. Outreach includes water projects, medical care, nutrition programs, micro-loan efforts (including women’s cooperatives), village adoptions, cereal banks, goat projects, market gardens, church constructions, child sponsorship programs, and literacy and vocational training programs. Prayer is at the heart of all that they do.


Rick Hostetter and Annelise Goldschmidt.

MIS began around 1990 as the vision of a fraternity of evangelicals in Dakar. World Vision had a presence in the country at the time and helped different churches implement their mission projects. MIS formation satisfied the government, which expected all evangelicals to operate under one organizational structure in Senegal. MIS works with local churches, including Methodist, Assemblies of God, and Baptist congregations. There are two triangular areas of ministry – roughly, one to the north and one to the south. Currently, 19 individuals serve as church planters/project managers.

We next drove north where we were welcomed to the home of Melissa and Mike Eckdahl, and met their family, as well as Wendy and Richard Yancey and their children. Upon our arrival, we experienced their warm hospitality as we shared a traditional Senegalese meal together – eating out of common bowls while seated on the floor. A delicious dish of rice, fish, carrots, eggplant, cabbage, turnips, and various spices was enjoyed by all.


Eating a delicious meal of rice, fish, carrots, eggplant, cabbage, turnips, and various spices.

The Yanceys came to Senegal in 2003, and are soon going on a 10-month furlough. Wendy home-schools the team’s children and is passionate about prayer-walking in their neighborhood: “praying on site with insight.” Richard finds joy in introducing the Bible to new friends, and loves music and gardening. The Eckdahls came to Senegal in 2008 and serve as team leaders. Mike has a Master’s in social work and describes his role as sowing God’s word in the community. Melissa is a physician’s assistant and is passionate about community health, though currently is not running any community clinics. Both feel that, overall, the team is doing more relief than development work – all in the name of Christ.

After the meal, we gathered in their living room to hear of the team’s mission experiences. “Partnership” is critical to understanding their work, and this was illustrated through the story of a young woman who had become paralyzed and had been sent to Barthimée Hospital for treatment. Little could be done for her, so the doctors offered to regularly pray for her “in Jesus’ name.” She miraculously was healed. The team was contacted about her circumstances and healing, and reached out to her upon her return. She has since accepted Christ, as has her mother, and will soon be baptized. It is clear that many different ministries have partnered in witnessing to this young woman.

The team also shared the importance of worship for mission in Senegal. Worship and praise prepare the way, are transforming, and are an excellent model for others coming to hear the gospel for the first time. The team feels their first and foremost job is to “abide in Christ every day in this dark place.” They continually look for God-given opportunities to participate in kingdom work in their community, and feel that they are “priests in this place, leading others in procession to the King.” Thus, prayer and worship are foundational to all they do.

Upon leaving, we drove to St. Louis and checked into the Auberge la Louisiane. After checking into our rooms, we had supper at the hotel and called it a day.​

 Related articles

 

 

Here with purpose: Gloria GuadarramaQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5075/Here-with-purpose-Gloria-GuadarramaHere with purpose: Gloria GuadarramaGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Learning to listen withinMVS reflectionhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5093/Learning-to-listen-withinLearning to listen withinGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Tucson, Arizona
Ted Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimageJust Peace Pilgrimagehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5094/Ted-Gossard-reflects-on-recent-Civil-Rights-movement-JPPTed Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimageGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Journeys of hope "all through the night"Francehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5092/Journeys-of-hopeJourneys of hope "all through the night"GP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Calais
Assembly Mennonite youth group Just Peace Pilgrimage in photosPhoto Essayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5090/Assembly-Mennonite-youth-group-Just-Peace-Pilgrimage-in-photosAssembly Mennonite youth group Just Peace Pilgrimage in photosGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476South Texas
Sweaty flights and bulgogi: the first two days with the Youth Venture South Korea teamYouth Venturehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5089/first-two-days-with-Youth-Venture-South-KoreaSweaty flights and bulgogi: the first two days with the Youth Venture South Korea teamGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mission experience informs development peacebuilding strategiesBloghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5087/Mission-experience-informs-development-peacebuilding-strategiesMission experience informs development peacebuilding strategiesGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Denmark
For a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everBLOGhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5084/For-a-new-dad-fatherhood-feels-more-mysterious-than-everFor a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Here with purpose: Joe SawatzkyQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5074/Here-with-purpose-Joe-SawatzkyHere with purpose: Joe SawatzkyGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritageQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5079/Unity-in-Diversity-An-interview-with-Martin-Gunawan-about-his-cultural-heritage“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritageGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Anabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issueAnabaptist Witnesshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5077/Anabaptist-Witness-combines-scholarship-and-global-solidarity-with-Ethiopian-issueAnabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issueGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Complex grief of climate changeCreation Carehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5078/Complex-grief-of-climate-changeComplex grief of climate changeGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Here with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5070/Here-with-purpose-Sibonokuhle-NcubeHere with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Privilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisMigrationhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5068/Privilege-shapes-our-response-to-the-migrant-crisisPrivilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Calais
Here with purpose: Tim YoderQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5065/Here-with-purpose-Tim-YoderHere with purpose: Tim YoderGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/1213/Holistic ministries in Senegal

​Cathy and Stephen Schmid live in Wooster, Ohio and attend Wooster Mennonite Church.

 Related

 

 

Here with purpose: Gloria Guadarramahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5075/Here-with-purpose-Gloria-GuadarramaHere with purpose: Gloria Guadarrama
Learning to listen withinhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5093/Learning-to-listen-withinLearning to listen within
Ted Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimagehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5094/Ted-Gossard-reflects-on-recent-Civil-Rights-movement-JPPTed Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimage
Journeys of hope "all through the night"https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5092/Journeys-of-hopeJourneys of hope "all through the night"
Assembly Mennonite youth group Just Peace Pilgrimage in photoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5090/Assembly-Mennonite-youth-group-Just-Peace-Pilgrimage-in-photosAssembly Mennonite youth group Just Peace Pilgrimage in photos
Sweaty flights and bulgogi: the first two days with the Youth Venture South Korea teamhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5089/first-two-days-with-Youth-Venture-South-KoreaSweaty flights and bulgogi: the first two days with the Youth Venture South Korea team



 

 

Here with purpose: Gloria Guadarramahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5075/Here-with-purpose-Gloria-GuadarramaHere with purpose: Gloria GuadarramaQ&A
Midwives in Chad help to reduce maternal mortalityhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/video/5097/Midwives-in-Chad-help-to-reduce-maternal-mortalityMidwives in Chad help to reduce maternal mortalityMidwives save lives
Meet Ben and Laurel — the new co-directors of the Paris Mennonite Center!https://www.mennonitemission.net/video/5096/Meet-Ben-and-Laurel-the-new-co-directors-of-the-Paris-Mennonite-CenterMeet Ben and Laurel — the new co-directors of the Paris Mennonite Center!Paris
Learning to listen withinhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5093/Learning-to-listen-withinLearning to listen withinMVS reflection
Jonah and Memee Yang contextualize the gospel in the Hmong culturehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5095/Jonah-and-Memee-Yang-contextualize-the-gospel-in-the-Hmong-cultureJonah and Memee Yang contextualize the gospel in the Hmong cultureSoutheast Asia
Ted Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimagehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5094/Ted-Gossard-reflects-on-recent-Civil-Rights-movement-JPPTed Gossard reflects on recent civil rights pilgrimageJust Peace Pilgrimage