HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Apollo (pictured above, serving carrots) has grasped the value of nutrition, having seen how high levels of preventable illness can weaken his church. Since good nutrition is basic to fighting off many illnesses, the Diocese of Bunyoro Kitara in Uganda has asked SAMS missionary Ms. Janine LeGrand to train the leaders of congregations. Unlike many people who just plant maize and beans, Apollo has planted a vibrant vegetable garden at his home next to the church, becoming an example to others. One widow has experienced so much success with her garden that she now sells fresh vegetables to the restaurants in town. She is thrilled to not only supplement her diet, but also her livelihood!
Part of the Church of Uganda, Masindi-Kitara is a young diocese, and the Bishop has been eager to start a health program. Janine has been invited to come and minister there where they face many health challenges. Malaria still kills many people, even more than AIDS. Respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases, worms, skin diseases, ear and eye infections, and malnutrition are among the common medical conditions. Most health clinics do not have doctors and often face shortages of essential drugs. Health education can reduce the heavy disease burden of sickness and death, improve the children’s educational opportunities, and increase the community’s economic base. Janine desires to help the people in Masindi grow in both physical and spiritual health.
- Malnutrition constitutes a great threat to the health of orphans in Uganda, with 38 percent of Ugandan children reported as stunted.... (1)
- Only 28% of Ugandan children age 5-18 have a pair of shoes, two sets of clothing and a blanket. (2)
- 46% of the population of Uganda does not have access to clean water.... only 15% of the rural population live within 15 minutes of a safe water supply. (3)
- 79% of Ugandan households use pit latrines; in rural areas 32% of households lack adequate sanitation facilities (in other words they don't even have pit latrines.) (4)
- Percent of Ugandan population age 14 or under: 49.9% (5)
- Average number of children born per woman: 6.69 (2nd highest in the world) (6)
- 39% of the Peruvian population lives below the International Poverty Line.
- 30% of Peruvian children experience stunted growth before the age of 5.
- The infant mortality rate in Peru is 29 per 1000 births
(1) Masindi District Local Government A Five Year District Integrated Strategic Plan for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children 2008 – 2012 Realising Full Potential of OVC, January 2008, http://www.mglsd.go.ug/ovc/images/strategic_plans/SP-West/Masindi%20OVC%20Strategic%20Plan.doc, accessed 31 October 2011
(5) CIA Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html, accessed 1 Nov 2011.
"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."
Jesus had compassion on the less fortunate and healed their sick. We are called to follow his example. SAMS missionary, Janine LeGrand has been called to a ministry of health education in Masindi-Kitara, Uganda. SAMS missionaries Townsend and Dawn Cooper, serve in the healthcare ministry in Lima, Peru, spreading the gospel through word and deed by meeting the needs of the under-served, especially children.
How you can help
The first thing you can do is PRAY about your involvement in this ministry. The Lord will show you His will for your involvement in the lives of so many who need to experience His love. You may find that a prayer guide like Operation World helpful.
People who have been called to be involved in health ministry globally need prayer and financial support, too. SAMS will help you connect to a missionary who is involved in health ministry. Your praying, giving, and practical support will help those who are already ministering or it will help raise up new SAMS missionaries enabling the church to SEND many more laborers for the ripe harvest.
GIVE to help health ministry globally. Create opportunities for raising funds within your church, workplace or neighborhood. Giving toward clean water, worm treatment, and mosquito nets are very cost effective ways to increase the health of a community and help the poor.
GO! There are many opportunities to minister in health areas. If the Lord is calling you to missionary service, we have a place for you. Consider serving as a career missionary or as a Missionary Bridger from a month up to one year. If you are interested in putting together a short-term mission team to come alongside missionaries who are serving in health ministry as physical therapists, health educators, doctors, and by other ways, SAMS can connect you in a variety of ways to fulfill God’s calling of you and your church.
Missionaries serving through Health Ministry
- Sora Colvin
- Townsend and Dawn Cooper
- Michael and Anita Dohn
- Cathy Donahoe
- Rusty Firestone
- Dotti Gleason
- Janine LeGrand
- Wendy LeMarquand
- Martha Menees
- Kris Reid
- Heidi Whitaker