(MNN) — Togo's
most recent statistics show that roughly a third of its population falls below
the global poverty line.
Association of Baptists for World Evangelism's Dr. Michael
Gayle says this plays a huge role in their work. Gayle and his wife, Cheryl, serve at the
Hopital Baptiste Biblique, a 40-bed acute care hospital in Kpele Tsiko, Togo.
The medical team sees 2200 patients admitted each year, cases involving
general surgery, ob/gyn, and pediatrics, to name a few. The attached medical
clinic treats 16,000 out-patients a year, making them the second-busiest
hospital in Togo. In fact, their reputation has spread so far that
their ministry "footprint" now includes southern Togo,
Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.
Hopital Baptiste Biblique is based on missionary support in
financial and in physical capital. It's
one resource they're finding a bit scarce. "We are down to just one
part-time surgeon, one family physician, myself, and a physician's assistant. We have a pediatrician coming back
from furlough later on this year. But we are still in great need of short-term
and career general surgeons, OB/GYNS, and primary care physicians." The staff is also in desperate need of a
fulltime hospital administrator.
Gayle says medicine is an open door to the joy of their
work. "With the hospital and the clinic, we've had over 2400
professions of faith last year. We also have been blessed with two outreaches
now. One is CHE, or Community Health
Evangelism, and another one is mobile medical clinics." Both ministries
started this past year and have had great effect on the area.
Gayle's monthly news update includes this note about the
Community Health Evangelism program. He
says the team finished their preliminary village research and chose two
villages to go into regularly. They will be working with the people in each village
to educate them about important health and sanitation issues.
They're also working to empower each village to be more
self-sufficient (including ways to make money to improve their village
conditions). He says, "All of this will be modeled from the Bible and the
reasons it is good to take care of yourself and others, and not to rely on
The Mobile Medical Clinics continue to go out every
week. It's a great tool to go into a community or village to do Blood
Pressure screening and give a talk on living a healthier lifestyle to lower the
BP, while also taking the time to share the Gospel. The program, run by nationals, is also meant
to help increase the visibility of the church and the pastor.
There are many opportunities for service, both long-term and
short-term. Click here if you want to
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