American economy has impact on mission agency vision.

By October 13, 2006

Zambia (MNN)–The American economy shows signs of slowing and experts think it will probably continue to slow for the next six months.

One of the signs is a devaluation of the dollar. As the dollar’s value falls, it can create havoc for those involved in overseas missions.

For missionaries, it means having to recruit more support to make up the shortfall. For the agencies, it means less gets done with the money they have.

It’s especially frustrating for those groups in the midst of building projects. CURE International launched a children’s hospital building project 14 months ago in Lusaka, Zambia.

However, CURE’s Mark Bush says the change in the value of the US-dollar has created quite a challenge for them. “When we started the initiative, it was 4500 kwacha per dollar. During the lowest period in the last 12 months, it got as low as 3200 kwacha per dollar, so a significant change–over 25 percent. That has severely increased the costs of this project.”

Beit Trust CURE Zambia will be designed to handle pediatric surgical care and muscle reconstruction as well as treat children with chronic bone problems.

It is anticipated that the hospital will provide surgical treatment for 2,000 physically disabled children per year and offer medical care for another 6,000 children.

“We anticipate 2500 to 3000 surgeries performed in a given year. That’s really our opportunity to communicate with not only the children, but (also) their caregivers that bring them to the hospital.”

Bush says they’re moving equipment into readied buildings at the hospital toward a December opening. “We’re very encouraged that, despite the devaluation of the U-S dollar in Zambia, it will not devalue our ability to get out there and spread the Gospel of Christ.”

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