Five years of dreaming grows into medical reality

By January 31, 2012

(MNN) — Five years ago, in the Rukwa Valley, there was no hospital. 

valley, which is 35 miles wide and 135 miles long, is populated by eight distinct
groups of 200,000 to 250,000 people.

there was a medical emergency, it took six hours to drive to the nearest
hospital. General statistics showed an
average of one doctor per 138 000 people, or more.

infection is hovering around 6%. Malnutrition remains a problem, with about one
fifth of the population's children underweight, and nearly one in three
children whose growth has been stunted due to lack of nutrition. 

was that, plus a bout with malaria that drove home the need for a medical
clinic in the region to Mark Guilzon and his wife, Jodi. Friends with the Rabenolds,
a Grace Ministries International team, they began working together toward
meeting that need.

It has taken five years of work, finances, planning, building and
meeting with officials to make a medical clinic happen, but the Mercy Medical
Mission Dispensary has been open for nearly a month now.  It is under the direction of Mark Guilzon, and
he and the staff are committed to "making a difference, one life at a

Doors officially opened January 4, 2012 in Kapenta, Tanzania. The
ultimate goal is to get the clinic running in order to turn it over to the
people of the Rukwa Valley.

Please pray for this clinic as they diagnose and treat many
patients with malaria, HIV, pregnancy, amoebas, lacerations, and many more physical
needs. Not only do they have a desire to meet their physical needs, but they
want open doors to meet their patients' spiritual needs as well.

Grace Ministries International has 72 churches in Tanzania.  The team works with local church partners in
evangelism, church planting, theological education, and community development.   

The Rabenolds launched a vo-tech school which both educates
and equips young Tanzanians in the fields of carpentry and sewing. There is an
intense English training program, fish pond, aquaculture work, two tree
nurseries with an emphasis on introducing new varieties of trees that impact
the Valley's farmers, water projects, weekly dental extraction clinics, and
livestock improvement projects.

They also established the only sunflower oil press in the
Rukwa Valley. This press enables local farmers to produce their own cooking oil
instead of importing it from abroad. All of the above-mentioned projects are to
show the love of Christ to their Rukwa neighbors.

New outreach and development are taking place in the Rukwa Valley
with a special focus on helping people with clean water projects, agriculture,
and evangelizing the fishermen villages on the shores of Lake Rukwa.

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