Kouara-Building 

All of us at GDMMissions are very thankful to the Lord, the Ovenell family, and the Boiffo church for the progress made on the Benin Clinic building.

The perimeter wall, nearly 1,300 feet long by 6 feet high, is nearly complete.  The footing for the foundation of the 36 feet by 75 feet clinic building was dug and poured In early November.  The foundation walls have been laid and most of the backfill is in place.  An ant mound near the building will be broken up and serve as excellent fill. 

All of us at GDMMissions are very thankful to the Lord, the Ovenell family, and the Boiffo church for the progress made on the Benin Clinic building.

The perimeter wall, nearly 1,300 feet long by 6 feet high, is nearly complete.  The footing for the foundation of the 36 feet by 75 feet clinic building was dug and poured In early November.  The foundation walls have been laid and most of the backfill is in place.  An ant mound near the building will be broken up and serve as excellent fill. 

GroundBreakingGroup

Earlier this week we had our second ground breaking at the clinic property.  The first took place back in April.  This was when the well was dug, and the 1300’ long perimeter wall was started. The well has been producing water for the construction project, but will need to be dug a little deeper once the water table drops during the dry season.  The perimeter wall will help protect the property from animals (cows and goats roam free here), and promote clear patient flow once operations begin early next year.

On Tuesday, October 7th a small ground breaking ceremony was held at the clinic site.  Missionary Colin Ovenell and Pastor Zack, together with church members, and the village chief gathered to celebrate commencement of construction on the main clinic building, where most patient care will take place.  The building will be 76’ by 36’.  An evangelism center will also be started over the next few months.

WellDigging

Over that last few weeks, Missionary Colin Ovanell and Pastor Zak have been able to secure the land that was promised by the chief of Boiffo. The five acres of land are ideally situated just to the east of the village. Cotton has been sown and harvested on this piece of land for decades, but this week we began to prepare the land for a much greater sowing and reaping: the sowing of gospel seeds and a reaping of souls for whom Christ died. It's our hope that the clinic which will be built on this land will enable a harvest of souls in this region.

fatimas-story-small

The medical needs in northern Benin are very compelling because the climate is hot, harsh, and dry with a very short growing season. The Dendi people survive mostly on millet and cultivate cotton as a cash crop. Donkeys and oxen are the common beasts of burden and camels are an occasional means of transportation. Although Islam is by far the major religion in the far north, traditional African beliefs are expressed in ancestor worship, attention to the "spirit world," and reliance on traditional healers (witch doctors).

Facts and figures are helpful, but a short story about a teenager named Fatima captures the essence of a people to whom God used us to minister:

She was only fifteen; her face scarred with markings unique to her village, Fatima was among the hundreds seeking medical help during our visit to a remote village near the Nigerian border. Like the other young people in her village, Fatima could not read, write, or speak French. She was a child of the sub-Saharan Africa where tribalism is more powerful than nationalism; where her tribe speaks the language that they have spoken for centuries; and where education seems irrelevant. Girls learn to do chores like planting, harvesting, and cooking so that they will become useful wives. School interferes with gardening, and education seems rather pointless in a society that lives from hand to mouth.

colin-mosque

For a 10 day period we traveled to 5 villages with the team of gifted medical professionals whose desire was to see doors opened for the gospel. Over 1000 medical patients were treated as well as over 150 dental patients. Each individual had opportunity to hear the gospel on multiple occasions. Individuals from 2 villages that have turned away evangelists in the past, expressed an openness to the gospel. We pray that through follow-up, we might on day see churches planted in these challenging areas. Village chiefs from all around came for medical care and expressed great appreciation. It was a very fruitful time of ministry and a blessing to be a part of such a great team of servants.

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