They flee on foot with little more than the clothes on their backs. Entire families sleep in the open, without tents or mosquito nets, eating leaves to stay alive.
Intense fighting between warring groups in Central Africa has caused over 100,000 refugees to take shelter in the camps surrounding the Christian healthcare clinic where MedSend PA Ruth Burks serves. The clinic, which provides curative and medical services for 20,000 patients per year, was founded to serve the local population. Now it is also providing desperately needed healthcare for refugees who suffer with malaria, malnutrition and other serious health problems. An increasing number of refugees are receiving spiritual care as well.
“We have found this to be a unique time in history in this setting as the refugees are from unreached people groups and this is the first time they have the opportunity to hear the Good News,” says Cathy Hoelzer, MPH, PA-C, the clinic’s health program manager, whose MedSend grant was paid in full last year. “Our clinic chaplains and staff are faithfully showing God’s love to them, and as a result, many are being set free and coming into the Kingdom.”
The clinic chaplains and staff distribute audio Bible storytellers to the refugees and help to disciple the groups of believers that are springing up in the camps.
“We rejoice that the clinic is truly becoming a place where people can find physical and spiritual healing,” Cathy says.
Thank you for being senders!
A MedSend grant recipient since 2004, Cathy Hoelzer has received several awards for her humanitarian medical work, which she started in 1991. Last year, when MedSend paid off Cathy’s loans, she wrote:
“It is always hard to put into words how thankful I am for the assistance that MedSend gave my husband and me by paying my school loans. Thank you for being ‘senders’ for us who want to go to the tough places of the world to provide compassionate healthcare. Because of you, many have been healed physically and spiritually.”