|New Foundations is a pioneering christian mission using innovative training to deliver grass roots evidenced-based medicine to marginalised communities in the volatile Niger Delta.
A Story of Hope
This month we shine a light on and tell the story of one of our healthcare workers, Hope.
Hope Tusumone lives in Oyangbene, a remote community in the Niger Delta. She works for New Foundations as a Community Health Care Worker.
Hope is married and has four children. There are no medical services in, or near Oyangbene , the school is almost derelict and few teachers stay. Childhood mortality is high, over 40%, dysentry malaria and typhoid endemic.
Hope has a small holding and grows cassava, clearing the bush by hand twice a year. Her baby is on her back, her tool a machete. Hope has a vision for her community, to open a clinic run by New Foundations, where she will work to serve her people, her husband a local farmer too. In 2014, she showed us the community clinic, an abandoned project the contractors left in 2010. It had end walls and little else.
We started a dialogue with the community. Could they, would they commit to complete the build if New Foundations trained two workers and commit to staff and equip the clinic on completion? Over the next two years little by little the community gathered funds for each stage of the build. Trees were felled and transported to the site once cleared ( by the community women). Sometimes a crisis, flooding, other financial demands meant the project stalled.
Hope rallied the community and persisted to present her vision to successive community councils. In December, anticipating the completion we shipped clinic equipment from the UK for three small clinics storing some for when Oyangbene would be complete.
In June 2016 the netting on the windows, doors, shutters and flooring was finished. One end of the building could conceivably be used as a rudimentary clinic. In the second week of June 9 nine infants and children had died, Oyangbene being a small village of a few hundred, all preventable deaths.
Hope petitioned we should open immediately and so we did on the 27th June. A borehole was drilled on the 25th and tiling is to be started on the 2nd July. A small generator is in place and we now have running water, shower toilet and light. Hope, the community and all at New Foundations are delighted. This has been a long road but this project was birthed by Hope in anguish at seeing so many children die. With huge personal pressures, financial , health and farming she embodied the first part of Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish….literally.
'Where there is no vision, the people perish'
- Proverbs 29:18
This verse is often misconstrued as there is a rejoiner to this first part : but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Hope's vision for the clinic manifests from her desire to serve God in all she does, she steadfastly affirmed that in her obedience, God would make a way for the clinic to become a reality, and with some understanding of the very real problems engaging people in this area to see this clinic finish is without doubt nothing short of a miracle. Hope, like many of the team see no plan B to their life problems. God must , and will come through in answer to prayer, anguished prayer from empty hands and overwhelming need.
During a discussion on the increasing influx of Muslims to the region and increasing tension Hope looked puzzled when some expressed concern about safety. “Why?” she asked, “we have to to stay our ground, proclaim the Gospel, for God will make a way, of course He will , why not?”
Hopes faith is humbling, real and gritty, evidenced in many testimonies that defy logic. She knows her God and that there is no other.