From Project SAVE Director Janice Walker
About two and a half years ago I received a call from a gentleman, James Umekwe who had found our Project SAVE website. He is a civil engineer, working for the Dept. of Transportation in Maryland. He had just been home to Nigeria and his heart was touched by the lack of medical care in his village, resulting in the death of his father and aunt from undiagnosed diabetes.
He asked me if Project SAVE would be able to help him fill a clinic if he built one. Sensing his sincerity, I agreed. Before hanging up he also asked if I knew a doctor who might help them get the clinic up and running. I told him about Dr. Glenn Geelhoed and Mission to Heal. I did not realize they lived about 30 minutes apart until 2 days later when Glenn called and both men were together. Glenn had agreed to help James in any way he could.
James was ever so committed and literally cashed out his own 401K and began building the Upon This Rock Medical Clinic. Project SAVE sent a 40 ft. container of medical equipment and supplies to fill the clinic. A team from Mission to Heal met in December 2012 for the opening of the clinic. One of our volunteers, Janet Peck, took part in this mission as well as four nursing students from Chico State. It has been a functioning clinic since that time.
After Kristina Chesterman's tragic death, Darcy Lewis, one of the Chico State Nursing instructors, contacted me asking if I knew of any African project that the students could be a part of. James had mentioned extending the clinic, so I immediately gave her his information, knowing he was able to make her dream a reality. After much conversation, it was agreed that funds would be raised and another facility built, bringing the Upon This Rock Medical Clinic from a clinical status to a "hospital" by World Health Organization standards.
The new facility will be named the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Hospital. In addition, nursing and EMT students from Chico State and Butte College will be traveling to Ozu Abram, Nigeria, teaching the things they have learned with the Nigerian nurses, and staff in the local area. Darcy Lewis has plans to write her doctoral thesis on the entire project.
Once again, Project SAVE will be lending a hand by filling a 40' container with needed medical and dental equipment. Their new hospital will have an operating suite, and a dental suite. We are working hand in hand with James, Darcy and the students to help this project succeed. So many wonderful things have happened this last weekend. James came from Maryland, the Chesterman family, and the heart recipient, Susan Vieria.
We had a meeting where they all shared at the Enloe Conference Center which was so very touching as Susan literally allowed Kristina's friends and family to listen to Kristina's heart. Wow....not a dry eye! In addition to a successful run on Sunday morning, May 4th, Ron Reed came over to our home that afternoon to meet James and has offered to share his knowledge of well drilling, and a well drilling rig! We will ship it with our medical supplies.
Shirley Adams (with Bridging the Gap) also came over, met James and committed to raising funds for a public latrine and help with expenses involved with drilling the bore holes. There are 28 villages the hospital serves and everyone needs water. They are still getting water from the rivers.
It is so exciting to see the way God is orchestrating things to help these needy, needy people all because one man, James Umekwe, decided to become involved and help others.
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