November 15—Africa University Fund
A Moment for Mission
“All of you are children of light and children of the day. … So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.” —1 Thessalonians 5:5a, 11, CEB
When Elisha Friday Ishaya graduated from Africa University in 2015, he was excited about providing the best health care possible. He looked forward to working with patients, serving with competent medical teams, garnering financial support from donors and improving health outcomes for the community he serves.
Then COVID-19 hit.
Job descriptions changed overnight, and health care workers faced a host of new challenges, including lack of protective equipment and medication, funding gaps, food insecurity and poor information systems, to name a few.
With a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Ishaya serves as a perioperative nurse at Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, in Nigeria. When his hospital became an official care center for the pandemic, the number of patients admitted for treatment and emergency surgery increased significantly. “Most of the [other] hospitals,” he said in July, “are no longer accepting patients due to fear of COVID-19.”
But workers remain steadfast. Ishaya recalled preparations by a 50-member team for surgical separation of conjoined twins.
“I was the team leader for the theater nurses and coordinator,” he said. Days before the scheduled surgery, he was one of 17 members of the 50-member medical team who tested positive for COVID-19. The surgery was done with limited personnel. After 14 days of quarantine, he was retested, and the result was negative.
“Glory be to God!” he said.
Our congregation’s generous support of the Africa University Fund is essential to the ministry of Ishaya and other committed alumni.
Loving God, remind us always to continue encouraging one another, especially in challenging moments. Thank you for showing us how to serve. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – Generous God, your good gifts to us are too many to name! We have been so blessed, not so that we might hide away these blessings, but to use them so that the blessings might be multiplied. As we give from our blessing stockpile, help it to multiply and grow. May our gifts empower multiple acts of mercy and compassion, and may your love pour over this world like a flood. If we have buried these gracious blessing, may today be the day we dig them up and put them to work, so that we might be seen as your faithful servants! Amen. (Matthew 25:14-30)
Allen Zomonway, a registered nurse and the hospital administrator at Ganta United Methodist Mission in Liberia, holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Africa University.
With community health as his focus, soliciting financial support is critical. “Most of the patients can’t afford the minimum services fees we charge,” he noted. “The hospital depends on fees,” Zomonway added, “to pay staff salaries and other running costs, but because the intake has reduced, we have a problem buying fuel to provide continuous electricity.”
He shared the story of Sannie, 50, a laboratory aide at Ganta Hospital, who displayed COVID-19 symptoms.
“Building upon our experience from Ebola, coupled with our institutionalized infection-prevention and control measures, the nurse aides, nurses and doctors who cared for Sannie did not contract the virus. Truly, this is a testimony of skills with hope. She recovered and is back at work.”
Thanks to United Methodist support of the Africa University Fund, Zomonway and many other graduates are global agents of change.