Being Salt - A Testimony of Galmi Hospital

(First appeared in SIM Niger Newsletter, November 2010)

We don't always see the impact that we are having in Niger, but it is there. Once in a while the Lord pulls the curtain back and lets us see what He is doing through us. The story I am going to tell is probably representative of many more similar stories in other ministries.

Sunday morning our family buys bean cakes and dough balls (kosai and fanke) for breakfast before going to church. I walked down to where the lady sits in our neighborhood and makes these golden fried nuggets. I noticed a man sitting on the bench that I usually sit on while I wait for the food. He was reading a book. I sat down next to him and we struck up a conversation instantly. Turns out he is a doctor and researcher in the area of AIDS intervention in Niger. I asked him if he knew of Galmi Hospital and our AIDS program there. He said, "Know of it? I was there last week. I met Kendrick, Esther, Sani." He listed some other names as well.

Without any prompting, he said, "Let me tell you what impresses me about Galmi Hospital. First of all, they incorporate religion in the counseling. Even if the AIDS patients don't share their religion, I find they are more motivated to engage in treatment because of this spiritual component."

He went on, "Second, the Galmi team works in collaboration. They share information and discuss the work together. Too often in the local system, everyone guards information and works in their own corner. Health must be a team effort!?

This doctor told me that he was recently teaching medical students and using Galmi as a positive example because of these two points. Galmi Hospital is considered a regional hospital but he said that national hospitals have a lot to learn from Galmi.

Needless to say, I was very proud of our team at Galmi and the influence they were having in ways probably they couldn't imagine. They are being salt. As on the table so also in ministry, a little salt can make a big difference. One day when we are with the Lord, I think most of our missionaries will be surprise to find out just how large an influence they actually had without even knowing it.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Cor. 15:58)