In November and December of 2013, Sharon Daly, Mossy Foot Project President, spent five weeks in Ethiopia. During this time, much progress and important decisions were made. You can read full details in our attached newsletter on our website. Here are some of the key events of the last few months:
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sight is Coming to Blind Eyes
In Ethiopia, blindness is common in the rural villages because of poverty and lack of medical care. You will often see an adult being led from place to place by a young child. Because of The consequence of blindness for the adult is of course devastating for there is little work available for someone without eyesight. But the consequences for the child can also be drastic, eliminating any opportunity to attend school or enjoy free time with other children. Blindness for Zenebech, one Ethiopian widow with mossy foot disease, forced her to giving her youngest child away since she could not care for him.This need recently drew the attention of a friend of the Mossy Foot Project, who has generously offered a financial gift that will allow for 100 mossy foot patients to receive cataract repair surgery. Medical Missions International has an eye clinic affiliated with Soddo Christian Hospital where the surgery will be performed. They have offered to train 3 staff members of Mossy Foot Project to identify patients that qualify for this surgery. The three Mossy Foot staff will in turn train the health care workers at the 16 Mossy Foot Project clinics. The gift covers the expense of surgery for 100 eyes as well as overnight lodging in Soddo and food for each patient identified as in need.We are very grateful for the way God has moved to make this possible. Our approach has always been to treat our patients holistically, and this gift enables us do so in an even more complete way. And how wonderful to think that restoring sight to the blind will also restore childhood and the possibility of school to a boy or girl.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sharon in Ethiopia: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Here is the latest update from Sharon reporting on development progress at the Mossy Foot Project property in Soddo, Ethiopia:
“I am really excited that we are starting to build on the Mossy Foot property! It will be a blessing not to have to rent property in town. Also, we will be able to install the right electrical wiring so that we can use all of our shoe making equipment. That will enable us to produce more shoes for the mossy foot patients at the clinics.This past week we got estimates on all the things we will need to build the rock wall, the guard house, and "shint bate" (out house). On Friday, materials were being delivered and by Monday a lot of work had already been done.It is such a blessing to have Mark Launder here overseeing the building, expediting the progress, and ensuring good quality. Since he is well acquainted with the culture and how things operate, he is able to navigate challenges that might stop someone else.
The work is labor intensive--with capstones being hand-hewn out of rock, cement mixed by hand, and large rocks being chipped by hand to go in the base for the wall. I tried breaking the rock with a mallet for about 20 seconds and that was enough for me."
This is an exciting report to write since I have just completed six weeks in Ethiopia and am now on my way back to the States. This extended trip has given me the opportunity to work with and encourage staff, visit the remote clinics, and see first hand the progress on developing property for future headquarters.
During my time in Soddo, I hosted a team from Sterling College, Kansas led by the school chaplain. In addition to spending time at Mossy Foot headquarters helping with sewing the special large shoes for patients, the team traveled to Shanto to help with the building of a home for a widow with four children. Two of the widow's children abandoned her because of her mossy foot disease. She was living in a little hut that had big open gaps in it that did not protect her family from the rain.
The team arrived to an exuberant welcome from the neighbors and church workers. Team members worked on the house, nailing on poles, making mud balls, and throwing them up to the mudder. Birhane was profoundly touched that a new house was being built for her.
In addition, I was able to spend time working with a builder who will oversee construction on the property for new Mossy Foot headquarters! With the new construction, we will be able to install the right electrical wiring so that we can use all of our shoe making equipment, which will let us produce more shoes for the patients at the clinics.
I was also able to attend two important meetings in Addis Ababa. One was the Federal Ministry of Health Symposium from June 12-14 regarding treatment options for podoconiosis. The following day, the National Podoconiosis Action Network (NPAC) met to discuss options and future development in disease prevention and treatment.
I am so grateful for the our faithful supporters whose compassion allows this important work to continue to bless and bring healing to those who suffer the effects of this debilitating disease.