On August 14th, 2017, the Evangelical Baptist Health Center of Boiffo opened its doors for evangelism and patient care. Our initial staff were one doctor (Steve) and one nurse (Kat), four nursing assistants (Moustapha, Ozifa, Yacoubou, Annatou), two pharmacy assistants (Affoussa and Anne), a laboratory technician (Latifou) who is also being trained to provide dental care, two apprentices (Garba and Moussouliath), and an administrator (Ibrahim). Two men from the church in Boiffo (Sinka and Noufou) come every day to share the gospel story with waiting patients. The initial staff members have been with us for two years, and are now fairly well trained and doing their jobs admirably. Over the past couple of years, our team has been joined by Arissou (lab assistant), Esta (a lady from the church who helps daily with evangelism), and Aziz (patient registration). Various doctors, dentists, nurses, and others from Benin, Niger, America, and Europe have come to Boiffo to help for short periods of time. We are expecting next month to be joined by three additional Beninese staff members whose education has been sponsored on scholarship by the mission: Zacharie (nurse with a Master’s degree), Elisabeth (midwife), and Idrissou (nursing assistant). We praise the Lord for a great Beninese staff team and helpful support from visiting foreign staff!
The health center is now treating and sharing the gospel with over 300 patients per week. Since opening two years ago, we have treated over 13,000 unique patients, many of them being treated multiple times for different illnesses or being followed regularly for chronic illness. Almost all of our patients are accompanied by family members, who also hear the gospel. Several of them have made the decision to trust in Jesus for salvation, and a few continue to regularly worship our Savior in church services or Bible studies. Many of our patients come from the rural villages surrounding Boiffo, but many others come from the cities of Malanville and Kandi in Benin and from Gaya in Niger. Some have traveled great distances to come from the interior of Nigeria, southern Benin, Niamey in Niger, Gao in Mali, and Lome in Togo. Patients come from all walks of life, including rural farmers, traveling businessmen, ceremonial leaders such as village chiefs and local kings, government officials such as police officers and mayors, religious leaders of mosques and spirit healers, and many others. One day each week, we divide into teams and visit patients in their homes to check on their health and share the good news of God’s love for them and the way of salvation through Jesus. We and the health center staff have also been active in the community, putting on community health skits, playing the Jesus film on a projector in the village, starting Bible studies, repairing roads, providing food and clothing aid to flood victims, and holding mobile clinics in other villages. We praise the Lord that He has opened so many doors for ministry in His name!