The Clemmer family
Bill and Ann have served in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for fifteen years. For the past ten years Bill has been a leader in the massive USAID-funded Project AXxes, in the DRC through IMA World Health, a long-time American Baptist International Ministries (IM) partner.
Bill writes: International Ministries and their affiliate IMA World Health approached Ann and me a few weeks ago and asked what we thought about Sudan. The southern part of the country (largely Christian) in a referendum overseen by the UN, recently voted for secession and the process of independence has started. Hundreds of thousands of refugees in camps such as Darfur and others are walking across scorched land towards the South looking for a new home, a new start, a new way of life. Sudan is beyond doubt the poorest nation in Africa and health statistics there are abysmal.
I have agreed (tentatively) to help take over an IMA -led initiative to create a health care system in the Sudan which can deal with the influx of millions; of poor, malnourished, homeless, and sick. It is akin to what we faced in post war Congo ten years ago; but the language is unfamiliar, the conditions austere, the security, questionable. Ann and Cassie will remain in Congo until June to finish the school year, and … Ann will join me in Sudan this summer as Cassie heads off to college.
I have been in Sudan for the past 4 weeks and there is much to be done. Half of the health facilities are closed, there are few trained nurses and almost no doctors. Less than 15% of children are vaccinated, less than 10% of women have help with deliveries; there is a paucity of water, food, medicine and the like. Does God really want us to start over? I spent my first week living in a refurbished 20-foot container and the next few weeks in a tent. And it is hot. Yesterday it was 106 degrees in the shade. This was not the milieu I envisioned when I entered medical school 25 years ago….nor the challenges I anticipated encountering once our children left for college. The important question however is not what we anticipated……but what God has planned. If this is where the Lord wants us then the pieces will fall into place; our children will integrate without us back home, security issues will be worked in the Sudan so Ann and I can be together, supplies will arrive so we can make a difference, support from our churches and friends will continue so we can remain, even if it means skipping an upcoming year of furlough to visit churches, families, and friends. God has provided for all such needs in the past……and much more. What makes us think he won’t provide them now?
- We covet your prayers as we contemplate such needs…..and seek most assuredly God’s calling and plan for the future.