“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16, 17.
Bassirou is eight years old and has been coming to the “Good News Club,” a ministry of Amour et Compassion du Christ (Love and Compassion of Christ). Ayouba Moussa, the director, told me that Bassirou and his brothers and sisters walk more than a mile to learn about Jesus. Like most kids who attend, they don’t have shoes to wear. Bassirou and his siblings are from an extremely poor Muslim family and would never have known who Jesus was without the “Good News Club.”
Ayouba recently learned that Bassirou was seriously ill, so he and his wife Sirleide went to visit the family. Bassirou had a serious case of malaria with a very high fever and appeared lifeless. It was obvious to them he needed medical care, but Bassirou’s family live in deep poverty and had no means to pay for his care. Ayouba and Sirleide knew they had to do something so they took Bassirou to the hospital some distance away.
At the hospital Bassirou received the treatment he needed. The doctor that treated him said he was in critical condition because the malaria caused severe anemia, resulting in loss of oxygen supply to his body tissues. He told them Bassirou would have died in a day or two if they had not brought him for treatment.
Ayouba and Sieleide Moussa gladly spent more than half of their monthly support check to pay for this child’s care. Without their concern and intervention, this could have been just another tragic story, just one more needless death of a child who was curable with a short visit to a health center and an antibiotic.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 94% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa – most commonly in children under the age of five. Malaria is a major public health issue in Niger and is endemic throughout the country. Malaria accounts for 28% of all illnesses and 50% of all deaths in this nation of more than 25 million people. These are preventable deaths!
This is the reason building this health center is so critically important. Ayouba and Sieleide are working with hundreds of children of all ages. Many of them are coming to faith in Jesus. As they grow older in Christ, they will be the next generation to carry the message of Christ to this nation. We simply cannot allow an easy-to-treat disease like malaria take the lives of these children before they have an opportunity to mature in faith.
Bassirou has recovered and is able to return to the “Good News Club,” but all is not good news. Bassirou’s little sister (in the pink dress) recently died of malnutrition, a second major challenge for this area and the children coming to “Good News Club.” This is the reason we will start a feeding program for these kids soon.
Your donation for the new health center is an investment in this next generation of Christ followers. It is one of many ways that Hope Springs can literally bring hope to people who have so little. hopespringsint.com/donate