March 30, 2020

I received a newsletter from Jim and Jodi McGill today.  Jodi teaches nursing, Jim engineers systems for clean water and sanitation.  They do this in the middle of Africa, specifically South Sudan and Niger.  They live and work without what we would call “sound infrastructure”, reliable supply chains or even personal safety.

They wrote to share their great joy about the opening of the ESPERANCE nursing school in Niamey, Niger and the water sanitation training course in South Sudan.  These achievements are the culmination of years of work and prayer.  Now, student nurses are being trained in areas such as neonatal health, pain management, the uses of ultrasound technology, and much more.  Community leaders are now able to bring improvements in hygiene and sanitation to their villages. They can drill clean water wells and build small reservoirs for rainwater catchment.  Adults and children have a better chance to stay healthy.

With the stream of anxious news and uncertainty we are absorbing these days, I thought you would want to know how the life-giving work of God in the world – through the Church and beyond it – goes on.  It continues through the dedication of people who do not seek the spotlight – like the McGills – and it continues because of the faithful generosity of Riversiders who have supported them over the long haul.

There are reasons to celebrate and give thanks, even now.  Perhaps they are found in other lands and distant lives; perhaps some can be found right here.

Written by Bill Hoff

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