The Browns in Niger and the Danja Fistula Center, are Hosting a Major Fistula Medical Event

Our church has long supported Steve and Nancy Brown, SIMs missionaries in Niger. (SIM: Serving in Mission) The Browns are excellent at keeping us informed of all the work they do there, usually also giving many nice glimpses into the lives and challenges of missionaries. Steve recently shared a brief letter, with prayer requests, focusing on a major medical conference, “Fistula Camp” that is being held in their area of Niger, Danja. Additionally, Nancy recently arrived in the United States to visit family and attend the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville. That full letter is posted below.

Note: A fistula is an abnormal, tube-like connection that forms between two organs or vessels that are lined with epithelial cells. Fistulas are generally the result of a disease condition. If you want details about Fistula, check out this PDF from Medical News: What-is-a-Fistula.pdf

From Steve: 

Dear friends and family,

I have just driven across Niger, over 11 hours of driving alone on the main east-west road across the country. Nancy and I went to Niamey for her to take a flight out to be in the US for three weeks to see family and to attend the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville. It was a good trip because among other things God granted me a good night’s sleep to cross the country safely. I listened to all the Psalms and half of Proverbs from an oral Bible that we have by a man named Max McLean. Near the end, as the sun set behind me and darkness closed in, I could no longer really tell where I was. I was just driving in a pocket of light from the headlights of the car. It is a feeling that I like, especially with good music that makes me consider my many blessings.

I want to be brief, so you can start counting from here and see if I am.

We are having a major event at the Danja Fistula Center, for which we would like to ask for your prayers. It is called a “fistula camp.” This means that 5 to 7 fistula surgeons and their OR teams gather with a number of patients from throughout the country, in order to do an intensive week of fistula surgeries together.  The government coordinating body for the fight against obstetrical fistula, called REF, organizes these camps twice a year at various locations, but it has never been held at Danja, until now. If it does not go reasonably well, it may never be held here again!

They surprised us Thursday by saying that they expected up to 50 patients to be brought from elsewhere, and up to 30 medical and governmental administrative visitors. This is in addition to the 21 patients that we have waiting for surgery.  Just feeding and lodging them all will be a big task.

Please pray:

  • For the success of the Fistula conference in Danja, Niger and the Browns’ leadership so they are good hosts and well represent the work they are doing to their guests from around the world.
  • That the conference attendees witness the difference that Christ makes by inspiring people like the Browns to provide compassionate care, and that the name of Jesus would be lifted up by their words and actions.