“Do you mean that Scripture is for us too?”

Angola - ministering to the rejected

One of Audrey’s main roles is to help women who arrive at CEML with obstetric fistula. Canadians don’t think of giving birth as dangerous, although it once was so even in Canada.

But pregnancy and childbirth continue to be perilous in Angola. Many women have had difficult deliveries, are unable to access suitable medical care and have ended up with terrible damage. Fistula patients are usually rejected by their communities and families, since they are constantly leaking urine or faeces, and the smell is overpowering. They arrive ashamed and won’t look you in the face. The CEML hospital is the only centre in the southern part of Angola where surgery can repair the damage.

The women are just ecstatic with joy and relief when they are healed! The possibility of a cure has spread by word of mouth, and we have developed an outreach team of Angolan nurses who go into the community to clinics, hospitals, churches, schools and anywhere they get invited. A radio station is now running a weekly talk show on the subject. Even many health professionals have no idea why so many women suffer with fistulas.

Laurinda and Rosalina received fistula repair surgery at no cost at the CEML Hospital. After fistula surgery, they need Caesarian sections for subsequent births. We have a grant program specifically for this purpose. Both became precious to Audrey and she was able to visit them in their home village.

Audrey’s translator and literacy teacher, Camia, comes on Fridays to the patient village at our CEML Hospital to help her communicate with the many Nyaneka fistula sufferers who don't speak Portuguese.

Maria, one of the Nyaneka women with obstetric fistula, told Camia that she had been to church a few times, but they only spoke Portuguese. She couldn’t understand anything and so stopped going. Camia was able to read Scripture to her in her own language. Maria was just thrilled and said, do you mean it’s for us too? Yes, dear lady, the Gospel is for you too! Maria now has a glorious smile! 

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