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Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Patricia Linssen, OSF, FSCC HealthCare Ministry, Inc. Vice President of Mission, recounts the process of how CCIHC (Catholic Consotium for International Health Care) shipped $12,000 pounds of medical equipment and supplies to the Benedictine Sisters of St. Agnes, Chipole, Tanzania.
At the beginning of 2007, Sister Chrisma Ngonyani, OSB, a Benedictine Sister of St. Agnes, Chipole, Tanzania came to live with us and study at our college. After a couple of months here, she mentioned something to Sister Louise, our Community Director, about the needs of their Sisters for a clinic they operate for the people in the local area. This occurred shortly after our healthcare system joined the CCIHC and I made the acquaintance of Bruce Compton and learned about mission efforts at the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach warehouse in Springfield, IL. We thought of applying to CCIHC for help. Sister Chrisma and I began working together on the application process.
One part of the application process was sent to Mother Asante in Chipole to list items that could benefit their clinic. Another was to find funds for shipping costs. This proved very challenging. After some negative responses for financial aid from other groups, Brother Regis Fust, SDS, who operates a well-known mission warehouse in New Holstein, WI, offered to provide $8, 000 toward the expenses.
In the meantime, Mother Asante came to the United States to visit her Sisters in this country. When she was with us in Manitowoc in October, 2009, I had the opportunity to bring her to Springfield, IL, Mission Outreach Center. She reviewed the list of supplies and equipment. Additionally, she toured the warehouse and could add other available items.
Finally, this March, everything was in place. The container was scheduled, filled and shipped to Tanzania. It left the port of New York City on March 26, 2009. Arrival is expected soon.
The medical needs of the people in this area where the Benedictine Sisters live and serve are very great. Their clinic serves many ill and injured. The closest hospital is eight hours away, therefore the Sisters would like to expand the clinic to provide for more patients including those needing to stay. The equipment and supplies shipped to them will go a long way in making this a reality. And the Sisters are very grateful to all the people who have contributed in whatever way in making this possible.