A medical clinic built by cupcakes

For the last few months, I've been running the God and Art Series on Fridays. It has proven to be very popular and I appreciate everyone stopping by to read about these incredible artists who demonstrate their love for Jesus in what they make. This week, however, I've been working on a large order for a customer on Etsy and I was unable to write a post. The God and Art Series will return next week.

Meanwhile, I have an update from our friend Dr. Joe Gorman who directs Compassion for Africa. This is an update on the new medical clinic that his daughter Annie raised money for by selling cupcakes. Dr. Joe is in Africa right now. He sent this e-mail yesterday:

Dear friends and family,

I was very excited to make it to Namankwan in NE Ghana yesterday to see the medical clinic my daughter, Annie, has been baking cupcakes for since October. I’ve seen pictures of the clinics’ progress since ground was broken on Easter morning, April 8, 2012, but it’s another thing entirely seeing it with my own eyes. It truly was an unforgettable moment when I first laid eyes on it (I’ve attached several low resolution pictures of it and people from the community). I couldn’t help but reflect on Annie’s many surgeries, physical therapy that never seemed to end, countless hours spent on her feet baking cupcakes when it probably would have been better for her to be resting, and how she probably wouldn’t have lived past childhood if she had been born in a developing country like Ghana.

I was very surprised a few weeks ago when Pastor and District Superintendent Frank Mills, my wonderful friend and partner with Compassion for Africa, sent me a picture with the name of the clinic on it: “Annie Gorman Clinic.” Annie’s love for the Namankwan people is now known far and wide here in NE Ghana. As a “Thank you” for Annie’s efforts in raising money for the clinic, I received a rooster and hen yesterday as a sign of continued growth and blessing of our partnership with Namankwan. I told Annie the hen and rooster are her chickens and she needs to take care of them now. She assures me she’ll come and take care of them next year.

Yesterday, Frank and I met with about 50 village elders, both men and women, to talk about their hopes and expectations for the clinic. As we were talking, one woman’s words, as translated by Pastor Emmanuel of the Namankwan Church of the Nazarene, were especially poignant:

Everything lies on women’s shoulders here. When our children are sick, we are responsible to care for them. But then a huge problem arises: how will we take our sick child for medical help? Clinics are far away from us. This means we have to walk for 4-5 hours with a sick child on our back or pay someone to carry us on a bicycle or a “moto” (motorcycle—while we were talking yesterday we saw an obviously sick woman being carried on a “moto” on the pathway not far from the clinic). How will we pay for someone to transport us into town as well as for our sick child’s medical treatment? And if the child has to stay at the clinic, where will we sleep and how will we eat? (there are no guest rooms for parents and the rural poor do not have money to buy food in town).

So, you see the many problems we face here. But yet in spite of this, God is on our side. The clinic is now being built and it will save many lives and make caring for our sick children so much easier.

The nursing mothers in the villages also do not know how to take good care of themselves. If you do not know how to take care of yourself, then how can you take good care of your children? The clinic will help us to take better care of ourselves and children. The clinic will help us live better lives. This will make our entire lives less of a burden. God bless you and help you to do more everywhere you go—especially in the north since life here is so difficult.

It’s times like these when I feel the presence of God brush up against me. Meeting face-to-face with the people who will be served by the clinic. Seeing the faith and longing in their brown eyes. Hearing hope resound in their voices with my own ears. Being present with these my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters in Christ, in northern Ghana, changes me. All of these experiences sink down deep into my heart and remind me why God has called me to be an accidental missionary in Africa. The needs here are great, but the resources of our God are even greater. Each of us with God’s help need to do what we can with what we have where we are. Rather than being depressed by the never-ending need here, however, I find my faith buoyed as I see with my own eyes the tangible difference the presence of Jesus is making in the Namankwan community.

As I walked around the medical clinic today with Frank and talked about how very close we are to offering medical services to the Namankwan/Denegu area and beyond (the area the clinic will service is somewhere around 40 x 50 miles and includes over 100,000 women, men, girls, boys, and babies), I am once again convinced that God is able to do immeasurably more than anything we can ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Thank you again for your prayers for and partnership with Compassion for Africa. They are indeed changing the Namankwan, Ghana community one baby, one girl, one boy, one women, one man, one family at a time.

God bless you and your families,

Joe Gorman
Executive Director, Compassion for Africa

If you are able to give toward any of our projects, please send a check made payable to Compassion for Africa, 412 West Bayhill Drive, Nampa, ID 83686 and tell us which project you’d like your gift to go toward.

One hundred percent of all monies given to “Compassion for Africa” (; go directly to the project for which you designate them. There is no administrative overhead as any travel, transport, printing, postage or other costs associated with “Compassion for Africa” are paid through separate donations. Your gifts are making a world of difference one girl, one boy, one family, and one community at a time. Compassion for Africa is a registered 501(c)(3) with the IRS.

You can also donate to Compassion for Africa by purchasing Uhuru from WritingPlaces on Etsy. If you would like, the contribution of $10 would be made in your name or you can remain anonymous. Just let me know when you order.