Churches Rolling Bandages for Congo—Still a Vital Need

Post a Comment » Written on July 17th, 2008     
Filed under: News
SANTA BARBARA, CA (July 17, 2008) – Pastor Don Johnson didn’t expect to see a clothesline of baby clothes extended across the front of the sanctuary at Montecito Covenant Church on Sunday morning. But there it was.

Congregation member Gail Robinson and another member of the church were holding up the clothesline of roughly 20 colorful layettes to show off a sampling of the baby clothes the church was sending to a Covenant hospital in Congo.

This past spring, Johnson gave $100 to 10 people in the congregation and charged them to do something with the money that served people. Robinson, a nurse, decided to purchase several midwife kits for a hospital in Congo with the money. She also decided to ask people to sew layettes.

The layettes serve as an incentive for women to come to the hospital to deliver their babies, instead of having them at home. Having their infants dressed in the outfits is something of a status symbol. As a result, the babies are born in a healthier environment, and medical teams are able to teach the mothers about basic health issues such as proper nutrition, hygiene, and caring for their babies.

Since 2004, a small group of women from Montecito Covenant, occasionally helped by students in grades 5-8, have sent more than 3,000 bandage rolls, 46 layettes, and six midwife kits.

Members of the congregation have long served the ministry in Congo. During her lifetime, member Greta Pedersen made more than 3,000 layettes.

Johnson confesses that he did not fully appreciate the importance of this ministry—until he traveled to Congo. Then he realized that the bandages and layettes “are so vitally important.”

Churches around the Covenant have been sewing the items for decades. The cotton bandages are desperately needed in Congo, where they are washed and re-used several times due to the scarcity of supplies.

The value of the last shipment of bandages and other supplies from Montecito was at least $120,000. Commercially purchased bandages can be used only once, and paying for bandages diverts money from being used for medicines.

To learn more about the ministry to help Congo hospitals, see Bandage Rolling.

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