Frank Mills, Ghana North district superintendent and the Africa Nazarene Youth International justice advocate, shared the following information about a new ministry started by local youth.
Hospitals in Ghana will allow pregnant mothers to have their babies and give any necessary medical care, even when the mothers come to the hospital without cash. But the hospitals have come up with various ways to retrieve money for medications used and other bills. The unfortunate part is that in many hospitals in Ghana North, the newborn babies are detained at the hospital until the parent is able to pay the expenses.
Irresponsible husbands put their pregnant wives in this hard situation by never showing up to the hospital to clear the bills. Sometimes young girls are impregnated by men who refuse responsibility. Such girls sometimes find it difficult to pay bills after delivering at the hospital, and their babies are detained until the family or mother is able to raise funds to clear the debt.
One day Sophia, a first-year high school student and a member of the Dusbuliga Church of the Nazarene, visited the hospital to pray with the sick people as she usually does every Sunday after church. At the hospital, Sophia found out the ordeal of the mothers. She first prayed with the 12 mothers whose infants were detained. Sophia then ran to the church to inform the Nazarene Youth International Social Justice Club leader of the church.
The young boys and girls quickly mobilized a fundraising effort among themselves, friends, and parents. The club members of 23 youth ages 14-24 raised an equivalent of $120 USD within 10 hours. The club members returned to the hospital and paid off medical bills for the release of five mothers and their newborn babies.
The NYI Social Justice Club later decided to continue this ministry. They adopted the name "Jesus at the Hospital" ministry. The club members found various ways to raise money to meet the needs of detained babies and their mothers.
The group later decided to start a rice farm project to sustain the ministry. The village chief gave the club idle swampy land for their project at no charge.
Today, the NYI Social Justice Club members of the Dusbuliga church have been cultivating and selling rice to help the needy and vulnerable. In the last three months, this social club has helped pay the debt of 45 mothers, paid tuition fees for two school drop-outs, and supplied pens and pencils to nearby village school children.