January 29, 2014

Woman on a mission

By Jill Denning Gackle
BHG News

Just four months ago, Bonnie Anderson was sitting under a mango tree in South Sudan with about a dozen women in 90 degree heat talking about what causes malaria. Bonnie and another health professional were surprised when the women suggested it may be caused by dirty water or by flooding. Some remained silent, one spoke up that she didn’t know.

"Finally one woman answered, ‘It was from the mosquito.’ I was just blown away because I thought they knew where they got malaria," Bonnie said.

Bonnie, wife of Peder Anderson, Methodist minister in Washburn, Turtle Lake and Center, has been sharing her story and pictures with the area congregations. She will speak at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, at United Methodist Church in Turtle Lake. While she spoke at the Washburn church a couple of weeks ago, the Center congregation will hear her stories in the spring.

Bonnie’s story comes from a mid-September to mid-October mission trip in South Sudan followed by a month in Kenya. She was returning to Kenya after having been part of a mission trip 30 years ago.

During the first leg of her work, she and two other health professionals filled in for a doctor at a South Sudan clinic for women and children. The three saw 60-120 patients a day, primarily with malaria or diarrhea related diseases.

While at the South Sudan clinic, that clinic and two other clinics were short of medicine.

The Weather Network