Michael and Joanna Tettey
Michael and Joanna Tettey were based in Segbwema, Sierra Leone with their daughters, Janelle and Joelle from 2007 - 2014.
Whilst serving in Sierra Leone, the Tetteys both worked at the Nixon Memorial Hospital, a 100-bed hospital run by the Methodist church in Sierra Leone's Eastern Province. Michael was the hospital's business manager; Joanna taught obstetrics at the nursing school that was attached to the hospital.
They are now serving as Mission Partners in Benin. Read about their current work here
• January 2014
• December 2012
• September 2011
• May 2011
• April/May 2011
• March 2008
• December 2007
See below to see the challenges Nixon Memorial Hospital is facing in a country where 1 in 8 women die in childbirth...
Read questions that we asked Michael and Joanna during their time in Sierra Leone:
In a paragraph, how would you summarise the work you are doing as a mission partner?
Michael: We work at the Nixon Memorial Methodist Hospital, in Segbwema. I work as a Business Manager/Hospital Administrator. My role involves organising the logistics that make the hospital run smoothly. I have the overall responsibility for procuring drugs and equipment, recruitment of staff, financial accountability and for the effective running of the hospital. I also act as the Secretary to the Board of Governors and liaising with external bodies and organisations on behalf of the hospital. It is also my responsibility to raise funds and other donations on behalf of the hospital. In the UK it is my responsibility to update the World Relationship Team of World Church Office on the state of the hospital, what we are doing and how best we are working to bring relief and the compassion of Christ to the disadvantaged and needy who need the healing services of the hospital. Joanna teaches nursing and obstetrics to community nurses in the Nixon School of Nursing, the nursing school attached to the Nixon Hospital. She liaises with government agencies to set up practical training programmes for the nurses in the surrounding villages. Other duties involve managing student issues and together with the other senior tutors, plan and strategise for the development of the School.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Michael: As the Business Manager, the greatest challenges I face include running the hospital with hardly any funding at all. We work in a very poor and deprived area which was devastated during the eleven -year civil war. As a mission hospital we seek to bring hope and healing to the people we serve by making our services as affordable as possible. This can be very challenging when we do not have access to external funding and are very dependent on the little income we generate in the hospital. Despite all that God has been faithful to us and continually blessed us through the donations we receive from Friends of Nixon and other donors. In the role of the Obstetrics Tutor, Joanna encourages the students to do their best academically and in their roles as Community nurses in improving the health of the community and the country.
What impact do you feel you have made?
The need is so huge that sometimes it is difficult to see what impact our presence has made. I know however that my presence means the only doctor at the hospital is able to carry on his role as the doctor in charge without the additional responsibility of looking for funding, undertaking administrative work and all the other things that I currently do. It also means we are able to provide direction and offer a new dimension based upon my years of experience gained in working for a large UK organisation before going to Sierra Leone. As the Tutor, helping the students realise they can confidentially manage in difficult situations - whether in a hospital or community setting - is probably the most obvious impact.
How do you think God is guiding you in your work?
God's guidance come through the people we serve, our workers who work sacrificially to bring hope and relief in what sometimes may be considered a hopeless situation, to people who are suffering and in need. God guides us through the prayers and the generosity of others who without our prompting have been supporting us because of the love for God. Last but not the least is the guidance we receive through prayers and reliance on God to perform what is a near impossible task.
What has surprised you most of all?
Maybe we should not be surprised by what God can do but we are constantly amazed and surprised by how God has continually provided for the hospital (and of course for us), protected us and made a way for us where there has seemed to be no way. We are constantly amazed by the sacrifices made by staff and other personnel who have to work with little or no resources to bring healing to those who are suffering. It makes us realise that the work is the Lord's and we are His servants, the hands and feet He uses to touch the lives of those who need healing and relief in a difficult situation. The fact that most of the students rise to the academic challenge and in the end work in the community confidently in the practice sessions is a pleasant surprise. By the end of the course, these students seem ready for the final exams and work.