Hospital Equipment on Their Way to Ejule

  • Tobias, Father Julius and Dave with the van used to transport medical equipment from Tennessee to Missouri.
  • The Sign Post of the hospital at Ejule.
  • Ejule hospital and pathology equipment.

Can one’s spiritual birthright be meshed between diverse cultures and countries? Yes, if it happens to fall within the parameters of the Rev. Father Julius Okai Abuh’s protective nature! In his characteristically attentive way, Father Julius Abuh is deeply concerned for both his home diocese of Idah in Nigeria and the two American parishes he serves in East Tn. Thanks to Bishop Richard Stika who has been very supportive to Father Abuh.

Father Julius is a home boy, and within his American pastorates of Saints Therese and Joseph, Father creates a way to make his yearly journey back to Idah a work of mercy. His parishioners and far reaching friends around the Knoxville diocese warmly support Father’s ongoing efforts to make life back home easier, particularly concerning mobility. In the recent past, Father dispatched Toyota Sienna vans to Holy Family Orphanage at Ayangba in Kogi State, and the other to St. Kizito minor seminary at Idah. Now those junior seminarians can travel between Iyegu village and downtown Idah for medical assistance, meeting the many transportation needs of the seminary. [In the attached photo, you will see the Bishop of Idah Diocese blessing the new van and handing over the keys to the Rector of the seminary, the Very Rev. Father Pius Faruna.] (Photo 1)

Fulfilling his commission as a living instrument of our Lord, Father Julius prepares to celebrate his Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination in July by initiating the donation of large containers of critically needed medical equipment to a new hospital, “Mercy of Jesus Hospital” located within his home town of Ejule. Using his internal radar for helping opportunities, through Sr. Christiana Akpa OSA, Father Julius Abuh connected with a mission of Franciscan Sisters in Independence Missouri; these amazing Sisters assemble unused medical supplies and equipment from throughout the country, that would otherwise go to a land fill, and import them as needed to different medically impoverished regions. Since there are no government owned hospitals in Father’s hometown of Ejule, it is nearly impossible to receive medical care at any level. Father Okai laments “How many would have lived if only they’d had the money to pay.” Health insurance is unheard of, and even rudimentary medical equipment and facilities for treatment do not even exist. In the photos below you will note medical equipment which includes computerized beds, chairs, surgical materials, blood testing and pathological equipment being conveyed to Independence MO for onward movement to this hospital in Ejule. (photo 2)

Amassing these supplies outside of MO, Father Abuh’s faithful of St. Therese Church, Clinton, Tennessee were very significant in helping to bring this mission to completion; Dr. Pisano was instrumental in gathering the medical equipment and another parishioner, Tobias, even offered to transport these medical supplies to the Sisters’ headquarters at no cost. The backbone of the operation, steered by Dave, another parishioner who worked tirelessly to organize the logistics. (Photo 3)

Father Julius Abuh relays his heartfelt prayers and thoughts to all of the wonderful donors within America, particularly citing the many volunteers, some of whose photos you see in this article. Father Abuh will make further updates available by photo when the equipment eventually arrives in Nigeria. His joys will know no end when they finally arrive in Nigeria and they are being put into good use.

“We must show charity towards the sick, who are in greater need of help. Let us take them some small gift if they are poor, or, at least, let us go and wait on them and comfort them.” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori