The work of the Luke Society in Ghana is based out of Kasei, a small village in central Ghana. Several satellite clinics serve as training centers for community health promoters and for basic health care. Each clinic is dedicated to treating the whole person, body, mind and spirit. With staff pastors on hand, the waiting rooms are treated as evangelism centers, where the Word of God is preached and available in pamphlets.
The clinics are also dedicated to be both preventive and curative. Most of the diseases, like malaria and diarrhea, have been prevented through education. Local community health promoters will also teach proper personal hygiene and how to build latrines.
Another feature of the Luke Society clinic is economic and income generation. "We are working toward the empowerment of rural people and communities," Dr. Boateng says. Starting with less than $100 of clinic income, Dr. Boateng built a community bank to provide loans to subsistence families. These families used the money to buy more land to grow more crops. With the extra crops, micro enterprises began to take root, whether it was a staff member’s wife baking bread or a woman selling cassava root in the local marketplace.
In Ghana, the Luke Society was intentionally organized as a model ministry. "We are reaching out, seeking the whole man, the whole community with the gospel," Dr. Boateng says. "We are more than just giving medicine and getting money. We are offering life in Jesus, and we are offering change and impact for generations."
The most successful offshoot of the ministry in Kasei is the Emmanuel Eye Center in the capitol city of Accra. There are only 50 ophthalmologists in Ghana serving 25 million people. Dr. Abalo Kodjo is the resident eye surgeon for Emmanuel Eye Center.
Because eye care is so rare in Ghana, many patients come to the clinic with misconceptions about the procedures. The traditional rituals involved in healing eye problems have caused many patients to be afraid of what will be done to them. In some villages, leaves are ground up, and the juices are poured into the eye. The acidic juices usually damage the eye, causing severe pain. In other villages, fetish doctors will pour urine into the eye, which also leads to painful eye infections. The most common misconception is that the eye doctors will cut out their eyes, fix them and try to put them back again. To alleviate these anxieties, there are trained staff who discuss procedures and answer the patients’ questions.
Just as in Kasei, Dr. Kodjo and the staff consider the clinic a place for evangelism. The staff pastor delivers a message every morning while the patients wait for their appointment.
Dr. Kodjo recognizes his responsibility to reach out to those who cannot reach the Eye Center and for those who cannot afford eye care. The outreach program offers free health care in villages and eye care for those unable to travel. Thanks to Luke Society supporters, Dr. Kodjo has recently purchased a mobile eye unit, which allows more in-depth eye care in the rural villages.
As the Luke Society in Ghana continues to reach out to the underserved, more people will be led by the Spirit to accept Jesus as their Savior. Dr. Boateng’s vision for an impacting Christian ministry is coming true. Praise the Lord!!