Hamlin Fistula Hospital STS
Hamlin Fistula hospital treats women with childbirth injuries and other related complications. Many tribal communities in Ethiopia practice forced marriages and girls are usually given to marriage at very tender ages.
When young married girls conceive after being married, they at times get injuries at childbirth and develop Fistula conditions and they can longer control bodily wastes- urine and feces.
When this happens, injured girls’ in-laws including their husbands rejects them and they are considered as cursed. The husbands leave and remarry. Again, the family goes through a time of great shame and the poor woman is held responsible for bringing such great shame to the family.
Usually, these girls are hidden by their families from the public as those families try to cover the shame. The effects of these on the affected women are great shame, feeling of rejection and dejection. Fistula hospital takes such women from the villages and treats them.
I visited the hospital and we first showed the God’s Story (Amharic version) to the patients. At first the women looked very disturbed as they watched the scene where the Serpent is deceiving Eve. Later when I asked the women why the looked disturbed when they saw the serpent, they said it reminded them of their state as cursed women. As they watched the rest of the video, their faces lightened up and many of then were shedding tears as they were touched by God’s word and realized Christ took their place as the Lamb died instead of Isaac.
Later we did STS workshop for the hospital medical and assisting staff. Martha and Mary and the one-leper become the hospital favorite stories. As the members of the staff were practicing these stories with the patients, the patients would see the shame in the Martha & Mary story. In One Leper story, patients identified with the leper’s rejection, for all of them had gone through rejection by their families and husbands because of their condition.
There was a great change to the women after the stories. The women said they wanted Jesus to touch them as He touched the leper. The women said they were happy to know that God hasn’t cursed them and He was providing a way out of their world of misery and shame. They become joyful and experienced new life and hope.
Journal of Discovering Story
(Many in Africa use Simply The Story as part of their medical missions work.
The following four letters are from one such person.
Jayne describes her journey, from discovering “story” in an STS workshop to becoming certified to train others in STS. She tells of choosing to adopt story as part of her spiritual outreach in Africa.)
My Call in Missions:
”I am a missionary with Africa Inland Mission, Int. I am a nurse and my role is the HIV Education Coordinator for AIM here in Lesotho.
“My ministry involves working with pastors in the mountain areas of Lesotho to help them understand the call of Jesus to be involved in the lives of people suffering especially with HIV. I also work with training support groups to provide care for those sick with HIV related illnesses and to educated to village people to understand about the transmission, ARV’S (antiretro viral medications for those with HIV) and how to take them, and to give hope in the Name of Jesus to those who have lost hope.
“I also work with herd boys, the shepherds, teaching them about Jesus and who they are in Him and His creation.
After One Simply The Story Workshop:
“This is so exciting to see the shepherds come to understand through the stories about God and His purpose for us and His plan for us to know Him and be His forever more. They love to hear how He has used shepherds throughout the history of the Bible, and it gives them hope to know they are important to Him and He knows them.
“They easily listen to the stories and pick the truths from the stories and then look at their lives and how those truths apply to them. It is such a joy to share with them what God has been wanting them to know about Him for so long.
“They cannot read or write, and have been left behind in hearing and taking His Word into their own lives. What a gift for me to be able to learn from them as they look at things in their eyes and come to understand our God.
After Two More Workshops:
[Jayne and two nationals, who also attended the first workshop in Lesotho, then traveled to serve as Provisional Instructors in STS workshops in Cape Town and Pretoria.]
“We just arrived back in Maseru this afternoon from the two workshops and WOW!! What abundant blessings both were. Much of the time in Cape Town was used to move us toward certification as STS instructors. It was a great opportunity to be closer to being cleared to lead STS workshops in Lesotho. I know we can have our own workshops to teach the method, but I think it is very important in our context and working with the African cultures that we have the backing of the organization of STS and can state we are representing and teaching their material. It will give our workshops the credibility of STS’s reputation as it has been tried and tested for a years and has proven to be a very strong tool for teaching God’s Word. That is our plan for here in Lesotho. We are planning a two day workshop the middle of October in the mountains where I live.
Bramuel is coming to South Africa, to speak at Lausanne in Cape Town. He will come to Lesotho first for our workshop and to do vision casting. He will also be able to check us off on a few more things. By the first part of next year we would like to have another workshop but a two/three day one. I will keep you informed about how those plans come along.
I just wanted to share with you and Dorothy how grateful we are for your prayers and support for these two conferences and for our work here in Lesotho. I am so sure STS is meant to sweep the mountains and bring the “gift of the wonderful truths of the Gospel” to many rural villages where many people don’t read, can’t afford a Bible, or don’t want to read to come to know Jesus through His stories and God’s plan for them.
I can’t thank you enough for what you do for those who can’t read His Word for themselves and depend on us to tell them. I feel God telling us to get back to His Word and depend on the Holy Spirit to bring It alive and active into the hearts and minds of those listening and discussing.
Mamotsoane and Sefiri both were great and are going to be great leaders and co-leaders. We all still have a lot to learn, but are committed to continue. They too are so grateful for all of your help.
All for His Glory!
What I Wrote My Supporters:
“I have talked before about using Simply The Story
style of storytelling with the herd boys in telling them God’s story starting in Genesis. I have had the blessing of attending several workshops to learn and then teach this method of sharing the gospel.
“We found that STS was originally created for those who were either non-literate or semi-literates, but it has become a tool to use for all who are wanting to learn about God. We have been certified now to have our own trainings in Lesotho, and we are making plans now to translate all the material into Sesotho. It is so very important to tell the Bible stories and to teach the STS method in a person’s heart language.
“It is exciting to see what treasures people are finding for themselves from telling a Bible story and asking thought provoking questions that lead to discussion of what God is saying to us. And it is exciting to see where God is leading us to use His stories the way He taught in revealing His truths.
“This method can be done anywhere because the only thing needed is one Bible for the storyteller to learn the story. Even where we don’t have Bibles available, we are praying for a supply of audio solar powered MP3 players with the Bible recorded. Those who can’t read can listen and learn the stories and then go out and tell them to others.
“If you would like to be involved in providing these players, please write to me and I will tell you how you can do that. It feels as though God is saying ‘Get back to my Word and depend on the Holy Spirit to use it as the double edged sword that it is to cut to heart and soul.’”
To see what skills Jayne and one Lethoso national acquired in this short time to become STS Instructors see Certify Leaders.
[If you want more information how STS is being used by Jayne or this area of ministry, email us
and we will forward your request. You need to put the subject line "Request to connect with Jayne."
Hint: It might help for prompting speedy reply, if you choose to do so, to write a note in the body of the letter describing yourself and your interest in connecting with Jayne.]