Dr Ann Fursdon smiles whenever she thinks about flying with MAF. 'Without your plane,' she explains, 'there's no effective means to reach remote clinics. The alternative is an arduous 2-day road journey of about 560 miles.'
Until last year, she was based at Bebalem Hospital in the south of Chad, near Moundou, advising health centres as part of her secondment from AIM. She has recently moved to the eastern town of Abéché to continue her medical ministry.
One recent MAF medical safari enabled Ann and her team to treat 80 patients in Moundou and refer 120-140 patients for cataract operations in Bebalem.
In remote Ba-Illi, Ann met Ellen who had travelled 62 miles to receive psychiatric help because of anger issues resulting from a land dispute. Ann shared her faith with Ellen, and it helped her see the need for Jesus, enabling Ellen to overcome her rage and bitterness.
'I love the fellowship I have with MAF pilots. Once we had a woman who'd given birth and was bleeding badly. We telephoned MAF, and they were in the right place at the right time to help medevac her.'
Dr Ann Fursdon, AIM
Rosane Harrewyn, wife of MAF's Chief Engineer in Chad, is a physiotherapist who volunteers at Guinebor Hospital, 45 minutes' drive from N'Djaména.
Thanks to Rosane's skill and dedication, people like four-year-old Halime, who was unable to walk because her feet turn inward, now make good progress. Having examined Halime, Rosane provided her with Ponseti shoes which help hold the clubfoot correction in place without needing surgery.
When Halime received the shoes, her face lit up and she attempted her faltering first steps. 'In time, God-willing,' says Rosane, 'Halime will be strong enough to stand and walk by herself.'
Another of her patients had contracted meningitis and was unable to walk or hold her head up. 'I sent the father home with the tasks he needed to work on with her that week, and he did it! One day, Rosane saw the girl walking towards her – holding her father's hand!
'God did a miracle there,' exclaims Rosane. 'To see her walking and smiling is fantastic!