Mission of Mercy

Date: November 9, 1965
Location: Jasper, IN
Newspaper: The Daily Herald
Page: 13

Sister Therese Martin, S.D.S., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Vogler of R. 5, Jasper, recently participated in one of the services performed by UMATT (United Missionary Air Training and Transport) for the people of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.

Sister therese, who works for the Catholic Secretariat in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was spending a few weeks up-country to see the work carried out by the Salvatorian sisters, priests and brothers in the Nachingwea Diocese.

While she was at Tunduru, the Namdembo Mission, a very sick child was brought into the disoensary. Brother Colman, who is in charge of the dispensary, called Sister to see the patient. However, the next day she traveled back to Masasi, 130 miles from the Namdembo Mission, and believed the child would die as it was impossible to find adequate treatment for her in this dispensary.

On Monday, September 20, Brother Michael, a Marianist brother, flew the UMATT plane to Masasi with three new missionaries plus two doctors. One of the doctors, a woman, came for an inspection of the catholic hospitals and disprensaries in the Nachingwea Diocese. Since the Namdembo Mission was included in the agenda and since it was such a distance to cover by land rover, UMATT consented to fly her there. Sister therese Martin was invited to fly along and eagerly accepted.

While Dr. Schroeder, medical secretary of the Catholic Secretariate, was inspecting the dispensary, she found the sick child, Sue Ellan. Doctor Schroeder said the child had no chance of surviving unless she was taken either to Kampala Hospital in Uganda or the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya where there is treatment for this disease – lymphoma, a malignent tumor of the jaw (one picture shows the dislocated jaw).

The disease is found only among the inhabitants of the middle south-western section of Tanzania. Treatment includes either chemo drugs or x-ray treatment, and lasts for a period of 3-4 months. Dr. Schroeder made a request to have the child taken by plane and Brother Michael, speaking for UMATT, was only too happy to oblige.

That same evening the child and her father were on their way to Nairobi. The father had no chance even to go back to the village so he had to come as he was – no extra clothes and no money. They flew as far as Masasi the first night and stayed at the Salvatorian Mission at Migongo, where some new clothes were obtained for the sick girl. The next morning the father, Sue, Sister De Paul, a doctor, Sister Therese Martin and Brother Michael set out on the second lap of the journey.

The trip was marred by two minor “accidents” on the part of the father and child so the plane had to make two landings during which the two sisters and Brother Michael cleaned the plane and washed out clothes. The group stayed the next evening at Salvatorian Convent in Kurasini, Sister Therese Martin’s home station. During this second part of this journey, the father was given some clothes by some people who heard about the sick child at their first stop Mtwara.

On Wednesday, September 22, an ambulance met the UMATT plane at the Nairobi Airport and took the child to the hospital. All arrangements for the ambulance and hospital were taken care of by Brother Mchael. Sue still has a few months of treatment ahead of her but her benefactors are all waiting for the day when Brother Michael, in the UMATT plane, will bring her and her father back – this time with Sue walking and running like any other girl her age.

United Missionary Air training and transport received the plane and finances for upkeep and fuel for the year 1965 from Joseph fabick of the Fabick Caterpillar Tractor Co., St. Louis. At present the plane has only one pilot, Brother Michael, but Mr. and Mrs. Raymond were expected to arrive in October to help out. UMATT extends its services to all missionaries in East Africa. Because of the great demand for such transport, it is hoped that more people will become interested in helping UMATT obtain planes and contribute to their upkeep.

The former Jasper girl was happy to be able to give the father of her little patient some money for food and lodging since she had received some money from Henrietta Mundy of Huntingburg for just such emergencies.

Sister’s present address is P.O. Box 2592, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa.

CAPTION: Mission of Mercy – These four pictures depict highlights of the accompanying story. In top photo Dr. Schroeder, left, discusses flight with Brother Michael. Sue, the little patient, lies on examining table at Namdembo dispensary while Sister Therese martin, S.D.S., tries to comfort her. The second picture shows Sister Therese transferring Sue from a Land Rover to the plane in Tunduru as Father Finton, S.D.S., looks on. Third picture shows Brother Colman, S.D.S., a nurse, with the child and her father on the plane enroute from Namdembo to Masasi. In the bottom picture Sister Therese martin has removed Sue from the plane in Masasi. In the left background Brother Michael, the pilot, is talking with a doctor, Sister dePaul.

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