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West Milton Nurse Reflects on Africa Work

Feb 9, 2007

The following article appeared in today’s Dayton (OH) Daily News. Betty Judd is a member of Community Grace Brethren Church in West Milton (Steve Peters, pastor). According to one member of the church, “Betty is a very special lady and is fulfilling a long-awaited desire to serve God in Africa. The interesting thing is that Betty only became a nurse a few years ago. We miss seeing her every week but know she is doing what she has been called to do at this point in her life.”

By Dale Huffman
Staff Writer

If the cold weather is beginning to get you down, you can pause a moment and think of Betty Judd, a nurse at Grandview Hospital who is in Africa this week where the temperatures are in the 90s.

Judd, 63, who lives in Brookville, is a nurse in the rehabilitation unit at the hospital and is on a medical mission in central Africa where the temperature is extremely warm and the need for medical missionaries is critical.

Judd has been sharing some of her experiences, when she has time, with Roxanna Rouch, also a Grandview nurse and a friend.

“Betty is a remarkable woman,” Rouch said. “She is as spry as a 20-year-old, has five grown children, and is very dedicated to helping others. She has been sending along messages which I am compiling into a little journal to share. She is doing her work through the Grace Brethren International Missions.”

“We don’t know how long Betty will stay there, but from her notes she is having an interesting and fulfilling experience,” Rouch said.

Here are some of the thoughts Judd has sent home.

“I feel humbled that God has chosen me to serve His people here. This is indeed another world. When we drove to work with orphans, well it was a four-hour drive. The potholes are big enough to bury an axle, so it is a challenge. It is very primitive with no electricity or running water. Needless to say, no bathrooms.”

“Some of the children put on programs for us to enjoy and have shared their praise songs. I have treated a number of the little ones who have open sores. We clean them with soap and water, and put a dressing over the wound to keep it clean. We show them that washing a sore and keeping the dirt off will help them heal,” Judd said.

Judd said one of her biggest challenges has been learning how to communicate.

“They speak Sango (the primary language in the Central African Republic) and I have been trying to learn the language,” Judd said. “I have a number of mentors who are helping me with my Sango, and with the culture and other things I otherwise would not know.”

She told Rouch, “Please keep my Sango learning in your prayers. It is a challenge but with His help I can do it.”

Even though the weather has been hot, Judd said that a team of volunteers from Michigan has arrived to help in building a Project Hope school.

“When the school is completed the children will have a new place to get schooling, a hot meal, and medical needs assessed in an orderly fashion,” Judd said.

One of the volunteers has a sewing machine and Judd said she helps repair clothes, and sometimes she teaches English lessons.

Judd wrote, “Everywhere we go there are hundreds of children wanting to shake hands. It is very important to shake everyone’s hand, young and old. It is their way of welcoming us with open arms. They are respectful of your space, however, and wait in line for you to see their hand.”

“I don’t know how to express my feeling of humbleness for having the blessing of being able to work along side such precious people. They just thank you and thank you,” she said.

“Betty is a very special person and is taking great joy in doing God’s work in Africa,” Rouch said.