I’ve been a member of the HAT family for a couple of years but this was the first time I actually got to travel along to Ilorin, Nigeria on the annual mission trip. It was such humbling experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to touch people’s lives.

I had the privilege of helping plan and coordinate the 2 day Career and Entrepreneurship Seminar during which I also gave a presentation on studying abroad and scholarships. The fact that over 450 young people, much more than our most optimistic estimate, attended the event is a testament to their hunger for knowledge and determination to improve themselves. We had gone to Ilorin with the intention of inspiring these young people but speaking to them and learning about their dreams and aspirations has totally inspired me!

Working at the HAT hospital in Idofian opened my eyes to how the lack of access to healthcare affected people’s lives. Every patient we saw was extremely grateful for the care they received. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the other members of the team - doctors, nurses, pharmacists and non-medical volunteers and look forward to going back next year.

By Dr. Kemi Okunade

Amazing Experience

In April 2015, I was privileged enough to be invited to support Hope Alive Trust’s mission trip to Ilorin, a town in Kwara State, middle –belt of Nigeria.

This year’s trip was focused on the ongoing completion of the Hope Alive Trust Hospital and saw us deliver a worthy career seminar in partnership with the Word Sanctuary (the youth arm of the Word Commission). As it was my first time visiting Ilorin, I was excited to meet the community and immerse myself in whatever way I could be of help.

Having already heard about the hospital project, I was impressed to see the near-complete building. The front half of the hospital which had the consultation rooms, pharmacy, laboratory, temporary theatre and wards had been fitted with windows, doors and utilities – effectively functional. The uncompleted half will house the ER, theatre, ICU, the male ward plus an ambulance bay.

What struck me was the selfless determination of surgeons, consultants, general practitioners and nurses (and also numerous non-medical professionals) volunteering their precious time to help realize HAT’s vision. Due to these efforts, HAT was able to attend to approximately 250 patients, offering advice, treatment and minor surgery. And guess what – absolutely free of charge! This is what sold HAT to me! With most people in the neighbouring communities unable to afford otherwise expensive healthcare, such an initiative is quite literally in some circumstances, a lifesaver.

The HAT Career Seminar took place over two days, where approximately 450 students and graduates attended presentations on careers in banking, medicine, entrepreneurship, ministry etc. I was humbled to have been asked to give a presentation on “The Journey to Becoming an Engineer”. I shared my experiences and education to-date, emphasizing that a journey begins in one step, albeit most times a small one. The delegates were engaged, asking very intelligent questions and sharing some of their very interesting stories. As a musician myself, I commend the organization and cohesion within the Word Sanctuary choir. Luckily, I had my guitar with me and was able to participate in a few ministration sessions.

Overall, it was very clear that the seminar delegates were motivated, intelligent and visionary. I look forward to keeping in touch with my new friends and hearing of the great things they accomplish.

I had an amazing time serving and learning from the people of Ilorin. Not only was it in line with scriptures (Proverbs 3:27 – “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so”), it was incredibly fulfilling to put my skills to use to help those who were disadvantaged. I wholeheartedly subscribe to HAT’s vision and hope to continue helping in my capacity as an engineer and entrepreneur.

By Mr. Shegun Okunade

Spiritually and Emotionally Rewarding Trip

My experience of the 2015 HAT medical outreach programme was a very rewarding one. It was an expensive project but nevertheless an emotionally and spiritually rewarding project. It was an opportunity for me to do what I know to do best - caring for people. I was encouraged knowing that the people receiving these services could not pay us but they appreciated the services they received and that God who is a rewarder of those who diligently serve him, will reward us.

The level of poverty was a strong motivation for me to do as much as possible for these people. Another colleague and I had prepared detailed power point presentation slides on Diabetes and Hypertension but we quickly realised that all these people needed was simple education in the bare basics of healthcare and hygiene.

One observation that struck me, was the fact that the General Superintendent of Word Commission, the church that works hand in hand with HAT during these missions, did not leave the children of the orphanage to inhabit the village alone. He moved his family in to live with them in the same deprived and isolated community, in a country where most religious leaders live in pure opulence - this has further humbled me and will continue to shape my attitude towards life.

The highlight for me was attending to the chief imam of the community who attended very early on the 2nd day and was full of commendation for the project. We give God all the praise for His faithfulness throughout.

By Dr. Yomi Adegbite

Serving Others

My trip to Ilorin as a member of the HAT Christian medical mission can only be described as a humbling time, witnessing the fulfillment of the gospel of being our brothers’ keeper. I was excited before, during and even after the trip. It was not about the number of members who left from the UK or the numbers of the volunteers who joined us in Nigeria, but it was about the saving grace of GOD; bringing hope to those presumed hopeless, bringing comfort to them that are without comfort.

Despite the evil plans of the enemy, GOD was able to do exceedingly and abundantly, moving in mysterious ways. He used us to meet the medical needs of hundreds of people, visiting the orphanage to spend time with the children abandoned by the world but not by GOD, laying the foundation of the HAT Primary Care Centre. I would have found it hard to believe how all these were achieved within the space of time we had, if I hadn’t been an eye witness to the glory of GOD.

For all out there who want to be part of all these, please do not put it to a later time. Come on board and join the HAT team. GOD honours little steps. How best to serve GOD than.......Galatians 5:13 - For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Dr. Yinka Shittu

Humbling Experience

For me, this was the first medical charity trip I was involved with. It was quite humbling. It also revealed to me the extent of the work out there that needs to be done. It served to remind me to always be full of gratitude to God; there are things I have perhaps been taking for granted but which fellow human beings are being deprived of, for no fault of theirs.

Finally, I remain grateful to God for such a wonderful opportunity to give something back to the less privileged. I sincerely do hope that we all as fellow human beings will wake up and realise that opportunity abounds out there to make an impact in our community in this our generation. Nothing is too little to do or give. God bless you even as you feel challenged by this.

Dr. Victor Anota

Incredible Mission

Hope Alive Trust Outreach to Nigeria this year to me was "INCREDIBLE", seeing God use HAT to bring Hope, Laughter and Joy to people who were otherwise downcast was nothing short of amazing.

The hospital theatre was one place where this was even more evident to me. An elderly lady, who was living with a lump and had no money to remove it, was over the moon after the removal operation.

So was a young professional who had been saving money without success for his procedure. He was full of praise and admiration for the team after his successful operation. These are but a few of the success stories.

Pastor John Foye

Wonderful Opportunity

I would like to thank HAT for the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the amazing work they are doing in Nigeria. I was so blessed by the testimonies I heard from all the people they had worked with... I look forward to going again next year.

God is really using them to change the lives of many people that are in need of medical help in Ilorin. I have learnt so much from all the team members that I went with and I have been inspired to support HAT in every way possible.

Miss Ibuchi Chukwu.

Giving Back Something

Hope Alive Trust gave me the opportunity I had been looking for to give back to my country of birth. After looking at the HAT website and seeing the wealth of work being done, I was very keen to be part of the missions team’s trip to Kwara in April 2012.

Upon our arrival at Word Assembly, I felt so welcome and a part of my new family. The following day we began in earnest to work on the medical mission with a large turnout. Volunteer medical professionals in Nigeria also joined the HAT team. These were doctors (which included a Professor of Ophthalmology and another Professor of Cardiology), nurses pharmacists and other numerous non-medical volunteers. The people in the village of Gaa Imam are in so much need due to the unfortunate trappings of poverty.

The medical mission work included seeing patients at the out-patient clinic and performing minor surgeries at the hospital theatre, all for free. I saw an array of cases including Malaria, Arthritis, Hypertension and Diabetes for which we provided free medication as well.

Though we were doing good work, there were limitations to the quality of care we could provide. However, HAT is the process of building a Primary Care Centre, which will enable us to provide continuity of care through regular checkups monthly, yearly, as required.

My most poignant encounter was with a 33 year old lady with Sickle Cell Anaemia. She was riddled with all the complications of the disease and had not seen a doctor in years due to poverty. She was pale and jaundiced, complaining of all the symptoms of a sickle cell crisis. Due to the stigma of Sickle cell, her family had not helped her and she was in need of immediate hospitalization. Through HAT we provided the money for her to go to hospital.

When the day was over, I was in awe. I am so proud to say that HAT is in the process of making partnerships with local Nigerian doctors to see people in the free clinics and keep people healthy.

We also visited the Hope Orphanage where we were greeted by Revd Isaac Omolehin and his wife. I was touched by the stories of the children and how funding by HAT was being used to help the abandoned children become useful citizens of the country. This was followed by prayers as trustees of HAT laid the foundation for the Primary Care Clinic.

Dr. Yinka Shittu and I made our way back to Lagos as HAT was involved with a Prison Missions with Four Square Gospel Church, through Mr Kehinde Lawanson. HAT kindly provided toiletries, which included towels, soap etc for the prisoners of Kiri-Kiri prison. Mr. Lawanson explained that the needs of the prisoners are primarily Eye Care and asked for help organizing for Ophthalmologists to perform basic sight surgery on our next visit. The church also managed to help lead over 300 people to Christ.

I would like to thank everyone who helped out with the Hope Alive Trust Medical mission. The Trustees, Revd. Isaac Omolehin, Word Assembly members, doctors, nurses, volunteers, the donors and everyone who helped to make this possible.

I am very grateful for the experience as I went on the Mission to help and teach people, but I gained a family in HAT as well as spiritual growth.

Dr. Antonia Osammor