International Ministries

IM Missionary, Dr. Bill Clemmer Embarks on New Medical Ministry in the Sudan

March 28, 2011 News

For the past ten years, IM missionary Dr. Bill Clemmer, has been a leader in the massive USAID-funded Project AXxes, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through IMA World Health, a long-time American Baptist International Ministries (IM) partner.  These projects played a major role in revitalizing the health care system in eastern DRC. Project AXxes significantly increased access to primary health care among a population of over 8 million people in conflict ridden areas of Eastern and Southern Congo.

"Project AXxes was one of IMA's most significant projects to date," said Rick Santos, President and CEO of IMA World Health. Working in cooperation with the United States government (USAID), “literally millions of people benefited from this project—especially women and children, whose health is most affected by conflict and poverty—and they will continue to benefit for years to come."

In a recent journal, Bill recounts the scope and results of this project: “The work has been completed, the contracts fulfilled, and the millions of dollars spent. I look back over the past ten years on what was accomplished: over 300 hospitals, clinics, and maternities rebuilt and re-supplied, nearly a thousand clean water sources installed, 162 containers of relief medicine from the United States and Europe distributed, 10 million children vaccinated, 2 million pregnant women put under mosquito nets, 33,000 doctors and nurses retrained, and much more.  My hands have been used, my heart restored, my hope rekindled…..but my passion is still unquenched.”

“American Baptists can be very proud of the ways in which Bill and Ann, his wife, have followed God’s call as IM medical missionaries over the past 19 years,” commented Dr. Reid Trulson, IM executive director.  “With about one doctor to every 90,000 people in DRC, they have brought health care to many thousands who never would have been treated otherwise.”

In February, when IMA successfully concluded its contract with USAID, Bill Clemmer was asked by IM and IMA to bring his leadership and medical experience to people in need in the African nation of Sudan. Four weeks ago, Bill moved to southern Sudan.

The southern part of the country (largely Christian) recently voted for secession, and the process of independence has started.  Hundreds of thousands of refugees in camps such as Darfur and others are walking across scorched land towards the South looking for a new home, a new start, a new way of life.   Sudan is beyond doubt the poorest nation in Africa and health statistics there are abysmal.  Bill commented, “I have agreed (tentatively) to help lead an IMA-led initiative to create a health care system in the Sudan which can deal with the influx of millions; of poor, malnourished, homeless, and sick.   It is akin to what we faced in postwar Congo ten years ago; but the language is unfamiliar, the conditions austere, the security, questionable.”  Along with his work in South Sudan, Bill will have a larger regional role in East Africa.

While Bill serves in Sudan, Ann, his wife, and Cassie, their daughter, will remain in Congo until June to finish the school year, and if all goes as planned, Ann will join Bill in Sudan this fall as Cassie heads off to college.   

To read Bill’s heartfelt journal recounting his service in DRC and including a brief history of his career as an IM missionary, click here.  Also click on this link to give to IM for the support of Bill Clemmer or for projects in Southern Sudan.

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist Mission organization formed in North America. We serve more than 1,800 short-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in more than 70 countries to tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.