December4 , 2022

    Dr. Linda Godsey, Returns to Africa for Fourth Mission Trip

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    Retired Gadsden, Ala., educator Dr. Linda C. Godsey is hoping to return for the fourth time to a summer time medical church mission in the African country of Zambia where, earlier, she gained first-hand experience of how others live in a Third World Country. This year, due to a knee injury, she may not be able to go on this mission which provides medical help to “so many Zambians who otherwise never receive modern health care.

    “They live far out in the ‘bush,’ and never see a doctor or a nurse, even when they have the most terrifying health problems,” Dr. Godsey says. This year, due to an automobile accident, her own health may prevent her from fulfilling a “not only enjoyable experience of seeing people led to Christ, but of helping people for whom there is, otherwise, no medical help at all.”

    Dr. Linda C. Godsey , showing what Zambian women wear to her Church of Christ social group in Gadsden. The garment is modest and most volunteers wear them over slacks as June and July is Zambia’s cold months, south of the Equator.

    The mission, sponsored by the Church of Christ, she says, “was an experience that taught me to be very grateful for the least of our blessings here in this country,” says the former Georgia Special Education practitioner who retired a couple of years ago from the Paulding County School District in the Atlanta, Ga., area after years spent in special education in Alabama. She also worked for the Department of Defense at Fort Rucker where she served as school superintendent on base. She resides in Gadsden, Ala.

    She usually returns, each year, from the medical mission at the end of July after working with the Namwianga Mission, about 120 miles north east of Livingstone, Zambia, usually joining at least 76 other volunteers from various other states in this country, and from Canada.. The Namwianga Mission was established in 1936 and includes four orphanages, nine basic schools, a secondary school, the second tallest radio tower in Africa that broadcasts Christian programming, a small hospital, and the George Benson Christian College of Education.

    The Namwianga Mission was established in 1936 and includes four orphanages, nine basic schools, a secondary school, the second tallest radio tower in Africa that broadcasts Christian programming, a small hospital, and the George Benson Christian College of Education.

    While medicine isn’t her discipline, she along with other volunteers, assisted in health care for over 14,000 poverty stricken Zambians deep in the African bush last year and two years previously. In addition to the usual 76 or so North American and Canadian volunteers, there were approximately 150 Zambian medical professionals from Livingston, and Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, who worked in the clinics providing support for these Zambian living in the bush.

    “It’s an experience I’ll always treasure,” says the retired Georgia educator whose discipline is education, not medicine. “And I hope to do it again, next year, if I can raise the funds to go once again and my knee is well enough for my getting around in the bush.” She was aided in her fundraising efforts to pay for the trip come from by church members of her congregation, the Church of Christ in Gadsden, other churches, and individuals, including several from her mother’s hometown in Northwest Alabama. Each of the other 76 American doctors, nurses and medical mission volunteers like herself last year paid approximately $5,500 to take part in the mission which brought seldom experienced medical, dental, optical, perinatal health care and religious aid to thousands of bush people living in remote areas of Africa. Zambia, in the heart of the African Continent which was at one time the British colony of Northern Rhodesia but became an independent country in 1967. Doctor Livingstone was the first white person to see the “Smoking Thunder”of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River.

    Dr. Godsey, a retired educator, volunteers in the mission pharmacy.

    “Zambia is a very poor African country suffering from a severe three-year long drought,” Dr. Godsey explains. “The extreme dry weather is