Star News: Wrightsville United Methodist leads hospital effort in Sierra Leone

Star News: Wrightsville United Methodist leads hospital effort in Sierra Leone

The Mission of Hope team took off to Rotifunk on November 9th and landed safe and sound. We are looking forward to hearing updates from the team! Until then, check out an article by Star News on the Mission of Hope team!

Mission of Hope: Rotifunk grew out of a request that Wrightsville United Methodist Church help rebuild a hospital in Rotifunk, Sierra Leone.

The local faith-based nonprofit Mission of Hope: Rotifunk, is helping rebuild a hospital in Sierra Leone. They work with a number of individuals and organizations to help develop, teach and deliver medical care and supplies to the Rotifunk Hospital in Rotifunk Sierra Leone.

After 10 years of civil war, in 2013, Methodist Bishop John Yamabasu asked Wrightsville United Methodist Church (WUMC) to help rebuild the hospital in Rotifunk. Dale Smith, a member of WUMC, stepped up to assist and is the chairperson of Mission of Hope: Rotifunk. His background in International Business is evident as he reached out to other religious and secular resources to create a successful endeavor and start the nonprofit.

A group planned to leave Nov. 9 and return Nov. 20. Blair Bigham of Wrightsville Beach is joining them. She will be photographing and making a video to document the activities of the group. While admittedly nervous, she says going on the trip is “awesome” and that she just wants to help in any way possible.

On Oct. 25, the Rev. Doug Lain, pastor of WUMC, blessed the group and their journey.

Sam Spicer, a retired doctor and hospital administrator in Wilmington, will lead the medical group. This is not his first trip to Sierra Leone. He said the first time he went it was eye opening to see so many struggling to just survive.

On this trip, Spicer says they will be focusing on a collaborative approach. While there are three main health issues affecting the area — infectious diseases, maternal health and trauma — Spicer notes that it is imperative to empower those living in Rotifunk.

Mission of Hope: Rotifunk has a coaching collaborative where health professionals in Rotifunk receive a certificate after training. This way, the community can admire and go to their own medical providers instead of waiting until doctors come from other countries.

Spicer also says it’s important to respect what the community wants and not impose ideas on another community.

“Together we come together and make it better” Spicer says, noting the importance of 50/50 collaboration.

Mission of Hope: Rotifunk could use donations of medical supplies, equipment and hospital clothing. They are also looking to provide the hospital with a defibrillator, which it currently does not have. Want to help? Call Dale Smith at 910-617-0277, email him at or visit

Source: Wrightsville United Methodist leads hospital effort in Sierra Leone