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God's Needle

Healing and Hope in the Land of Witchdoctors

John Butterworth

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God's Needle

Healing and Hope in the Land of Witchdoctors

John Butterworth

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In 1957, newly-qualified nurse Lily Gaynor set sail for Guinea-Bissau to live among the Papel tribe. Tuberculosis, malaria and typhoid were rife. Children were grossly malnourished; witchdoctors flourished. Lily set up a clinic under the mango trees administering penicillin — ‘God’s Needle’.

Filled with one arresting story after another, God’s Needle tells of Lily’s faithfulness in the face of considerable opposition as she provided medical care, preached the gospel and translated the Bible. And from these humble beginnings God has grown the church in Guinea-Bissau to be one of the largest in West Africa.

  • Title

    God's Needle

  • Author(s)

    John Butterworth

  • ISBN

    9781914966286

  • Format

    Paperback

  • Publisher

    10Publishing

  • Pages

    272

  • Published

    20/8/2023

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John Butterworth

John Butterworth

John Butterworth is an award-winning journalist and newspaper editor. In 2008 he was awarded the MBE for services to journalism and charity. He has written six books, and travels all round the Midlands giving talks to groups.

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Overall rating

5.0 based on 1 review

Down to earth missionary in Africa.

Updated since 2013, this book takes us to a country not many of us will know much about – Guinea-Bissau, formerly Portuguese Guinea. God called Lily Gaynor from Liverpool to serve with WEC in the Biombo area of Guinea-Bissau. Her job was to learn the Papel language, turn it into a written language and to translate the New Testament into it. She arrived in 1957 and the Papel New Testament was published in 1994. Meanwhile as a trained nurse, Lily was involved in much medical work (God’s needle was what the people called an injection of penicillin) and the book is full of stories of how many people were healed through this. She was especially used in the safe delivery of many babies in the context of extremely high infant mortality. As the previous source of help in this area was the witchdoctor, there are several stories of the spiritual battle involved, often ending with conversion. Lily is honest about the tension between her medical and translation work, as well as the struggles she faced during her training and adjusting to life in Africa. She was also honest about her failings. She shares that the biggest problem in being a missionary was not finance, which is God’s problem, but keeping the fire burning in their own heart. In short it is a very encouraging read, especially as there is now a thriving church among the Papel people.
Stephen

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