WHITTIER – What one local church congregation did was regarded as almost a miracle in far off Africa. The “miracle” had its finale recently with the return to Whittier of Dr. Paul Chinchen from his missionary work in Africa. Chinchen, director of the Malawi African Bible Colleges, visited Whittier Area Community Church to share about his medical care for children in Malawi, Africa. The Biola University graduate has been a missionary there since 1986. On Feb. 18, Whittier Area Community Church officials presented Chinchen with a $100,000 check – the first installment toward a new pediatric hospital in Malawi. Donations totaling $461,000 remain to be transferred, officials said. “The clinic currently has one doctor … and four physician assistants. They treat between 120-150 patients every day, over 3,000 per month,” Ankerberg said. “They would like to build a house so they could hopefully hire another doctor.” African Bible Colleges is slated to break ground on the pediatric clinic this fall. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “How exciting that entire families in your church were involved and engaged in creating this,” Chinchen told the congregation. “When I told \ about what had happened at Whittier Area Community Church … they had never heard of anything like it.” Whittier Area Community Church’s donation to Chinchen began late last year, when the Rev. Bill Ankerberg, the church’s pastor, issued a “Miracle Offering” to his 2,400-member congregation. Ankerberg asked members to try to raise $160,000 to build a pediatric hospital in Malawi. Within weeks, the final donation total was $561,068. “There were thousands and thousands of $1 bills. This wasn’t just six people writing checks; it is the whole congregation,” said Vicki Cooke, the church’s director of generosity. She added that children sold candy and lemonade, and adults gave up bonuses and vacations, to donate money to Malawi. Now Whittier Area Community Church officials plan to use the extra money for further support in the Africa region.
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