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God's Needle

In 1957 freshly qualified nurse and WEC missionary Lily Gaynor set sail for Guinea-Bissau, to live among the Papel tribe. Tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid were rife. Children were grossly malnourished; witch doctors flourished. Lily set up a clinic under the mango trees, administering penicillin - `God's needle'. Medical care didn't stop there: pigs, cows, rabbits and hens all passed through Lily's hands. Many villagers suffered agonizing toothache: Lily learned emergency dentistry. The book is filled with one arresting medical story after another. In the evenings she learned Papel, invented an alphabet, and finally translated the entire New Testament, now published with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She faced considerable opposition. Witchdoctors cursed; new converts were threatened with death; senior colleagues opposed her medical efforts. Yet today Guinea-Bissau has one of the biggest national churches in West Africa.
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About the Author

A nurse in Guinea Bissau for most of her working life, Lily is now retired and living in the UK.


"I simply couldn't put it down." -- Helen Roseveare "What a gem of a book - may your heart be warmed and challenged as you read it!" -- Patrick Johnstone, Operation World What an exciting life Lily must have lead. This book is wonderful. I enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations of being a missionary. Lily translates the New testament into Papel for the people of her area. but she has to invent a written alphabet before she can do the translation. This book takes us into the heart of her work. She fights food problems, malaria, an escaped psychiatric patient, Cholera and Rabies. This book holds your interest all the way through. You will find yourself rooting for Lily and her work. She is truly a great woman that devoted her life to God and to doing his work. She is truly an Angel to the people of West Africa. -- Patricia McCluskey * Netgalley * "This very personal book tells the story Lily Gaynor's work as a medical missionary in Guinea-Bissau [It is] a heartening story, [for] which anyone interested not only in evangelisation but in third world development as a whole. Facing all [her obstacles] she suggests that the missionary has to `keep the fire alive in their heart'." * The Irish Catholic * `This book will provide a fascinating and inspiring read to any believer. A wonderful account of a great God at work through ordinary people.' -- Julia Jones * evangelicals now *

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