Caroyln and Keith are missionaries in Africa who are promoting charcoal as part of their package of Good News – including in their prison outreach.
“Charcoal has been incorporated into our literacy program as one lesson. And then I’ve done a full training for the Main Prison literacy classes, of how to clean, dry, pound and preserve the powder. The method has been written up for them in both English and Leblango, their tribal language, which they have learned to read now. We’ve given them a huge bag of charcoal, a mortar and pestle and airtight containers for their powder. With about 700 men in that one prison, it has eased the misery of so many of them with their gastrointestinal difficulties, sore throats, and wounds.
The first man, I think you might know his story – I’ve attached his photo above. His name is Ben*. He came to me complaining of terrible stomach pain, unable to eat or sleep, and he had actual holes in the edges of his tongue. He had not been diagnosed so I encouraged him to see a doctor. In the meantime, I gave him some charcoal powder we had made from regular charcoal, and taught him how to use it in water for the stomach, and making it a little more like the consistency of gravy for the throat, and then more like a paste to put on his tongue for the sores there. Within two days, he was so much better, thanking God for the relief he received from it. Other inmates saw his improvement and asked him to share his secret medicine and he did. That was a huge sacrifice as he did not know if he could get more of it. Now that all of them can make their own, it is not an issue. We did keep him supplied. He was [later] diagnosed with HIV and tuberculosis and is now on meds for those diagnoses, but he continues to use charcoal making sure he gives adequate times between the meds and the charcoal. I’ve cautioned him on taking them too close to each other.
I’ve also given the prisoners cloth for their poultices – they have an iron they can use to sterilize the cloth. So your teaching, shared with me, is continuing to affect so many across the Lango sub-region. In the teacher training workshops, where all the village literacy teachers are trained, the charcoal lesson is specifically taught in more detail so they can impart it to the classes. So it has gone out to about 13,000 plus learners. We are now expanding to other prisons, so we will need to find a way to provide for each prison, the equipment needed to make the powder well and keep it dry.
It is a natural for the prisons as medicines are difficult for the prisoners to obtain. It is a wonderful healing remedy!”
*”Ben” is used to protect identity and to deflect any embarrassment.