Indielou Dougnon’s ministry in Kayes, Mali, is improbable in many ways. Even through hurdles, he has retained a devout dedication to the Lord, and his ministry has flourished since opening in 1999.
Tribal allegiances run deep in Muslim-dominated western Mali, but Dougnon has formed relationships built on trust and respect with the Fulani, Moor and Soninke tribes. Despite his Christian background, Dougnon is supported by many of the Muslim neighbors.
Dougnon’s home base is the six-room Bethesda Clinic in Aite, but he travels by truck to 20 villages and 60 hamlets to help deliver health and hope to those in need. He has remained loyal to the region despite an unsettled political climate.
He lives out his faith through faithfully showing the Jesus Film to people who come to the clinic. During one campaign, more than 1,000 people were introduced to Christ from the film and Dougnon’s testimony.
Nurse Indielou Dougnon is a collaborator. His ability to bridge the gap between different tribal and religious groups has helped his ministry flourish in a heavily Muslim region. He is unassuming and has a good sense of humor which helps him relate well to others. The Mali Partnership Ministry Team includes: David Mulder; Gallaudet Howard; Doug and Julie Van Hofwegen; Dean and Deb Mechler; Holly Van Hofwegen; and Jason and Julie Tinklenberg.
Population: 17 million
Size: 1.2 million sq. km, or about twice the size of Texas
Borders: Senegal and Mauritania to the west; Algeria to the northeast; Niger to the east; Guinea, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to the south.
Religious groups: Muslim, 94.8%; Christian, 2.4%
Primary language: French
Literacy (age 15+): 38.7%
Physician density: 0.08 doctors per 1,000 people.
Population below international poverty line: 36.1%
Life expectancy: 55.3 years
Infant mortality rate: 0.08 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Major exports: Cotton, gold, livestock.
Climate: Subtropical to arid; hot and dry from February-June; rainy, humid and mild from June-November; cool and dry from November-February.
Terrain: Mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in the south; rugged hills in the northeast.