Through Divine Intervention, Jeremias Found Chicuque Rural Hospital
Jeremias Franca's face is a familiar one at Chicuque. He is a Person in Mission (PIM) who strongly believes that God led him to Chicuque and feels very blessed to be the hospital's administrator.
It was the summer of 1990, not a safe time to be living in Mozambique, let alone traveling throughout the country. A brutal civil war that had ravaged the country for over ten years was still raging. Seeking some peace and relaxation from his government job in the capital city of Maputo, Jeremias Franca accepted an invitation from a friend to spend a weekend in Inhambane Province, some 300 miles away.
As Jeremias and his friend approached Maxixe, a mid-sized town outside of Chicuque, the brakes of their pick-up truck failed. The vehicle spun around. At that same moment, a bus traveling in the opposite direction collided with the truck. Miraculously, everyone escaped from with minor injuries. Suffering from a dislocated shoulder, Jeremias was taken to the closest hospital, which happened to be Chicuque Rural Hospital (CRH). Little did he know that his first visit to CRH would be the beginning of a new path in his life. Today, Jeremias believes that this accident was nothing less than a divine intervention; he just didn't know it at the time.
Jeremias, a member of The United Methodist Church (UMC), was friends with the United Methodist pastor in Chicuque. As he checked into the emergency room, Jeremias asked for the clergyman to be notified. The pastor came to visit Jeremias and introduced him to two women missionaries, one from Ohio and the other from Texas, who were about to return to the United States. They had been working on hospital administrative issues at CRH.
During his convalescence, Jeremias and the women became better acquainted with each another. The missionaries learned more about Jeremias, his work in the government, and his strong commitment to the UMC. A few days after their introduction, the women approached Jeremias with a life-changing proposal. They had been searching for a United Methodist who could replace them at CRH. Having felt a strong connection with Jeremias from the moment when they first met, the two missionaries truly believed that Jeremias had been brought to CRH through divine intervention. His professional experience was perfect for the position.
At first Jeremias was skeptical. He did not really believe he was qualified for the position, although he was quite interested in the idea. As the conversation progressed, Jeremias decided to give the job a try. Soon thereafter, the two missionaries met with Bishop João Somane Machado and nominated Jeremias for the position at CRH. The Bishop enthusiastically accepted the plan.
Jeremias started his position as administrator of CRH in 1991. He worked for the hospital for three years before leaving Mozambique to complete a Masters in Hospital Administration at Southwest Texas State University. Upon completion of the degree, Jeremias returned to Chicuque and resumed his position as administrator; where he remains today. Jeremias is the first and only Hospital Administrator with a Master's degree in all of Mozambique.
Today, Jeremias lives with his wife Ilda and two sons directly across the road from CRH-- the place that first helped him heal from injury and then presented him with a new calling for his life. He strongly believes that, like Jonah of the Bible, God purposely delivered him to where he is meant to be. He feels blessed to be the hospital's administrator. He wants others to know about God's work that is being done through the United Methodist hospital in Chicuque.