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Pastor Will Bike 4,000 Miles for Mothers and Babies in Mali

Contact: Bruce A. Overstreet, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 518-324-5430, baobiker@gmail.com

PLATTSBURGH, Ny., May 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- This summer, Bruce Overstreet, pastor of North Country Alliance Church in Plattsburgh, New York, will bicycle from California to Maine to benefit The Christian and Missionary Alliance's (C&MA) Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children in Mali, West Africa. "The Republic of Mali is considered one of the most difficult places in the world for mothers and babies," said Overstreet. According to a survey by the Malian government, one out of every four children will never reach their fifth birthday, and 1 out of every 10 women will die in childbirth. "This is changing thanks in great part to the Koutiala Hospital," said Overstreet.

Since 1958, The Alliance established six clinics in Koutiala, but the closest hospital able to provide specialized care was 250 miles away. As a result, many mothers died before they could obtain emergency medical treatment. In response, Alliance medical missionaries and the C&MA church in Mali have partnered to create the Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children. In addition to receiving compassionate care, patients also hear a verbal witness of Christ's love.

Overstreet hopes to raise at least $1 million to expand and better equip the hospital, where the number of women and children seeking medical attention continues to grow each month. Plans are under way to build, equip, and staff a third maternity building and a pediatric clinic. "It is my desire that the medical ministries in Mali be able to grow as necessary, financially unhindered," said Overstreet. To that end, he is challenging individuals to pledge per mile toward his goal. "Whether you pledge a penny, a dollar, or any other amount, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many women and children throughout Mali."

His projected start date is June 2, 2008. The trip spans approximately 4,000 miles and should take about 10 weeks to complete.

For more information or to donate, visit http://www.bikeformali.org.

The Alliance is a fellowship of Christ followers joined together in local churches, dedicated to fulfilling Christ's command to make disciples of all nations. The Alliance has a thoroughly evangelical doctrinal statement and encourages believers from diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite to complete Christ's Great Commission.