This may be a little long, but I hope you will read through it.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will be joining a medical mission team to Kenya in February 2015. I have been asked quite a few questions about this plan, and I hope to answer some of them here.
I love practicing medicine, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that God has given me, the encouragement of my parents, the education provided by my schools and teachers, and the many patients (the true teachers) who entrusted their healthcare to me. I am a physician because that is God’s calling for me. I love interaction with and caring for patients; I love the intellectual challenge of making a diagnosis and treatment plan; I love the adrenaline rush of trauma and medical emergencies; I love teaching young doctors, nurses and others the art, as well as the science, of medical practice.
I do not remember a time that I did not know that I would be a physician. I also knew early on that God wanted me to serve Him in parts of the world that did not have adequate medical care. The door to full time foreign missions has not (yet) opened, but in 2002 I began making short term mission trips with teams from various churches and organizations. I have had the opportunity to serve in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Each mission has blessed me far more than any service I could render to people in those countries.
So, why Kenya? This mission was started by medical students and led by Dr. Lisa Hodges in 2009. Dr. Hodges cannot make the trip this year, and I was offered the chance to participate. I will make the trip with three other doctors and several medical students. We will travel to Bungoma, in a rural and remote area of Kenya, to care for patients in scattered clinics set up in churches and schools. These people have very little access to health care except through medical mission teams from Western countries. Many of the diseases we will treat are only a memory or a note in a textbook in our country, like malaria, yellow fever, and tuberculosis.
What about Ebola? The outbreak in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone is a tragedy, and has curtailed the number of medical missions to Africa. However, these countries are in western-most Africa; Kenya is in eastern Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean, and over 3000 miles away from the outbreak. Kenya closed its borders to travelers from those countries very early in the epidemic. With the fear about Ebola, however, many are choosing not to travel to Africa at all. Kenya, especially the small towns around Bungoma depend heavily on healthcare provided by volunteers. With those volunteers failing to come, treatable diseases are going untreated. Travel to health care is very expensive and reserved for those in the greatest need or those who can afford it.
How can you help? With your prayers, of course, for me and my team members, as well as for the people of Kenya. Please ask God for His protection and guidance as we spread the Word of Jesus Christ and serve the medical needs of His under-served children.
This effort is funded entirely through contributions of concerned people like you. If you would like to participate in this mission through financial assistance, you may do so through PayPal, by clicking on the “Donate” button on this page. Your donation will pay for travel and lodging expenses, as well as medications and supplies. You may reach me by email at email@example.com if you have any questions about how you can help.
Thank you in advance for your prayers.
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