We are continuing to work at the 230-bed Angolan church-administered district-style hospital in rural Angola. We continue to participate in the hospital's ministry to the physical, spiritual and educational needs: the only hospital in a catchment of more than 500,000 people to offer emergency surgical services among other services including maternity, pediatrics, medicine, general surgery, TB, HIV, public health and physical therapy. My role is supervising physician for the hospital and also continues with participation in Priscila's fistula care program. Work on the wards includes either supervising rounds and care with Angolan colleagues or primarily rounding and operating myself. We are glad to welcome one new Angolan medical school graduate and an American family physician. I also continue with visiting outlying church-run clinics where providing preventive obstetric care and counseling, praying and encouraging the resident staff are central foci of my visits.
Priscila (another Medsend grant recipient) and I also participate in educational needs, including daily and weekly teaching rounds with nurses and students. We organize two two-day seminars for area clinicians to learn diagnostic and therapeutic care during the year. And we also give health talks a few times a year in churches and church groups.
In all this, we pursue radiating Christ in loving our patients and colleagues, sharing his good news of salvation with them and explaining how medicine works as a picture of the gospel: Christ came for the sick who need healing, not the healthy who think they are whole. The restoration that Christ brings is both a reality and a promise for the future. It is a process in which we participate with our colleagues, learning how we are co-heirs with Christ and share with his sufferings here that we will one day share in his glory.
So, through the daily and weekly process of meeting patients and working with colleagues, we share Christ's hope and bring testimony to his saving power. We have opportunities to extend into the community with our involvement in childrens' ministry at our local church (which meets on the hospital veranda), share about godly views of health in periodic afternoon talks at local congregations and in our monthly visits to outlying clinics. We have a great priviledge as doctors in that people are interested to hear about health in general and that provides an entry gate into sharing the gospel of God's restorative work in us, our families, our communities and for the nations.
Medsend has generously supported us by lifting the need to repay our financial debts while we serve so that we can bring mercy and participate in making things equal in God's world. With this support, we sense we are able to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8). It would have been much more difficult to continue working in an area of need where people can often not even afford basic living expenses if we did not have the financial support to come.