“I want to be a surgeon to help those who are suffering; to relieve their pain.”
“Surgeons in my country are few,” Dr. James Joseph told us when he first applied to MedSend’s National Scholar’s program in 2014. He was born and raised in South Sudan where he witnessed his own sister succumb to jaundice due to inadequate medical care.
“Many surgical patients are put on waiting lists of three-to-five months or more. But when complications occur, some patients do not survive until the appointment date. I want to be a surgeon to help those who are suffering; to relieve their pain.”
Christ-Centered Training Makes a Difference
Today, Dr. Joseph is a graduate of the Christian surgical residency program at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. His grant from MedSend has made it possible to undergo both spiritual and surgical training. The spiritual aspect, according to Dr. Joesph, is key as it offers patients hope for improved health and healing.
“[We are] trained less or more like a pastor. You talk to your patients about the good news, you give the word of God, pray with them before the operations and in certain cases after the operations, we also pray each time,” he said.
Recently a South Sudanese news service from Dr. Joseph’s home country interviewed him and he told them how this unique training has a tremendous effect on the patients at Kijabe.
“[We had] a patient who had 13 operations and each time we expected the patient [would not survive]. She is Kenyan and is still alive and doing well. Each time we see her, we see God’s mercy and compassion,” he told them.
The Need is Great
Although he and his family currently live and work in Kenya, his dream of going back home and serving in South Sudan is still his driving passion.
“My heart desires to go back to South Sudan because I believe as a country, we are not producing a lot of surgeons compared to Kenya. The need in my country is greater and sometimes I say I have these skills and I’m supposed to give it to my people, I have to give back to my people,” he said. “But sometimes with the difficulties on the ground there, the difficulties for young families and my kids to go back to school and the instability in the country, I think all this contributes, I have to wait a bit,” he explained in his interview.
Despite having to wait to follow God’s call to return home and serve his local community, Dr. Joseph’s faith remains strong.
“Because God is love, so my life became different after I surrendered it. As a commitment to my Lord, I have to share my faith with others and show my patients the practical love of my Lord Jesus the Christ. I will be able to do a lot in my nation and bring the kingdom of God into my profession by God’s grace. To do that, I have to work hard, study well and learn techniques for excellence in surgical practice and in my life and faith.”
MedSend Donors Make an Impact
Dr. Joseph wants the donors at MedSend to know that he is thankful for your prayers and support that allow him and his family to continue his general surgery training. In his own words he prays for “God to continue to bless MedSend for the Glory of His Kingdom!”
At MedSend, we too are thankful for your support and commitment to our mission to bring quality, compassionate, Christ-centered healthcare to the most vulnerable peoples in the world. May God continue to bless you for the glory of His Kingdom.
Healthcare remains the only form of access as a Christian witness in many countries.
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