Innovative Strategy for the Future of Healthcare Missions
“One of the things I am very passionate about in terms of engaging nationals is to challenge them to consider themselves as missionaries and to really actively ask themselves, how am I using this skill as an opportunity to spread the word of God?”
Dr. Faith Lelei is a MedSend National Scholar and family physician from Kenya. After completing her internship at AIC Kijabe Hospital, she went on to be the only doctor at a 35-bed facility for three years before returning to complete her residency in family medicine. Upon graduating in 2019, she was kept on as faculty and assigned critical positions, including COVID response and quality assurance. Within three years of graduation, Dr. Lelei was asked to be the Director of Clinical Services for AIC Kijabe Hospital, a 350-bed mission hospital facility. She is married and the mother of three young children. She has also experienced first-hand the changing nature of healthcare missions on the ground in the Global South.
“10 years ago, I think it was very easy for anyone to come in and serve amongst us,” Dr. Lelei says of Western healthcare missionaries. “Within the last five years work permits in Kenya for [Western healthcare missionaries] has moved from 200 USD to 2000 USD annually. What will that do for us in the healthcare space going forward? It continues to be harder for [Western doctors] to come.”
MedSend Innovates for the Future
As barriers grow for Western healthcare missionaries, Dr. Lelei says there has been a rise of African leaders and a mobilized church in Kenya and Africa. “The Global South has had a growth in missionaries,” she says.
Dr. Lelei explains that while Western missionaries brought the Gospel initially, much of the growth has happened through local missionaries and has been catalyzed by local teams on the ground. The most innovative strategy for reaching the unreached in Africa, she says, is to train and resource nationals. She is inspired to be part of the future at Kijabe, and credits her MedSend-funded residency training with preparing her to understand how to couple her faith with her medical care.
“Compassionate care is not only medical care delivered with empathy and love, but a spiritual ministry to anyone of any faith,” Dr. Lelei says. “Our goal is for Christ to be preached, and for compassion through healthcare to be demonstrated and shown.”
Moblilize a Movemant
For over 30 years, MedSend has been erasing financial barriers for healthcare professionals, allowing them to serve globally. For the past decade, we’ve been equipping local mission-minded medical professionals who impact their own communities. With your financial gift, you help create pathways that support, sustain, and transform lives.
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Healthcare remains the only form of access as a Christian witness in many countries.
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