Meet the Medical Missionary: Heidi Haun
As part of our new “Meet our Grant Recipients” Monthly webinars, MedSend recently had the privilege of interviewing medical missionary Heidi Haun.
Heidi is a MedSend grant recipient who has been serving in Ghana since 2014. She is currently home on furlough and waiting for the borders of Ghana to re-open so that she can return. While home, Heidi spent some time with us sharing about her call to the ministry and the impact that her work is having on the people of Ghana. The joy of the Lord that lives in Heidi was evident as she spoke with us; we hope that you enjoy her story as much as we did! (See a video clip from Heidi’s interview at the end of this post)
Call to the Mission Field
Heidi Haun heard about missions early and often during her childhood. Her parents generously and regularly supported missionaries from their local church. Several of her family’s close friends served as international missionaries, which provided exposure to the opportunities and needs from around the world.
Many missionaries express that they felt the call to missions at a very young age; Heidi is no exception. After attending a youth summer camp at age seven, she felt that God was calling her to commit her own life to faithful service through missions. Her motivation: to model Jesus’ compassion for people’s physical and spiritual needs. Soon after deciding to be a career medical missionary, she met her now-husband, the son of two more missionaries. Realizing their mutual call, Heidi recalls remarking: “you’re doing this, I’m doing this – we should probably do this together.” They have been married for over 16 years now.
Day to Day Life In Ghana
Partnering with the International Missions Board (IMB), Heidi embarked to Nalerigu, Ghana to serve as a surgeon. She works at the local Baptist Medical Center, a small 123-bed hospital with 2 operating rooms. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Heidi works in the clinic. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she performs elective surgeries. While she’s working, she has two goals in mind. The first is to ensure that not a single patient leaves her hospital without hearing the Gospel. The second is to always administer the highest level of professional care to each patient.
Though Heidi dedicates a large portion of her time to the hospital, she has also enjoyed exploring around her new home. She quickly bonded with her neighbors in a special way when she gave birth to her daughter in the same hospital where she works nine months after arriving. Many locals attended her daughter’s baby-naming ceremony and still remember it to this day. Some Ghanaian mothers offer Heidi mothering advice and treat her as one of their own; Heidi takes their advice with joy and humility. Her husband has been equally well received; the locals have have bestowed to him the honorable title of “Young White Man’s Chief.”
Part of this community connection comes from being able to speak with the locals in their own language. Since learning Mampruli, Heidi has been able to tenderly pray over scared families in their native tongue before big operations. She even shares the gospel with people in everyday settings, like the marketplace. She emphatically believes that learning the language has been a worthwhile investment.
Physical and Spiritual Healing
The Lord is truly working through Heidi’s service in Ghana.
During our time together, she shared the story of a man who came to her hospital with a bowel obstruction. She whisked him away to the operating room, not knowing if he would live or die.
Part of his bowel had already died, and Heidi had to remove it. Thankfully, he survived the operation. Once he was awake, Heidi shared the gospel with him. The man was polite but uninterested, and he went on his way.
A while later, he came back to the hospital with another bowel obstruction. After caring for him again, Heidi told him that the Lord was giving him a second chance and proceeded to read the Bible story of the group of friends who lowered their sick comrade through a roof to be healed by Jesus. The man looked at his young wife and she nodded. They told Heidi that they were ready – ready to accept Jesus. She prayed with them again, welcoming them into their new lives.
Soon after, Heidi and her husband went with the man and his wife to their local church to introduce them as new brothers and sisters of the congregation. Heidi praises the Lord for His work in this man’s life, grateful that she was able to be a part of it.
Thankful to MedSend
Heidi intends to do mission work for the rest of her life. She told us that most sending agencies require a medical missionary to be debt-free before they can begin their service. The debt from medical school was one of the largest obstacles that Heidi faced, and she expressed her gratitude to MedSend and our donors. Because of her grants from MedSend, Heidi has now been able to spend the last six years living out her calling in Africa.
Though they are now in the U.S. waiting for Ghana to re-open their borders, Heidi and her family are eager to return home to care for their community in Ghana. We pray that they will be instrumental in saving more lives and winning more hearts for the Kingdom!
Watch a clip from Heidi’s interview here:
Healthcare remains the only form of access as a Christian witness in many countries.
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