Thy Kingdom Come…

One family's journey crossing cultures in pursuit of the kingdom of God

Archive for the category “Medicine”

PAACS in Ethiopia Expands to Two Hospitals

Since I, Bekah, do most of the blogging and communication I feel as if it must look like not much medical work is being done.  I can assure you that this is not true.  Jon spends much of him time either at the hospital or taking call.  During this time he is seeing patients, advising residents, holding conferences, doing surgeries, and providing input into the strategy and direction of the surgery residency program.

Recently, Jon participated in meetings with Dr. Bruce Steffes, CEO of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, Dr. Paul Gray, the other surgeon at Soddo Christian Hospital, and two surgeons from Myungsung Christian Medical Center.  During these meetings a MOU was signed that lays out the plan for making the surgery residency program in Soddo a two-site program.  This means that the residents will spend part of their time in Soddo, which is a rural hospital setting in which they will learn to do operations within many surgical sub-specialties and with limited resources, and part of their time at Myungsung Christian Medical Center in Addis Ababa (capital city of Ethiopia), which is in a more urban setting and will provide deeper training in the surgical sub-specialties and in the use of more advanced equipment and techniques.  It is their hope that the diversity between the two hospital will provide more well rounded training and enable residents to be better prepared for the situations they will face once they graduate.

This is something that was begun before we even got here.  In fact, we’ve come at an exciting time in the life of PAACS in Ethiopia, a time of growth and expansion that is a result of God working and the hard work of those who were here before us.  We’re thankful for their struggles and hard work and give praise to our Lord for enabling the training of a growing group of Christian surgeons who will proclaim and live out His gospel throughout Ethiopia and in other parts of Africa.


Ethiopian Surgical Society Meetings

The winning presentation!

Jon recently had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Ethiopian Surgical Society in Addis with teammates Paul Gray and Duane and Jackie Anderson and three of the surgery residents.  There were several exciting aspects of the meeting.  Jon won the award for the best presentation and the PAACS program at Soddo received more positive attention and acceptance than it has in the past.

The most exciting part of the meetings for them was to meet with two previous surgery residents who have graduated from the surgery residency at Soddo and are now practicing at government hospitals in other parts of Ethiopia.  They were encouraged and excited to hear about how they are serving and influencing their communities by demonstrating Christ’s love to their patients.  It was a much needed boost for Jon, but especially Paul and Duane who have been working here for longer, to see the results of their work.

For more reflections and comments from PAACS Ethiopia alumni, see Paul and Becca Gray’s blog.

We praise the Lord for this and pray that he will be glorified as PAACS receives more attention and acceptance and as graduates spread out over the country and beyond.


About 2 months ago, Jon operated on a three-year-old girl who came in with problems breathing because she had swallowed a coin a year ago.  It was still stuck in her throat after various attempts by the parents to get help getting it out.  We all went to the hospital to visit her and bring her a present.

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