Stories from a Lifetime in Africa
Medicine is one means of meeting the needs of people throughout the world. Working with the disabled opens closed doors and is an outreach to those I consider "unreached". Three to ten percent of the world is considered to have some type of disability. Only a very few in the developing world can find care to improve their plight in life. Surgical rehabilitation, and its associated care, has opened doors throughout East Africa and has opened doors into closed countries. Kenya was the beginning. In 2006 a team entered a country where we were told, "There are no Christians, national or expats!" The third day there a medical student commented, "I have never met a Christian." A recent publication suggested that only 1 in 15 in that country had every met a Christian. Now, seven years later we have touched the physical lives of probably thousands, and we have planted a lot of seeds. Children with hydrocephalus, spina bifida, burn contractures, club feet, cleft lips/palates, and other disabilities are receiving care that was not previously available, AND children from 4 surrounding regions are also coming for care. The work of BethanyKids in Kenya, and of the Lord, saw about 7,000 people come to the Lord in 2011. Most of Africa has nearly no significant medical care for the disabled. With added workers and further training, doors could be open to much of the developing world.