Tuesday, January 31, 2023

"I Know One Thing..."

Dr. Paul had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that was causing him to loss vision.  As a native of the Ivory Coast and now one of only two general surgeons serving at a hospital in Guinea, he knew the challenges of accessing neurosurgical care in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through a mutual connection at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Dr. Paul was able to come all the way to Tenwek for a successful surgery.  That's a LOOONG way; think Seattle to Miami and then another 1500 miles into the Atlantic.  And this all happened without my even being in Kenya!  Since our family returned for our year stateside last July, there have been not only one but two full-time neurosurgeons to carry on the work at Tenwek.  My how things have changed since we first arrived at the hospital in 2016.
Dr. Paul and his wife with our neurosurgery social worker Dominic
January marks the beginning of a new academic year for our neurosurgery residents.  Below are Drs. Fraser Henderson Jr. and Hugh Sims-Williams (my co-consultants at Tenwek) presenting certificates to Drs. Josephat Mburu (top), Ivy Barasa (middle), and Daniel Ndaro (bottom).  Dr. Emmanuel Wafula, our most senior resident, is currently away on an external rotation.  These trainees are one of our greatest joys in being at Tenwek.  They are smart.  They are committed.  They are funny.  And they love Jesus.
Upon preparing to leave Tenwek and return home to Guinea, Dr. Paul wrote a note expressing his appreciation for the care he received.  In it he said, "Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for your humility.  Thank you for your expertise.  I know one thing: God is at Tenwek Hospital."  Indeed, He is.  Much more than receiving needed neurosurgical care, our desire is that patients would encounter Jesus at Tenwek and come to know the lasting hope of eternal life that He offers to anyone who believes in Him.
Sledding with friends Tom and Kady Weigel
We just finished a trip back to Rochester, MN.  It was a busy three days, but a great time of reconnecting with  so many friends.  We spoke about Tenwek at an event with colleagues from Mayo Clinic and also shared at two church services.  We managed to enjoy some sledding too.  Nora, our 7-year-old, somewhere along the drive between Little Rock and Rochester, said to Alisa during one of our (innumerous) bathroom breaks, "Mom, is that white stuff on the ground snow?"  She's never seen that in Kenya!

We will be returning to Tenwek this coming summer.  We don't have tickets purchased yet, but will keep you updated as to our plans.  As always, we cherish your prayers and words of encouragement.  Thank you for your continued love and support.

1 comment:

  1. I love Mrs. Paul's West African dress! We love you and are proud of you.