There are several ways to look at my path that has been laid out for the next year. One is to say that I came here to work at Soddo Christian Hospital (SCH). Another is that I came to serve the people of Ethiopia and share the love of Christ. I am choosing the latter.
My original plan was to come to Ethiopia and work at SCH. Once I was here I found out that the requirements for an expatriate physician to work here are one year of practice outside of residency. Over the last three months, we have been waiting for the decision as to if and how I can stay. At first, the only option was to move to Addis and work at a government hospital. After months of discussion, it was decided that I could stay in Soddo, but will be working under the supervision of an Ethiopian physician at Otona, the government hospital, for one year.
I do not know what God has in store for me, but I hope that I am the answer to many prayers. I do not say this in a self-righteous manner. Let me explain.
It all started in 1928 when the first expatriate missionaries moved to Wollaita Soddo. They were with the Sudan Interior Mission and built the first hospital in the area, Soddo Mission Hospital. All of the missionaries had to leave during the Italian occupation in 1936 to 1941. In 1975, a new missions hospital was completed, but dreams crumbled when it was taken by the Derg that same year. Today it is known as Otona Government Hospital. One of the physicians who had worked at Soddo Mission Hospital from 1966 to 1975 had a vision to build a new Mission Hospital in Soddo. SCH was opened in 2005.
I will be working at a government hospital that was built by the pioneer missionaries of this region. Over the years, many have prayed for the hospital, for the patients, for the physicians and the work in those walls. Although, this may not have been the expected answer to those prayers, starting tomorrow there will be a crazy missionary working within its walls serving the people of Ethiopia and sharing the love of Christ.
The hospital has one operating room with two beds. Between the OB/GYN and the one general surgeon they have done over 1000 prolapse cases in the last year, plus all of the other cases. They do 10-15 deliveries a day. The resources are more limited than what I have had available these last three months. Please keep me in your prayers.