- Medical Mission Initiative Mission Statement: To enable medical students and residents to have an “in the field experience” that will assist them in discovering their God-given passion for medical missions.
- Medical Mission Initiative Vision Statement: Our vision is for medical students and residents to come to understand how medical missions can be a part of God’s will for their lives, and be a catalyst to a lifetime of medical service to those in need.
Medical Mission Board of Advisors
The primary function of this board is to provide input and recommendations for funding of the work in the Medical Mission Initiative to the board of Project Hope Northwest. The Medical Mission Board of Advisors meets regularly, either in person and or virtually through email and web conferences.
Board of Advisors:
- Angela Larson
- Steven Teeny
- Chris Teeny
- Michael McLaughlin
- David Ricker
Support the Medical Missions Initiative
There are two ways to provide financial support for this initiative
- Mail a check: Checks can be mailed to support the Lebanon Initiative. This is the preferred method as all funds will go directly to the cause. Include ‘Medical Missions Initiative’ in the memo line on the check.
Checks should be mailed to
Project Hope Northwest
9210 Driftwood Cove NW
Gig Harbor, Washington 98332
- Online donation: These are processed through Paypal and have a small fee (2.2% + $0.30 per transaction) that is charged for the processing costs. Online donations can be made with credit card or bank accounts.
Highlights from 2016 Grantee Experiences
Freeland Ackley of Baylor University
Freeland traveled to Togo, Congo, and Kenya to help with Orthopedic Surgery. The highlight of his trip to Kenya was spending time at Naomi’s Village, and orphanage that doesn’t focus on adoption but rather raising them up to be advocates for the orphan epidemic and other local problems in their country. His time in Togo and Congo were spent performing orthopedic surgeries where the local hospital had never performed those surgeries.
“ I found myself in new uncharted territory, completely reliant upon His power and grace.”
I was able to do around 20-25 surgeries while at Vanga [Congo] and a lot of teaching to the residents and new physicians. Communication at times was difficult as everyone spoke French but the Lord provided translators and with a lot of pointing and grunting it was an overall success.
The take away for me in the face of insurmountable poverty, infection and lack of resources was that He isn’t asking me to do more, be more or create more from nothing, He’s asking me to bring what I have and trust Him to do the rest.
Floating Doctors Bocas del Toro, Panama
Nathan traveled to Panama to provide free medical care to indigenous Ngobe communities. His knowledge of Spanish allowed him to translate for many of the volunteers who did not speak Spanish.
“This trip was a life-impacting experience that has solidified my thinking about the patient populations with which I desire to work in the future and the way that I desire to incorporate my faith into my practice as a physician.”
Another aspect of clinic days for me was ultrasound scanning. As a member of a team of students from UC Irvine School of Medicine that were working with Floating Doctors this summer, I was involved in three research projects involving ultrasound. These involved both the scanning of patients and the teaching of local healthcare workers the basics of ultrasound. Many patients present to Floating Doctors clinics and require ultrasound scans as part of their standard of care and therefore, I, as one of the few providers who possessed scanning skills, was called upon to scan many patients above and beyond those involved in our research. Scanning was a great opportunity to not only improve my ultrasound skills but also to further interact with patients.
Lusaka Eye Hospital, Zambia
Cameron traveled to Zambia to help out at the Lusaka Eye hospital where he assisted in corneal transplants and small incision cataract surgery.
“My last week in Zambia, I had the chance to share the message for two of the morning devotionals that all the staff attend before the working day starts. I talked about 1 Corinthians 13 and the fact that no matter what we do or how we think we’re serving God, if we don’t have love we are nothing.”
Many of the patients are overjoyed to have their vision improved through cataract surgery, with some patients even effusively shouting, “God bless you!” to the ophthalmologist who performed the surgery.
Rumginae Hospital, Papua New Guinea
Gloria traveled to Papua New Guinea to spend six weeks in a rural village located in the jungles of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea working at The Rumginae Hospital and Community Health Worker School (CHW).
“I am quickly realizing that 6 weeks, although feels long, is not very much time to learn a new culture, fully engage with the community, learn about spiritual needs, and to learn how to effectively care for patients in this setting.”
There is a generator that powers the hospital for 24 hours, the rest of Rumginae has limited access to electricity, which runs from 8am-12pm and then from 5 pm-10pm each day. Because we have had several unexpected late-night operations going past 10pm the past week, I’ve taken quite a few showers in the dark with my trusty flashlight as my only source of light. The geckoes that line the walls of our house at night and the multitude of insects have required a bit of an adjustment as well. But the Lord has brought me to a sweet place of depending on him as I am being taken out of my comfort zone.
I have been amazed at how resourceful the staff is in making a few resources go a long way. For example, spinal needles are used only once in the US and then discarded. Here, they are sterilized and re-used a few times before being thrown away. This is especially helpful because spinal anesthetics are often used for operations instead of general anesthetics and thus spinal needles are used frequently.
Highlights from 2015 Grantee Experiences
Emily Weimer with Oregon Health and Sciences University
Emily traveled with general surgeon Dr. Snell and his wife to Mbingo, Cameroon, staying in the home of missionaries and served time in obstetric or a gynecology clinic.
“Morbidity and mortality is a daily reminder of how imperfect medicine is, especially in a relatively resource-poor setting.”
“Every case is a challenge and complications abound. How then was I to gain the confidence I needed to learn to care for women? The answer became obvious. God challenged me, “Did I bring you here to perform out of your own strength? Be still and know that I am God.”
“I felt disappointed because I expected to be great, but in the end I was only me. I can never be better than me. But God is great.”
Medical Elective/Clerkship in Global Health in Tacloban, Philippines
Jason Toews with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Jason traveled to Tacloban, Phillippines for a two month clerkship in Global Health, while focusing a lot of time in seeing how life after the 2013 typhoon, Haiyan, destroyed the area.
The town’s new official slogan is “every day is a better day in Tanauan”.
One interesting program at the hospital was for rehabilitation of malnourished children. The program was funded by UNICEF. One mother brought in her infant who was obviously starving to death, and told us that she had been feeding him exclusively watered-down rice water since birth. The program pays for children like this to stay in the hospital until they are deemed rehabilitated enough to return home. The problem is, the issue almost undoubtedly recurred when the patient went home. The family only earns a dollar or so a day and has eleven other children to feed. Even the parents were subsisting off just rice. It’s a rough world when you don’t have resources. I suppose that is the moral of this story.
Tenwek Mission Hospital/ Mango Baptist Mission Hospital in Kenya/Togo
John traveled to Kenya and Togo to work in two separate hospitals to partaking in both clinic work and surgical service.
After a while the question ceases to be a “Why?”, but a “How long, O Lord? How long?” And at times the questions progress to “How can God exist?” This line of questioning leads to the abyss.
It is a grave mistake to think that suffering is consigned to the physical. Anyone who has seen the long, slow decline of a loved one knows this to be true. The questions of “Why” are sometimes answerable in a physical sense…But in the metaphysical, spiritual sense, the questions are much more difficult. “Why me? Why the 18 year old boy?” These types of questions are not answered; these types of questions are journeyed through. It is this journeying process that the PAACS residents are being disciplined through every single week through the example of the consultants, regular blue book meetings, and regular Bible studies.
The heart of the people who work here is truly awe-inspiring. Everyone has left friends and family to serve in the heat here in Mango. And one finds that every single person has such a critical role to keeping a major part of the Mission’s work here at Mango, from the maintenance men to the nurses to the financial gurus to the physicians. More than anything this reminds me of the body of Christ, which is the church: many parts doing their role to serve collectively as the hands and feet of Christ to a very needy, hurting, and broken world.
Read more at jdinkenyatogo.blogspot.com
Bolivia at Child Family Health International
Judithe is a fourth year medical student who traveled to La Paz, Bolivia to spend four weeks at both a children’s hospital and an adolescent clinic.
It has been wonderful being immersed in a different culture and learning so many new things. I know that this rotation has given me plenty of things to think about. It is so important to be culturally competent as well as medically competent (especially as a Family Medicine doc!) because the world is quickly becoming more and more diverse.
A 2 year old girl born with a cleft lip. Her story is pretty sad. She was abandoned by her mom once she saw her deformity. The baby would later develop pneumonia then sepsis and she had to be on a mechanical ventilator. The doctors had trouble weaning her off so she ended up getting a tracheostomy to help her breathe. She has been in the hospital for most of her life, but she gets lots of support from the hospital staff. She has lots of clothes and toys that were donated to her too, and she was affectionately given the nickname ‘la dueña del hospital’ (the owner of the hospital). She is my favorite patient in the unit- her face lights up when she smiles and she gets happy when we visit her.
Read more at jpaulheb111.wordpress.com