Welcome to the first edition of a new year and a new volume of The SteffeScope. It amazes me that this is our 18th year of medical mission work. I never would have imagined that.
Time-sensitive announcement: I was once again interviewed on First Person Interview with my old friend and radio personality, Wayne Shepherd. Our latest interview is online (www.firstpersoninterview.com) and will air on radio this weekend. You can see lots of other good stuff on their Facebook page which is is https://www.facebook.com/FirstPersonInterview and Twitter is @WayneShepherd.
We had a wonderful time with family over the holidays (missing only time with Michelle and Joey) and with the transition of the leadership of PAACS occurring on January 5, there has been a lot of work before and after.
The Good Shepherd’s Hospital was once a showplace but the pillaging and political instability caused the loss of all but one missionary clinician at the hospital (and he was gone part of the time as well). It has slowly withered and at this time is in need of a major overall both administratively and in infrastructure. With a lot of work and God’s blessing, it could come back again and I hope that in 3 or 4 years, we can take the first resident there (assuming God continues to bless PAACS during the period of expansion). Please pray for them – they have a lot to do after they become convinced God is in the project.
This Friday we leave for Kenya for the 4th Biennial Principles of Surgery Conference. I have a lot of last minute details to complete and the jet lag won’t help. I have been asked by Susan Koshy, the new Executive Director to come to the suburbs of Chicago to meet with her and her new administrative assistant, so I will fly out early Tuesday and come back late Wednesday, pack Thursday and we all leave at 3:00 AM Friday morning. It will be a crazy week.
We will have 89 people attending this conference and we are going to be busy with 69 lectures, 4 afternoon workshops and several other meetings. It has taken a lot of work to arrange all the logistics and I will breathe a sigh of relief when we get going and I know everything worked.
Micky has been busy too. She sends out six month advances to all the programs (according to the budget and making all the adjustments), has been busy with end of calendar year donations for three foundations and resuming home school for Sean. She is a real blessing to a lot of people through her work. We praise God that God provided generous donors for PAACs and for our own S3 Ministries. Thank all of you who have given. That is another thing she has to do – get our end of year receipts and ministry report out to the donors of S3.
Proposed Schedule for 2015 (asterisks mean Micky and Sean are traveling with me)
- January 20 and 21 – Trip to Chicago for PAACS
- *January 26 – February 5 PAACS Basic Science Conference, Kenya
- February 1 – 2 – Visit to Kireka Adventist Hospital Project, Kampala, Uganda
- *Feb 20 – March 5 – CMDA-CMDE conference in Thailand
- March 6 – 14 – Visit Christian Memorial Hospital in Bangladesh
- March 20-22 – Christian Surgeons Meeting in Durham, NC
- Apr 17 - 18 – CMDA-CMDE Meeting in Chicago
- *Apr 28 – May 1 – CMDA Annual Meeting – CMDA Educator of the Year Award
- May 3 – 10 – Visit to California to see our first grandchild
- May 15-16 – CMDA-PAACS Meeting in Chicago
- May 17-26 – G4 Alliance Board Meeting and 68th World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland
- June 1-2 – CMDA media training session
- June 22 – WVA tropical medicine
- July (3 weeks, ? dates) – Trip to Niger, Cameroon and Gabon
- September 4 – 5 – Medical Missions Summit Conference, Charlotte, NC
- September (2.5 weeks) – Trip to Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya
- *October 9-11 - Prescription for Renewal, Asheville NC
- *November 5-7 - GHMC and Friends of PAACS Meeting, Louisville, KY
- November 13-14 - PAACS Board Meeting, Chicago IL
- November 26 – December 4 - COSECSA exam and AGM, Malawi
“Dear Bruce, I am writing to thank you for the meaningful way you have mentored me, perhaps without knowing. I am a 62 year old cardiac surgeon. God called me to leave my busy practice in order to be available to Him. Tomorrow, January 16, my wife and I head out for 5 weeks at Kibogora Hospital in Rwanda followed by 3 weeks at Tenwek. The faith expander for me will be my lack of general surgery for many years and my mentor (Tim Berg) not returning to Kibogora until a week after we arrive.
I really enjoyed your lectures at the GMHC conference and was drawn into the PAACS concept at that informal dinner. What has helped prepare me most was your thoughtful Medical Missions preparation book. It clarified my own beliefs and motivation. The book contains a wealth of useful points to consider. Thanks so much for the ministry you have to guys like me. Blessings.”
Prayers and Praise:
- Praise for the safe trip to Africa and we pray for safety for the upcoming one.
- Pray for the upcoming Principles of Surgery conference – for safety in travel, for effectiveness, for spiritual refreshment and for bonding of the PAACS team.
- We praise God for His faithfulness to PAACS and to us.
- Prayers for Ms. Koshy and the new administrative team. She is looking now for a Chief Development Officer.
- Praise for Sean (and Micky) as he goes back into home schooling.
- Bruce has once again been put up for the American College of Surgery Humanitarian of the Year award. Pray for God’s will to be done and the glory to be His in any event.
Yours and His for the peoples of Africa!
Bruce, Micky and Sean