The past three weeks have had some highlights:
At the behest of a Christian surgical resident in the Master’s in Public Health Program at Harvard, Andrew Giles, I was invited to speak to the first Boston Global Surgical Society held in Boston, MA on March 4. I was able to use airline miles to fly there. Kee Park, a Korean-American neurosurgeon in the same program and someone I have met before in Louisville and at the G4 Alliance meetings, and his wife hosted me the night before and it was a blessing to fellowship with these two strong believers. He is becoming a strong voice of neurosurgery in the realm of global surgery and works with my good friend, Walt Johnson, at the World Health Organization. Later, I was able to make some e-mail contacts for him with a couple of other people to whom he needed to communicate. The next morning, approximately 200 bright students, mostly medical students from Ivy League schools, met to learn about their future role in global surgery. Each session was streamed over the internet and hundreds of others joined in (you can view any session at https://www.globalsurgerystudents.org/live-streaming-recording).
Robert Riviello, a trauma surgeon in Boston and a member of the General Surgery Council of PAACS, Kee Park and I carried the banner for faith-based work in this secular environment. It was amusing at one level – and encouraging at another level – to speak with the students afterward who are so used to keeping their faith private in a secular world; they would come up and give the metaphorical secret handshake!
One student, Mallory Peterson, has subsequently put me in touch with leaders of the Capstone Project of the engineering department at Penn State U in Hershey to see if their students would be able to help with the need for cost-effective and robust suction machines in the developing world. This is a great need in most of our hospitals, even more so since negative pressure wound treatment has been proven so valuable in the treatment of huge wounds. It will cost $3,500 to sponsor the project to develop such a thing and I am praying for God’s wisdom and the funds for this.
Yesterday morning, I received this e-mail from Stacey Giles, Andrew’s wife. It was a great encouragement to me, since I had experienced some reservations about going:
My friend… watched the Global Surgery Symposium over Live Video. While you shared at the Education/Capacity building panel, Kim was apparently stirred to tears by your words and something was activated in her. She feels like Father is reviving her desire to go to the nations and while you were talking, a lot of hopes/dreams she had in the past were resurrected. She wanted to pass on her thanks to you. She recognized a mantle of authority on you and she wants you to know, that she will continue to lift you & your family up to the throne of Grace.
I think it was absolutely incredible that you were able to fly up to Boston. Father used your words & heart for the nations to encourage my friend Kim - so thank you for coming! May God continue to use your voice in the academic arenas, institutions, and in the developing world.
The rest of the time home was spent organizing the two annual exams for PAACS (days and days!), working on the new phone app for the PAACS system (including writing a manual), developing the budgets for next year for both PAACS and CMDA-CMDE, uploading and preparing reports for the upcoming CMDA-CMDE Commission meeting in early April (to be held in Rochester, MN), helping the program directors prepare for the upcoming Loma Linda University accreditation trip in April, arranging the new insurance for the house and cars (praise God!), arranging for repair of the unfinished electrical work from last summer’s lightning strike, working on three surgical instrument trays that are only waiting for back-ordered items in order to send them out, helping the Nazarene hospital in Papua New Guinea with their order of a pediatric bronchoscopy set, writing and recording five hours of lectures for the Tropical Medicine course and getting over the worse-than-usual jet-lag.
Praise and Prayer:
- Pray for funding to come in for the instruments that have been ordered.
- Pray for safety in travel and effectiveness in all that is done.
- Pray for wisdom and funding for the Capstone project.