There Is “Nothing We Would Rather Do” Than Watch as This Missionary Doctor in Kenya Treats Patients and Prepares the Next Generation of Doctors
Kenya’s Kapsowar region Some of the most impoverished people in eastern Africa live in a remote region, yet there, American missionary physicians and African medical experts are providing them with loving treatment.
One American family has decided to spend the rest of their life helping in Africa as a result of this event.
CBN News travelled nearly 12,000 kilometers to an isolated outpost in northwestern Kenya to meet a team of African medical experts who are partnering with American missionary physicians to offer much-needed healthcare to one of the poorest sections in the nation.
It didn’t take long before we figured out the reason why.
Kenyan surgeon Dr. Patricia Chesang told CBN News, “Everything you do, you do as unto the Lord, for God’s glory.”
That, and a sincere intent to show the people of this area how Christ may save and cure them.
The American missionary surgeon Dr. Bill Rhodes told CBN News, “We feel very, very privileged to be able to do what we do, there’s nothing else we would rather do.”
Americans The Rhodes family, Bill and Laura included, relocated to this area of Kenya so that Bill could join the staff of the AIC Kapsowar Mission Hospital.
“It was not like it is today, it was so much more rustic and remote and secluded and difficult to access,” Dr. Rhodes said as he gave us a tour of the hospital.
Without any training in medicine, Rhodes was travelling across Israel with his wife when they picked up two Christian medical students.
During an interview with CBN News, Laura Rhodes reflected on how the response of one of the medical students, whom she had never seen again and did not even know by name, had altered the course of her family’s history.
“I would simply want to see if I couldn’t relieve a little bit of misery in some little part of the earth someday in the name of Jesus,” he told Rhodes.
That started the 16-year journey the Rhodes family took, full of hardships and challenges, so that Cecil Rhodes might become a surgeon and transform lives throughout Africa.
“Just because you set out to accomplish something you believe would bring glory to God, bring pleasure to God, or advance God’s Kingdom doesn’t imply you’ll have an easy time of it. Actually, you need to fasten your seatbelts, since it’s likely going to be difficult.”
Bill and Laura knew without a doubt when they arrived to Kenya in January of 1999, some 23 years ago, that they would be serving the people of Kenya for the rest of their lives.
“When we witness the astonishing gap in this world between the individuals who have and those on the other end of the spectrum who have not, the gulf is just becoming larger and for all of our days, whatever many of us there are, we want to strive to bring healing and wholeness,” said Laura Rhodes.
For instance, he often visits Liberia, Chad, and South Sudan with his wife and other members of the mission hospital.
The head of the anesthesiology department of AIC Kapsowar Mission Hospital, Kenyan Thomas Kiptoo, is traveling with him.
Kiptoo was raised in extreme poverty, but a missionary doctor who served as a mentor encouraged him to study medicine.
“I couldn’t think that I could come all the way to this position,” Dr. Thomas Kiptoo of AIC Kapsowar Mission Hospital told CBN News. “In retrospect, I had little hope for the future, yet I am who I am because I trusted in God and am the product of a missionary.”
Dr. Rhodes is dedicated to preparing the next generation of African medical experts.
Patricia Chesang, a Kenyan of 36 years old, has worked closely with Rhodes for the last three years.
Dr. Chesang was quoted as saying to CBN News, “He’s going to leave a fantastic legacy.” The sacrifices he made to come and serve here are very inspiring: “He has left his family, all the luxuries he could have afforded, but he has given of his life, of himself, so for me it is incredibly humbling.”
Dr. Rhodes has been awarded the Gerson L’Chaim Prize for Distinguished Christian Medical Missionary Service by the African Mission Healthcare (AMH) organization.
Each year’s winner receives $500,000 to go toward building a hospital, performing surgeries, and providing medical education.
CBN News quoted Scott Marcello, president of Africa Mission Healthcare, as saying, “He sees the ability to educate and build up complete surgical teams, not only surgeons, but anesthetists, nurses, to travel to these challenging regions where he is currently going and go and remain there.”
Bill and Laura Rhodes had made up their minds to retire in this area of Africa, either in northwest Kenya or somewhere.
As Rhodes put it, “Yeah, this is the end of the rainbow for us.” “Only a small percentage of individuals are able to live their dreams. Every day, we thank God for the privilege of being among the select few who get to achieve what they’ve always dreamed of.”