Elijah (on the right in the picture) is well-known around Tenwek. He's worked in numerous roles over many years and could be a Tenwek Institution in his own right! Elijah began his medical career by attending the Tenwek School of Nursing and then took a job as a nurse here afterwards. Then he returned to school to become a Clinical Officer (equivalent of a Physician's Assistant in the States) and took a job here at Tenwek. After working for several years in that position, Elijah went on to medical school followed by an internship here at Tenwek. He then worked as a Medical Officer here (equivalent of a General Practitioner in the States) before applying for residency to become a specialized doctor. He was accepted to the program at Tenwek and now is training to become a Family Medicine doctor!
Elijah is a joyful, welcoming man who is loved by all. He has an inviting personality and is an intelligent and kind person. It should be noted that in addition to his role as a medical resident, he's also a pastor at his church. His obvious leadership skills are being put to good use, and Eli is grateful for the chance to work alongside him as Elijah seeks to improve the healthcare in his community.
Samuel (middle in the picture) is from South Sudan. His complex story sounds like something out of a movie, and it's incredible how God has protected him and led him to this point. As a child, Samuel was caught in the middle of the Second Sudanese Civil War and became separated from his parents which forced him to join other boys who, together, walked all the way to Ethiopia and ended up in a refugee camp. Samuel was able to attend school at the refugee camp and performed well enough to be earmarked as a future leader for the provisional government of South Sudan. As a result, he and some of his classmates were sent to Cuba to attend medical school. Upon completing medical school, this group of young Sudanese men somehow wound up in Canada working regular jobs. When the chair of the Family Medicine department at a nearby university heard that a group of medically-trained Sudanese men were more or less "hanging out" in Canada, he created a program for them to get back on track with the hopes of getting them back to Africa to serve as doctors. Through the efforts of multiple entities, including Samaritan's Purse, Samuel and these other men were ultimately sent back to East Africa, where Samuel did an internship in Kenya before returning to South Sudan to work at a government hospital. While working there, he was forced to flee from civil conflict yet again, this time with his wife and children along, and again ended up in a refugee camp in Ethiopia where he was the only doctor among 30,000 refugees. In the long run, Samaritan's Purse helped to facilitate further training for Samuel, which ultimately brought him to the Family Medicine residency here at Tenwek.
Samuel is a hard-working and compassionate man who has gone through trials we can only imagine, and who is daily undergoing the rigors of training in a foreign place in a language that is neither his first or second or even his third language. He is passionate about returning to South Sudan to meet the needs of his people there, and Eli is blessed beyond measure to work alongside a man who has gone through so much and who desires to bring hope and healing to a country so desperately in need of the kingdom of God.
Elijah (on the left in the picture) is a resident at Chogoria Hospital in another part of Kenya who spent a few months here at Tenwek in order to do his Pediatrics rotation. It was an unlooked for yet special blessing to have him here because we were hoping to serve at Chogoria Hospital when we originally applied with WGM. We ended up at Tenwek instead, but this summer Eli had the chance to work with and teach a resident from Chogoria anyway! It was an encouragement to us and a reminder that God knows what He's doing and He can cross paths in any way He sees fit.
Elijah is a fun-loving and particularly kind young man who is dedicated to his work and to the vision of bringing Christian healthcare to his community. It was wonderful to add him to the Family Medicine team for a few months and to be blessed by his contributions to Tenwek.
It is a true honor to be involved in the work of training godly people to minister to the healthcare needs of their own communities. Africans are better equipped to reach Africans than Americans are. They speak the language and they know the culture inside and out. They can communicate the Gospel of Jesus more effectively than we can in this culture, so we are praying and working to prepare them to do just that: to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is Healer, not only of our physical bodies but of our souls as well! Please join us in praying for these men to grow in leadership, that as they are discipled they will become disciplers themselves and bear fruit for the kingdom of God wherever He leads them.