I don’t usually blog on Sunday but I have so many thoughts swirling in my mind after the medical mission’s conference here in Pasadena that I thought I would commit some of them to the blogoshere.
First the bad news – I was stunned to hear that there are 3 counties in Memphis Tennessee in which infant mortality is higher than in any African country. In Glasgow Scotland there is a 30 year difference in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. And to add to this the World Health Organization estimates that the world is short 4 million trained health workers. Not surprisingly 1.3 billion people – about 1 fifth of the world’s population, lack access to affordable and adequate health care.
Now the good news. Ted Lankester founder and director of The Community Health Global Network and one of the plenary speakers, had to leave early because he was on his way to Geneva for meeting between faith based organizations and the World Health Organization. Evidently 40 – 70% of health care in SubSahara Africa is provided by faith based organizations and for the first time ever the WHO wants to work collaboratively with these groups.
It was so good to be together with health care workers who care passionately about those who lack adequate access to health and who also take their faith seriously. So many of the speakers are God’s unsung heroes – missionaries, nurses and doctors who work with the marginalized locally and globally. This was a great conference to be a part of and I am already looking forward to the possibility of participating next year.
This was also a great time to reconnect to people I have not seen for years too – like some of the medical students I used to meet with regularly back in the mid nineties – now all doctors of course, and Jude Tiersma Watson who is a part of Innerchange, and Eithne Keegan a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS sufferers in Africa. I also made some new friends like Holly Hight who works with Bread For The World
I always return home from an event like this energized and excited by all that God is doing in the world. Thre may be great need out there but God is still at work healing the sick, providing for the poor and setting the oppressed free. God is still working through the mustard seed – the small and the insignificant – to change our world.