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Russ and Beth White

ID: 09645, Region: Africa
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We have spent the last 20 years at Tenwek Hospital, where Russ has been a surgeon and Beth his support—a stay-at-home Mom, homeschool/co-op teacher, and part of the Tenwek community. We first went to Tenwek with Samaritan’s Purse’s World Medical Mission for six months during Russ’s surgical residency. We felt God was calling us to return full time after his training. While at Tenwek, Russ discovered that esophageal cancer was an endemic problem, so he chose to pursue further cardiothoracic training after his residency and before returning to Kenya. Through the help of MedSend—an organization that helps pay the student loans of medical professionals in missions—we were able to return to the mission field directly after Russ’s training.

We chose to serve at Tenwek largely because we had heard that they were interested in training medical professionals—there was already a nursing school—something that was important to us. When we first arrived full time, Tenwek was just starting to train medical students and interns—doctors who had just graduated from medical school. Now we graduate 16 interns per year. Russ was also part of starting a surgical residency through Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). Tenwek now trains four surgical residents, two orthopedic residents, three family practice residents, and one cardiothoracic fellow each year. It is a privilege to train and disciple these men and women in medicine and in their faith and to get to know them and their families as they navigate God’s call on their lives.

We went to Tenwek with three little boys, and we were blessed with a fourth son and a daughter while we were there. After being homeschooled in their younger years, the boys have all graduated from Rift Valley Academy and have either graduated from or are in college in the US. Anna is still with us and hopes to go to RVA for high school.

Besides doing general surgery, Russ has been involved in treating, screening for, and doing research on esophageal cancer. More recently, he has been operating on and developing a team to help a wide range of patients with congenital heart defects and rheumatic heart disease. He enjoys the blessings of being able to share Christ’s transforming power for hearts as he works to treat and fix physical hearts. Russ was recently awarded a grant  to begin funding a new cardiothoracic program at Tenwek. God has been good in the many ways He has provided!

Tenwek’s motto is “We Treat, Jesus Heals.” We have seen this to be true over and over, and we look forward to the humbling ways He will continue to show us in the future.

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