guess what? i'm going to africa!
I'm going to Togo, Africa! Here's a little context for you...I have wanted to serve in international medical missions for as long as I can remember, all the way back to when I was in elementary school and our church had missionaries come on Sunday nights and give slideshow presentations about the work they were doing overseas.
I got my physician assistant degree hoping to join the ranks of medical missionaries and use medicine as a practical tool for showing compassion...I also studied journalism so I could write more about suffering overseas and how we could help to alleviate it. A year after I finished PA school, and was half-way through my masters in journalism, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which sent me on a whole new path.
For a long time, I didn't qualify to go overseas with a missions agency because I was undergoing cancer treatments. But in the meantime, instead of sending me to Africa, God sent a little piece of Africa to me, in the form of five little Somali sisters and their mom (a story I wrote about in The Invisible Girls.)
This week I found out that instead of Africa coming to me, this time I get to go to Africa! I've been approved to work in the Urgent Care/Emergency Room at a new hospital in Togo, Africa that just opened in March.
You can check out the hospital's website (and see lots of cool pictures) here http://hospitalofhopemango.org.
I'll be going with an organization called Samaritan's Purse, and I'll be there for three months, from July 8 - October 1, 2015.
I am so excited for this opportunity, as well as a little nervous about visiting a new continent, seeing intense suffering up close, and navigating the variables (including the visa application, flight reservations, and the 9-hour taxi ride from the airport to the hospital. That's right, it's 9 hours!)
I could really use your help with two things.
First, would you pray with me over the next few months that God would prepare my heart, that all of the logistics would work out, and that I'd be able to show His compassion to the patients at the hospital?
Second, if you're able, would you consider making a donation? Since this is an unpaid volunteer position, I'm raising support. It'll take about $4500 to cover flights, lodging, food, emergency evacuation insurance, and the visa application. Even if you can give $10, it would be a big help!
Donations are tax-deductible, and you can easily give online by following the following link and entering my name (Thebarge, Sarah) into the search box: www.samaritanspurse.org/medical/wmm-doctors/
I'll be blogging leading up to the trip, as well as when I'm actually working in Africa.
Thanks for being in my life, and for being a part of this journey with me!