OK, in the previous post I intended to give a report about some of the outcomes from this last year in Ethiopia and brag on God a little. However, I got to thinking about life and God and joy and the amazing peace I have at Jesus’ cross and, well, I couldn’t stop smiling and typing. It got a little long winded so I figured I would just write a second post.

As you probably know, we came here to teach Christian surgery residents through the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). God decided to show once again how great He is by starting us off in the hole. Only He could dig us out. I was informed after we arrived that our program would probably be put on probation and, indeed, it happened officially a few months later. There were several problems but the two main areas were poor resident operative experience and bad test scores. We wouldn’t receive any more new residents until it improved and, if it continued to be a problem, we might lose the program.

The residents were getting plenty of time in the operating room but they just weren’t doing the cases. They were simply assisting. In order to get off probation the residents needed to be doing much more of the operations. Many prayers were raised, meetings were held, attitudes began to shift and the “culture” of the residency began to change. God has done great work! All of the residents have turned in their final reports for the year and the numbers are encouraging. Etuh, our third year resident, over doubled his number of cases as the primary surgeon (i.e. he did them) compared to last year; up from 173 to 415. Tewodros, one of our second year residents, over quadrupled his number of cases as the primary surgeon; up from 82 to 379! Daniel, our first year resident, has logged 186 cases as the primary surgeon in his first nine months, putting him on track for about 250 in his first year. Prior to this, the highest number of cases ever recorded by a first year resident at Soddo was 86. It’s really exciting to see what God has done!

Last year’s results of the yearly PAACS exam were not good. Five out of five residents failed it on the first attempt, although they did better on the retake exam. We took this year’s PAACS exam about two weeks ago. Five out of six residents passed! The one who failed did so by only 1%. Furthermore, one of our residents achieved the second highest raw score in all the PAACS residents across Africa (I think there are around 28).

I am very pleased to announce that our probation has been lifted and we have been approved to accept two new residents. Praise Christ, for this is completely of God! I’m extremely happy for the guys and we had a celebratory dinner a few days ago. It is exciting to see the changes and see the growing confidence and pride in the residents regarding their training and abilities. Thank you all for your prayers and support of us while we are here. You mean the world to us and we rejoice with you. I can’t wait to see you again.

Solomon, Arega, me, Haile, Etuh (missing: Daniel - on call, Tewodros - in Addis Ababa)

Solomon, Arega, me, Haile, Etuh (missing: Daniel - on call, Tewodros - in Addis Ababa)