For most of you, this message will not affect you directly. If that is you, please pray with me that God would move in the hearts of the individuals He has in mind. However, it’s possible that this message will speak directly to some of you. If so, I pray that you would search your heart to see if God is stirring something there. This will rightly be a challenging request to consider because it will involve difficulty, sacrifice and suffering. But I can also assure you that God is more than worth it. He is more valuable than any treasure, more dependable than any earthly familiarity, safer than any earthly security and, in the end; he is the only real source of life and meaning in all existence.

So (in case it isn’t already obvious), we need some people! As I mentioned in a post below, the surgical residency program at Soddo Christian Hospital has recently received academic accreditation by the authorities. We are rejoicing in this and looking forward to seeing what God has in store for the future. When the team visited our hospital to evaluate it, many encouraging things were said and several suggestions were given. Like the accreditation process in most parts of the world, the U.S. included, there were several areas identified for improvement. Furthermore, we need to make these improvements to keep our accreditation. We will be reevaluated in one year to see whether or not we’ve made progress in these areas.

I’m writing to request help with this. One area we need to improve is our ICU (intensive care unit). Both for this accreditation process and the one we are pursuing with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa, we must develop a more advanced ICU. In particular we need to develop a small number of beds equipped with ventilators and appropriate monitoring. God has already provided funds for the purchase of two simple ventilators that are designed for use in the developing world. This will also include appropriate patient monitors.

Frankly, accreditation aside, I believe there are people that are currently dying in our hospital that might have a chance of living if we can get better ICU capabilities.

Our greatest hurdle in having a functional, albeit small, intensive care unit is appropriate nursing. There are very, very few ICU nurses in the entire country. Our hope is to train some of our brightest nurses in ICU nursing care. But to do this, we need someone to train them.

I am writing this as an invitation to ICU nurses. We need someone who is willing to spend at least six months at Soddo Christian Hospital to help us get a simple, yet functional, ICU on line. If someone were willing to stay longer, we would certainly support and appreciate that. At this point, I envision a situation of on-the-job training where you would work with the nurses each day and teach them in a mentorship fashion. Some level of didactic teaching would also be needed but I would work with you in this curricular process. Like most of what I’m doing in Ethiopia, I have no training or experience with this, so I’m very open to cooperation with how best to do this.

If this has sparked something in you, please send me an email (paul.gray@paacs.net). There is no obligation implied and I can give you more information so that we can start a dialogue. As I mentioned above, I recognize the gravity of this but I also recognize the gravity of our God. He really is worth it.

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