Paul was born in Kentucky and grew up in various parts of the US and Germany.  He attended college at Trevecca Nazarene in Nashville, TN.  And then went on to medical school at the University of Louisville.  It was at a missions conference in 2000, in Louisville, that he first heard Dr. Dave Thompson speak about the organization training African Christian surgeons called PAACS.  In 2002, Paul began residency at Baylor University Medical Center…which brings us to Dallas.

Becca was born in Louisiana and moved to the suburbs of Houston when she was 2.  Grew up in small-town Texas and attended college at Texas A&M University, where she received a degree in Nutrition.  She completed her dietetic internship at Baylor University Medical Center…which also brings us to Dallas.

Paul and Becca met during Paul’s first year as a surgery resident at Baylor in Dallas. They did not meet between the medical charts of 11 Roberts (Baylor’s surgical floor where at the time Becca was a dietitian), however.  No, Paul was much too busy learning the skills of surgery to notice that opportunity.  They were fortunate enough to have a few mutual friends who did take that opportunity though.  They were set up on a blind date (!), and were  quickly found to be a perfect match.   And they were married in July of 2004.

Since college, Paul had an interest in serving medically overseas.  He never forgot that talk he heard from Dr. Thompson and, during his 4th year of residency, planned a trip to learn more about PAACS.  Paul and Becca visited Bongolo hospital in Gabon in May 2006.  Bongolo was the first PAACS hospital and Dr. Thompson has worked there for over 30 years.  During that trip, God strengthened the call to missions for both Paul and Becca and made it clear that a role in PAACS was where they were headed.

After several discussions with Dr. Thompson and Dr. Bruce Steffes, the CEO of PAACS, it was found that Soddo Christian Hospital in Soddo, Ethiopia had the most immediate need for a general surgeon.  At that time, there was an orthopedic surgeon training the residents and a few general surgeons filling in here and there, but the need was clear.  After much prayer and discussion with the leadership of SCH, Paul and Becca knew that Ethiopia would be the start of their missions career.

They became missionaries with Global Outreach International in July 2007.  Then spent a year raising awareness of their plans and support and left for Ethiopia in August 2008.  Their son, Nathan, was born December 2007 and was 7 months old when they boarded the plane.

The first year in Ethiopia was filled with surprises, challenges and culture shock, but it was not without growth.  Through the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, Paul and Becca grew closer to the Lord and closer to each other.  And  as they look back on it , they would not replace those challenges with comforts at the expense of the closeness found in God.

In the summer of 2009, they returned to the states for the birth of their second child, Lydia. It was a blessing to reunite with friends and family and to better describe, in person, what life is like in Ethiopia.  This blog is an attempt at sharing a glimpse of  the ins and outs of living and working in Ethiopia while serving the only One who gets all of the glory.

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