Greetings from the desert! The weather has been very balmy, reaching ‘only’ to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or maybe a bit higher. The cool times in the mornings are becoming very restricted to the early, early hours. The temperature being defined as ‘cool’ is climbing daily as well. Walking over to the hospital I am amazed just how hot the wind is as it stirs the air. Cool breezes are not a term for Al Ain these days. I can hardly wait for the hot days of summer! Yikes!!
This has been a big week of changes for CURE international. CURE’s founder and visionary, Dr. Scott Harrison, has stepped aside from his role as CEO and President of CURE International. Dale Brantner has been selected and given Board approval to assume the roles.
I remember in the summer of 1997 meeting Scott and Sally Harrison for the very first time. I was taking my “one and only, never to be repeated trip to Africa” with my family. Both Scott and I were volunteer orthopedic surgeons working at the Kijabe Hospital as short term missionaries. The Harrisons and Meads ended up sharing housing as another one of those ‘coincidences’ I discussed last week. Scott and I found out we both cherish the early morning time. Scott and I took time to pray together and dream. Scott shared his dream of CURE, a hospital system dedicated to the care of the physically disabled child living in the developing world. We later wandered the site of the early stages of the very first CURE Hospital to be located in Kijabe. Although there were only a few stones and smoothed earth, I had a glimpse through the vision of what could be. We were eventually called to serve the disabled child in Kenya. We moved to Kenya to serve in 1998.
Scott and Sally committed time, talents, finances, and abilities to take CURE from a misty dream of what could and should be to a large organization spanning the globe. Thousands of children have been given emotional, spiritual, and physical care because of their efforts. What the long term effects for these children, their families, and their countries will be is unknown. How has CURE affected the numerous volunteers, workers, donors, families, and more who have come into contact with this mission called CURE International? How has living in Africa touched the lives of my family? I am not sure anyone can answer these questions. We do not have the big picture.
I can look at my family and see many positive changes. I cannot tell you how greatly my life changed as I joined in the vision of CURE. Many would point out all I left, but that is thinking of things that perish. I have seen my kids gain a special world view. I have friends around the world. I have eaten strange foods in stranger locations. Jana and I became closer in our marriage journey. Many kids were able to have their deformities fixed because the CURE team was in Kijabe. The CURE team impacted for eternity many, many lives. The CURE Kijabe team grew in stature as a Christian light on the edge of the Rift. This testimonial light and work continues on. I know that people and leaders will continue to change, but the message of Christ’s love will remain true.
Kenya had the first orthopedic residency started in Kijabe by CURE. Without CURE’s support and push, I sincerely doubt orthopedic training would exist in Kenya to the degree it does. CURE-trained national orthopedic surgeons are now serving in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon, and soon Ethiopia. Without the vision of Scott and Sally and their courage to be that ‘someone’ called, none of this training would have been started.
Children in CURE Uganda were some of the first treated on the whole continent with endoscopic ventricular treatment of their hydrocephalus.
Nonoperative clubfoot clinics are now available in many parts of the world due to CURE International surgeons’ efforts.
Each year children have their lives changed in ESP holistic fashion as CURE teams reach out to those in need with a special kind of love and caring. The dream that started as a small flicker has spread its light into many places. As we change leaders, we realize the need to keep the vision going. The vision’s work is not really about the people in charge or those working in the CURE facilities or the numbers we report; the vision as founded was about bringing a combined, integrated spiritual-medical caring effort of linked hospitals to the disabled children in the developing world. What a challenge! Thank you Scott and Sally!
As we venture forth today within a new era, the challenges still loom large. The world’s needs and magnitude of the problems are way beyond any one human’s effort. The work of CURE International is a God-sized challenge and requires we all travel and work firmly and securely In His Grip!