Mission Possible in Jos, Nigeria
Medical missionaries Drs. Greg and Carolyn Kirschner, recently returned to Jos, Nigeria as part of their fourteen year medical mission to ECWA Evangel Hospital. Carolyn Kirschner, daughter of long-time BUMC members Dr. Curt and Marie Verschoor, is a gynecologic oncologist, on staff at Evanston Hospital. A graduate of Barrington High School, she was recently named a Distinguished Graduate for her work in Nigeria. Her husband, Greg, a family physician, teaches in the family practice residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. The couple served at ECWA Evangel Hospital in Jos, Nigeria from 1995 through 1999, and again, from 2001 through 2004. Greg has served as the director of a residency training program for Nigerian Christian family physicians and worked with a community development program of the church. Carolyn has operated on women with vesicovaginal fistulas (chiefly from childbirth injuries and female circumcision) and taught the surgical technique to African doctors. Vesicovaginal fistulas are devastating injuries which cause women to be ostracized from their community. They are rare in the developed world, but it is estimated that between 400 and 800 thousand women in Nigeria suffer desperately with this problem. A few hundred dollars is all it costs to repair and rehabilitate these women. “Carolyn’s work is more than medical and physical, as it allows young women suffering from traumatic childbirth, some only in their early teens, to go back to a near-normal life in their villages,” said Carolyn’s father, Curt Verschoor. “Many find their lives importantly improved as they see the effects of the love of God.”
Letters from Jos
August 2, 2010
It has been nearly 17 years since our family first connected with medical missions ministries in Jos, Nigeria. During those years, God has proven Himself faithful over and over. And God has done it again.
A week ago, Carolyn, Christine, and Luke (Christine’s boyfriend) returned safely from a GREAT two weeks of ministry in Nigeria. Carolyn once again was able to jump right back into VVF (vesicovaginal fistula) surgery, while Christine and Luke engaged in a variety of speaking and coaching engagements with youth and children. It was a busy, productive, and blessed time in every way.
Thanks for your faithful participation through prayer. Now join us in rejoicing in the way God allows us to be used for His purposes. And keep praying. Greg bought his ticket this week for a two-week return to Nigeria in late November, focused on resident teaching. At the same time, we learned that another missionary physician colleague is leaving Nigeria with her family for good. So the needs remain great–and the workers are few. Financial resources also remain limited. But God is able to supply, just as He has done in the past.
We’d love to share a few stories or photos sometime.