Surgeon reaches out to poor

Bruce Steffes uses skills in Africa to help overworked medical personnel

Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine held a lecture that challenged students to take their career global. The lecture, titled “Compassion, Capacity, and Concatenation: Is Medical Missions on a Cusp?” was given by Bruce Steffes, chief medical officer for the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PACCS).

Kenneth Dormer, chair of Patho-Physiology and Applied Pharmacology at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, said the event was the first of many the Medical school’s library plans to sponsor.

“The intent is to reach out to all of the campus, as well as the Lynchburg community, to tell them about health (and) medicine and to have a teaching time about what is going on in the world,” Dormer said. “It is an informational meeting to let people know not only what Liberty is involved in, but also what is going on in the world in missions and caring for the underserved.”

Dormer said he and other Liberty faculty are involved in PACCS with Steffes.

Ronnie Martin, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was the first to speak, introducing Steffes by giving a summary of Steffes’ background and past education. After a brief prayer by Martin, Steffes was welcomed to the podium to start the lecture.

Steffes began by reading Matthew 9:36 and Luke 9:2.

“We have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” Steffes said.

Steffes continued by saying that God is a God of healing and that he enjoys being able to bring physical healing to a man in Africa but is even more excited when he is able to share his faith to bring emotional healing.

Steffes spent the first portion of the lecture giving statistics about Africa and its lack of surgeons. Steffes explained the “brain drain,” which is when surgeons take their knowledge and skills to help people in more prosperous countries.

“If 10 people are carrying a log with nine people on one end and one person on the other end, then who are you going to go help?” Steffes asked the crowd.

Steffes lectured about surgeons he knew that served and died from catching diseases such as Ebola. Steffes said people must trust God with whatever he calls them to do.

“There may be a (risk) with praying about a problem,” Steffes said. “You may be the solution. What God calls me to do, that’s what I have to lay at the altar.”

Steffes made it clear that medical missions is not black-bag evangelism anymore. Steffes also encouraged students to be praying for medical missionaries.

Steffes closed in prayer and took questions from the crowd. He talked about how the Lord has worked in his life and how he is still continuing to work in his life.

Steffes gave out free copies of his book “Your Mission: Get Ready! Get Set! Go!” to all who attended the lecture.

FOLEY is a news reporter.

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