Bang, Bang, Bang. The sound is deafening. As we stare at the powerpoint presentation today at our security training, our lecture is abruptly interrupted by two masked men firing guns and yelling at us to get on the ground. DONT LOOK AT US! REMOVE YOUR WATCHES, PHONES and WALLETS. DONT LOOK AT US! The gunmen ensure we are all on the floor. Our valuables are removed from us. WHO IS YOUR LEADER! ANSWER ME WHO IS YOUR LEADER! a long pause and someone answers “I am”. Simulation over….

What am I willing to do to live out the gospel?  What does the bible say about risk? What is the difference between martyrdom and simply being a victim? Carjacking, interrogation, kidnapping simulations…. welcome to medical missions security training 101….It is humbling and seriously faith challenging. As I am sitting in a car with a gun to my head and a masked man yelling at me to get out…. it really makes me think about what is my role in living out the gospel and what is the value of my life and my family's in it all.

We have finished our orientation and training at Samaritan’s Purse International Headquarters and the Christian Medical and Dental Association where I have been challenged and inspired by visiting missionary doctors and surgeons some of whose biographies I have only read about in books. How do I deal with death and suffering all around and keep my confidence, skills and focus? How do I make ethical decisions when I don’t have enough resources for everyone? How do I practise surgery in a different country and culture? I am reminded about how important my relationship with Christ is and will need to be….

Julie and I have been able to refocus and rejuvenate during this kid-free time of orientation (thanks grandparents!!). Despite some intense scenarios and challenging talks, we have so enjoyed getting to know some incredible physician mentors and the next generation of post-resident doctors and their families whose lives and priorities are remarkably similar to ours. 

Being a fake hostage certainly does bring people close.

By Jesh

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