We met some amazing people, and hopefully came away with some good leads. We also had a lot of long conversations amongst ourselves, trying to further clarify what it is we believe God is calling us to. A few McCropder distinctives:
1. We need a place big enough to facilitate 3 surgeons.
2. We feel compelled to pursue training of medical providers (docs, PAs, med schools, residencies...)
3. We are interested in the places to which less people are otherwise going.
4. We have a strong interest in working with the government system in some way, hopefully to help them improve their own level of quality.
So, when you take that profile to a bunch of missionary doctors from all over Africa, what do you find? Well, we are still open to looking at other places, but there were 4 specific opportunities that we learned about that we thought were worth pursuing: Chad, Madagascar, Rwanda, and Uganda. I won't go into the specifics of each opportunity, but they each meet the above objectives in a different way.
If you're Africa-savvy, you may have noticed that 3 of the 4 above countries speak French (though Rwanda is in the process of transitioning to English). For me, this was the biggest single epiphany, namely that if you want to serve the neediest of African populations, most of them are French-speaking, presumably because missionaries and aid workers come more frequently from the US, UK, and other English-speaking nations, and they may prefer to work in countries with an English-speaking heritage. So, will we be attending a French language school in a couple years? We'll see.
So, pray for us. We will be trying to get more information on these opportunities, and may get a chance to visit them before too long.