What We Learned at Brackenhurst

As some of you likely noticed from our earlier post, the three McCropder men were able to spend 5 days at the CMDA Brackenhurst conference outside Nairobi a couple weeks ago. This is held every other year in Nairobi, mainly for medical missionaries to get some good continuing medical education and to get credits to keep up their international licenses. However, we had a different agenda. We did attend some good lectures and workshops, but we were mainly there to meet a bunch of people from all over Africa, in hopes of getting some leading as to where we should be heading after our two years in Kenya are done.

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm glad this conference was so productive in many ways! It must be exciting to have found several options that would fit what you feel God is calling you to! Praying for you guys, and thanks for the update!

JW said...


whoa whoa whoa

I didn't see Sudan on the short list


let's be serious here, McCropders!!!

The Drs. McLaughlin said...

true, we did learn some about Sudan while at Brackenhurst, and the opportunities there don't seem to line up very well with the McCropder distinctives, at least for the time being.