Simret (left) with Debebe - two of our CT technicians this past year
Simret (left) with Debebe – two of our CT technicians this past year

This week we said goodbye to an employee that has been a special addition to our staff.   Even though Simret wasn’t with us very long, the hospital had a big impact on him, and we’d like to share the story with you.

Simret is one of our CT technicians.  He came to Soddo Christian Hospital about a year ago, doing something that not many people do.  He moved from the big city – Addis Ababa – out to the country – Soddo.  Simret was recruited to help run our CT scanner – the newest instrument in our armamentarium to care for the people of southern Ethiopia.

Simret grew up in a culturally religious tradition, but he admits that he didn’t read the Bible, and he certainly didn’t know God personally.  As he grew into adulthood, he moved from Debra Zeit to Addis and had the beginnings of a successful career.  Not that different from most young professionals anywhere in the world.  Little did he know what would be in store for him when he suddenly made the decision to accept an employment offer at Soddo Christian Hospital.  Wait, what?  Move to Soddo?  Well, it seemed like an interesting opportunity, so he went for it.

Things were going well in his new job.  And then, just a few months after joining our staff, Simret got the news no one wants to hear.  His older brother, living in Seattle, Washington, had just been diagnosed with cancer.   Brain cancer.  Dealing with these things is hard enough when the family is together.  But in this case, Simret’s unmarried brother and their sister were in Seattle, and the rest of the family here in Ethiopia.

Simret became hopeless.  He even began having nightmares.  One day, he had shown up for work, but was just sitting in a chair slumped over in despair.  One of our brightest and best employees, and also a strong Christian went over and engaged him in conversation.  Teka, one of our pharmacists, shines with the love of God, and he wanted desperately to encourage Simret.  He invited him to a discipleship group.  These discipleship groups are like small group Bible studies that our staff engage in every Thursday morning.  Simret went, and his life was forever changed.

He began studying the Bible in small group.  In fact, he got a Bible for the first time in his life.  Another of our employees, Dr. Mehret, gave him a daily devotional guide.  He started reading that too.  And for the first time in a long time, Simret said, he had HOPE.

Now, when asked about it, Simret says that his life is different because of Soddo Christian Hospital.  He says that he wants everyone to know that our hospital “is not like other hospitals”.  “In the big city, the hospital only wants to make money.  But here, we care about patients, we care about the poor, and most of all, we want everyone to know Jesus,” Simret said.  Our patients… and our staff!

Simret left this week for a different job – a new and exciting challenge that we are sure he will excel in.  We are thankful for the year you spent with us, brother!

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