ribbonSo I’m a little biased, but I think that Soddo Christian Hospital has a chance to be the best hospital in Ethiopia.  Does that matter?  Is that something we should strive for?

In the United St.ates, the Christian church pioneered health care.  If you look around your town, chances are the hospitals are named things like St.. Luke’s or Baptist Medical Center.  The reason is that Christians have always been at the forefront of caring for the sick among us.  It is the natural outworking of our faith.  When Jesus’s disciples asked him, “Lord when did we see you sick and visit you?”, he tells them that whatever they did “for the least of these” was done unto Him.  So Christians have often been found caring for the sick and disabled.

Now, when we look at the landscape of hospitals in Ethiopia, why shouldn’t Soddo Christian Hospital be the best?  Our mission and vision states that we desire to provide excellent medical services.  This striving for excellence is an effort to glorify God in all we do (1 Cor. 10:31).  We want people in Ethiopia to look to Soddo Christian Hospital – a medium sized hospital in out-of-the-way Wolaitta – as raising the bar for health care in Ethiopia at the same time we are expanding God’s kingdom.

When people ask me, why does a hospital in rural, southern Ethiopia need to be the standard bearer for the country, I point them to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  At around 100,000 inhabitants, Rochester is not even among the top 200 most populous cities in the US.  Yet many patients flock to receive care at the Mayo Clinic, and it has consistently been ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country.  It is also considered one of the best places to work in the St.ates.

So, Soddo Christian Hospital could be the Mayo Clinic of south Ethiopia!  Soddo, like Rochester, has close to 100,000 population.  And out of the 150 or so hospitals spread across Ethiopia, patients are choosing to come all the way down here to get their care.  We are proud to be setting a new standard for health care in Ethiopia, and pray that it will give us opportunities to treat more patients and witness to the glory of Christ.