Missionary doctors and nurses are stationed throughout Africa, in rural outposts and urban slums. Rather than parachuting in during crises, like some international medicine specialists, a large number of them have undertaken long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans. And yet, for secular Americans—or religious Americans who prefer their medicine to be focused more on science than faith—it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation....A Jewish Alzheimer's patient at the nursing home where I minister liked to come to the communion service because... well, it's something to do.
It’s great that these people are doing God’s work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?
One weekend, whihcever letter of Paul I was reading from was just a tudge too Chistological for her, she yelled in the middle of the Epistle, Too much d*** JESUS for me! and stormed out as fast as she could wheel.
The Ebola crisis, and the role missionaries are playing in it, has brought dislike of missionary work out into the open....Maybe because like so much of atheism, it's.... sorry, irrational?
I’ll hold my own hand up. I still don’t feel good about missionary medicine, even though I can’t fully articulate why.
There are serious questions about the quality of care provided by religious organizations in Africa. A 2008 report by the African Religious Heath Assets Programme concluded that faith-based facilities were “often severely understaffed and many health workers were under-qualified.” Drug shortages and the inability to transport patients who needed more intensive care also hampered the system....Omiwerd, people are, (horrors!) acting according to what they think and believe!!!!!! That's the problem!
(I’ve heard murmurs among career international health specialists that missionaries may be less likely to wear appropriate protective equipment, which is especially troubling in the context of the Ebola outbreak.) We don’t know what happens to the patients who rely on missionary doctors if and when the caregivers return to their home countries. There are extremely weak medical malpractice laws ...
And yet, truth be told, these valid critiques don’t fully explain my discomfort with missionary medicine. If we had thousands of secular doctors doing exactly the same work, I would probably excuse most of these flaws. “They’re doing work no one else will,” I would say. “You can’t expect perfection.”I’m not altogether proud of this bias—I’m just trying to be honest. In his Lancet article, Lowenberg quotes a missionary who insists he does not proselytize, even though he tells his patients, “I’m treating you because of what God has given me and his love for me.” That statement—which strikes me as obvious proselytizing— suggests that some missionaries are incapable of separating their religious work from their medical work.
Better they should stay home and play pinochle!
Promise me, Mr Palmer that we'll never catch you doing anything just because you feel it's the right thing to do....