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From Trainee to Trainer: Medical Training in East Africa

During a recent ITEC training trip in East Africa, we were excited to be joined by a former trainee, Harrison, who had been trained to serve as a medical instructor. Living in a region of West Africa hostile to the gospel, Harrison was one of many equipped as a medical trainer in 2022. He took his first ever trip out of his home country to join us, and his insight and gifting in teaching was an invaluable asset to both our team and those being trained.  Harrison is a staff member at a christian mission organization in his country, and he assumes many roles, as he works with like minded Christ followers to see the gospel go forth among his people. Harrison shared with us about his work within his organization and how God is using the variety of ITEC trainings he has received.

“I work in the missions department, as well as teaching in the Bible school. I also help with the pastoral team. I have received several trainings with ITEC: film, medical, and solar. All of them were wonderful, and I enjoyed all of my trainings. I am able to put some of them into practice, and it has been of good help for me.

The trainings I have received have been a benefit to my people in such a way that it enabled me to teach them about hygiene, and also it gives an opening for relationships. I see homes open to me, and I see more friends. I see trust just because of the little I have with the medical training I have in my hand.”

As he was sharing with our team, Harrison commented on the geography of the training site. Large boulders, rolling hills, and lush greenery surrounded us each day as we gathered with our training teams. He said that our location reminded him of his villages back in his country, and it was a shame that it was difficult to live in them. He continued to describe how the fear of local terrorist organizations drives people out of their villages and into large cities, so that they can be safe, because the terrorists hide behind rocks, hill, and trees. Coming from a predominantly Islamic region, Harrison shared with our team about the challenges local Christ followers face on a regular basis in his home country.  

“Some communities face a lot of challenges with Boko Haram bandits and the issue of kidnappings, and that has a huge impact on our local communities. Where some of our community members who live in the bush in villages…they were able to farm well, but now they have to go far from those places and come back to where the city is and where they have large crowds. They have to leave places close to mountains because of the threat of Boko Haram, and also because of the banditry. Everyone is afraid they may be kidnapped any moment at any time, and therefore everyone has to move back closer to town. That has been a huge impact and a little bit of a setback on us in different communities.”

Yet, despite the persecution and threat of harm, Harrison shared that the gospel is going forth in his area through the use of medical training as a door-opener.

“You can see that at first there is this kind of barrier as in “Who are you? What did you come to do?” But after a little conversation, it allowed me to even preach the Gospel. It has opened ways for me, and I have a lot of friends I have made through medical training. And several times I have met people who say they want me to come back. It has been a blessing. ”

We are encouraged by the dedication and hard work it takes to see a trainee assume the roll of a trainer, because that is what it is going to take to see the gospel move forward across the globe at a faster rate. Indigenous Christ followers around the world have the opportunity to connect with their communities on a spiritual, cultural, and physical level that outsiders may not, and through the training and equipping of these believers, we believe that our short-term trips can have a long-term impact for the sake of the gospel. 

Learn more about our Medical Training.

Learn more about other Training Programs.

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