Dr. Tim and Kathy are associate missionaries jointly appointed by both International Ministries and New City Fellowship in St. Louis to serve as medical missionaries at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are contributing to the training of nursing and medical students for Christ-centered, whole person care. The Rice’s vision is to train the next generation of Congolese doctors and nurses in Christ-centered, whole-person care, empowering them to use the limited resources available to restore life and health across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Their desire is to facilitate worldwide partnerships, enabling health professionals to participate in mutual exchange of expertise at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital and elsewhere in the world.
They write – Now is an especially good time to remember what really matters. When we think about all that God has done for us, and what He continues to do for each of us – wow! Six-and-a-half years ago we answered God’s call to Vanga. We arrived full time three-and-a-half years ago and it hasn’t been easy, but we truly thank God for calling us, and for the many ways we have seen God open wide the windows of heaven to bless the work here in Vanga. And still, so many challenges face us every day!
In the heart of Africa is the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to 85 million people. The country continues to suffer from high infant and maternal mortality rates and malnutrition. Our work is mainly at the hospital and nursing school in Vanga, about one-and-a-half hours by small plane or 8-12 hours by dirt roads from the capital city of Kinshasa.
There is a steady stream of people of all ages needing care. Even a simple illness, one that we might consider routine in the U.S., can be life threatening if not addressed. Most do not have cars or computers, but they still feel pain, stress, despair, hope, and joy like you and I do. Even a little medical help can make a huge life-changing difference.
The Vanga Evangelical Hospital treats more than 13,000 people each year through our 400+ beds while being staffed by 12 doctors and many nurses. With such a great need for medical care, it’s imperative that we continue to train the next generation of Congolese doctors and nurses in Christ-centered, whole-person care, empowering them to make use of the limited resources available to restore life and health across the region.