A Christian doctor received a prestigious award for saving lives in Africa
On the 31st of January, Dr Rick Sacra was awarded the L’Chaim prize in New York, for his outstanding Christian medical missionary service for the African Mission Healthcare
There are many Christian missionaries working in Africa, most of whom have left behind their families to spread the word of God in a country that is both habitually dangerous and infrastructurally undeveloped. Medical assistance is one of the many kinds of missions that are carried out on the continent, and Dr Rick Sacre is one such person who works in this area.
After looking after the medical needs of sick women in a Liberian hospital, Dr Sacre contracted Ebola, and for a while, his condition was life-threatening. In the difficult days during his illness, Sacre said that he both cried and prayed to God. “I was focusing on the Lord. I tell you I hung on to the Lord’s Prayer like a drowning man.”
Fortunately, the missionary doctor made a prompt recovery and on the 31st of January, he received the L’Chaim Award for his tenacious work. After receiving the prize, he talked about his experiences with the other missionaries in Africa, and what he had learned from them. He said: “As I got to know older missionary doctors and people who have devoted their lives to this kind of service, I learnt that they have no regrets: they don’t say ‘I’ve given up so much and now what do I have?’ Rather, they say ‘Look at the treasured relationships I have. Look at the little thing I have been able to do and how God has used it and multiplied it.’ There’s nothing as rewarding as that.”
The L’Chaim Award was originated by Mark and Erica Gerson, two American Jewish philanthropists, who wanted to improve the African medical system with this initiative.
“These Christian missionaries go into environments that are completely forbidding [and] give up everything that we in the West consider necessities, to fulfil their religious obligation to serve the poor,” Mark Gerson said.
With the award, Dr Sacre received a monetary grant of 500,000 dollars. He will use this money to improve the ELWA Hospital (Eternal Love Winning Africa) in Liberia, where he is serving.