Reflections on Zimbabwe

In February, five final-year VCU medical students and Dr. Scott Armistead traveled to Zimbabwe for a month-long medical mission. After an afternoon at Victoria Falls, the students joined Myrna McLaughlin, a nurse formerly at Richmond’s CrossOver Clinic and now missionary to Zimbabwe, in visiting two rural villages associated with Myrna’s ministry. Sleeping in huts, joining in worship, and running small makeshift clinics in these villages gave the students an understanding of the context and challenges of life and health in rural Zimbabwe. The students then traveled to Karanda Mission Hospital, a TEAM hospital in eastern Zimbabwe where Dr. Armistead had taken the students the previous year. The students participated in the life of the hospital–scrubbing into surgery, rounding on the wards, doing ultrasounds, attending and leading daily chapel, and teaching in grand rounds. The students interviewed the long-term missionary doctors in order to gain an understanding of the joys and challenges of long-term missionary medical life. Dr. Armistead led them in evening reflection on the meaning of the experience and what God might have for their futures. Thanks for your prayers and support of this venture!