Today we have a visit by Jennifer Slattery - and she wanted to take her spot to highlight a missionary doctor instead of promoting herself. Isn't that sweet? In addition, she's giving away of one of her books, reader's choice! All you have to do is answer the question in the blog (in red) and include contact information.
How many challenges and setbacks can one man encounter before he decides to give up?
I hate to admit it, but if I’d experienced even half of what Dr. Ohaju, director of St. Joseph’s trauma center (http://www.st-joseph.org/trauma-and-emergency-care.) endured, I fear I may have retreated. Thrown my hands up in defeat and turned down an easier path.
I could learn a great deal from Dr. Ohaju, not only about perseverance but about gratitude, humility, and what it means to have a servant’s heart.
I met this man during a very frightening and stressful time. My mom-in-law had gone into the emergency room with stomach pain and a distended abdomen. After an emergency scope, she was rushed into surgery where Dr. Ohaju saved her life.
I shudder to think what might have happened had God not placed my mom-in-law under his care that week, and it was a good week that she spent in the hospital as she began the difficult and painful process of recovering from major surgery.
While dealing with a cancer diagnosis. That stung, and created all sorts of questions and uncertainties. You could feel the apprehension in the room, a tension that instantly dissipated whenever Dr. Ohaju walked in. God’s love flowed from him and instantly set us all at ease. We knew immediately not only that we were in the presence of a brilliant and compassionate surgeon, but also that, through him, God had absolutely everything under control.
That’s what happens when we surrender our gifts and passions into God’s hands; He uses our every act as a love letter from us to His hurting world. As he did for us through Dr. Ohaju, and as he does for numerous impoverished Nigerians to this day, also through Dr. Ohaju.
He grew up during the Nigerian Civil war, also called the War of Biafra. It was a brutal, terrifying time where innocent people were slaughtered and masses of children and the elderly were abandoned. Many starved to death.
During this time, Dr. Ohaju did whatever he could to survive while helping his family put food on the table. One would find him standing outside the train station, waiting to sell oranges or bananas or whatever he could find to hungry travelers. He went to school in starts and stops, when he was able. Until it came time for him to enter sixth grade, when, in Nigeria, one must pay to go to school.
There was no way Dr. Ohaju’s family could pay his tuition.
Until one day, a teacher had mercy, and offered him an opened doorway. One of many to come. Because God saw something in Dr. Ohaju—God saw past his devastating beginnings to the gift that poor little boy would one day grow to be.
I’ll be telling his story, which is quite extensive and nothing short of miraculous, over the coming year, but first, I’ll give you the ending. Well, not the ending, as his story is still unfolding, but what this godly man is doing now.
By God’s grace and with the help of others, Dr. Ohaju came to America where he pursued a degree in medicine. It was an incredibly difficult and long journey. One marked by heartbreak, for while he was in America, his father, back in Nigeria, died. From a treatable condition. Like so many others in Dr. Ohaju’s homeland.
Many Nigerians are dying daily from illnesses and diseases that are easily treatable, a tragedy Dr. Ohaju is determined to do something about through the medical missions nonprofit he started. In 2004, the VOOM foundation, named after his deceased father, was born. The mission’s goal: to bring medical care to the poor and indigenes of Nigeria.
And you can help. I encourage you to check out his foundations website (http://www.voomfoundation.org/) and visit them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VOOM-Foundation-527848877273035/). I also invite you to visit a blog I’ll be starting at the end of this month titled Truth in Fiction where I’ll be sharing bits of Dr. Ohaju’s story in more detail. In addition, I’m hoping to capture the essence of his story in a full-length novel, one he’s graciously agreed to help me with.
In the meantime, pray for us both: pray that he stays encouraged and focused on the call God has infused in his heart, and pray for me that I can capture the beauty, miracle, and perseverance of his story in novel form.
Now it’s your turn. What thoughts came to mind as you read about Dr. Ohaju’s story? How do you typically respond to setbacks?
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!
Jennifer is giving away a copy of one of her books - reader's choice. Here they are:
amazon.com/Intertwined- Contemporary-Romance-Jennifer- Slattery-ebook/dp/B0145SKJ7Q/ ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_ encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
When Dawn Breaks: http://www.amazon.com/
When-Breaks-Novel-Jennifer- Slattery/dp/1596694238/ref= asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Or, if it'd be easier, you could simply point them to my books page on my blog: http://