The Ruff Family: Joy, Joel, Nathan, Zach and Grace
Bangla arrival. Thank you for supporting our family as we traveled to the country of Bangladesh with World Medical Mission/ Samaritan’s Purse. We spent 21 days in Bangladesh at Memorial Christian Hospital. Joy worked mostly with Dr. Heather Fowler an American Family Practice physician, but also worked with Dr. Kelley and some of the other surgeons who were on-call.
My (Joy) days were filled with rounding in the morning on the maternity patients whom I had admitted the day before. Frequently we would start the morning with a scheduled c-section, or if a laboring mother was not progressing as she should. One of the highlights for me in my medical training was getting to perform a c-section for a twin delivery. The later mornings and afternoons were spent in the outpatient clinic. I saw a variety of pediatric and prenatal patients. The pediatric and adult patients I saw were for acute issues and ranged from Ricketts to Typhoid, both of which are common. The Ricketts is actually from total calcium deficiency from their diet rather than vitamin D deficiency as Bangladesh is very sunny. I also learned about a variety of high risk OB prenatal care including managing insulin dependent diabetes.
From a family experience, Joel was able to help a little with fixing some of the machinery and equipment. He spent a couple afternoons when I was off to help with some of the workers who are employed to figure out what is wrong with the equipment and fix it as best as they can. This is quite a contrast as on previous trips to mission hospitals that we have been on, such an area of hospital maintenance did not exist and most equipment was just put in a storage room and piled up. We would have liked for Joel to have more time to help, but with no one to help us care for our kids and me working most days, this was not possible.
Spiritually we were also impressed with Memorial Christian Hospital. They have a variety of ministries to reach the tribal communities, Hindus, and Muslims. In the hospital they have “pillow boxes” that people can listen to in their language both health programs and the gospel message. In the past when the government allowed more travel, the expatriates would travel to the hill districts of surrounding villages and back-pack in medicine as well as the Jesus film and other gospel messages, now they train local believers at their seminary on campus to share the gospel as well as train pastors. They also have an elementary school on campus where they offer the Bible curriculum as the only religious course as part of their regular curriculum. Although I don’t speak Bangla or Chittagonian, I was able to pray with the patients I saw as my translators (social workers) were all believers. The various methods of outreach also taught me ways that ministry and medicine in an overseas setting can be integrated. I will carry this with me throughout my future medical missions career.
Thank you again for supporting my family as we travelled to Bangladesh. We could not have done it without your support.
For the King,
Joy, Joel, Nathan, Zach and Grace Ruff
An update on our family: we have had a very busy time since arriving back in the US. We went to Huntsville, AL and found a home as I was accepted into an OB Fellowship for the next year. I finished residency at In His Image and graduated completing all 3 tracks (International Missions, OB and Procedures, and Counseling). We packed up and moved to Meridianville, AL (just outside Huntsville). We have been busy unpacking and getting settled, including getting the kids ready for school and all the details involved in moving to a new state. We spent 1 week in Pensacola, Florida for a family vacation – much needed after residency and before fellowship. School starts for the kids on August 3rd which is also my first day of work. Thank you for your prayers and we appreciate your support.