On Sunday, 9 December, Dr. Nayer Naiem and Dr. Amgad Amir graduated from the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) residency training program at Harpur Memorial Hospital, Menouf! It was an amazing and encouraging ceremony attended by friends and family of these doctors, as well as special guests from all over the world, who travelled to Menouf to celebrate the hard work of these two men, and the faithfulness of God to the PAACS Program. The ceremony included Bible readings, and praise songs in different languages: a wonderful reminder that all of the new doctors’ hard work is for the glory of God! Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad were the 80th and 81st graduates from the PAACS program, and by the end of the year, the PAACS program will have graduated 88 African surgeons. Praise God for his faithfulness!
PAACS began in 1996 with the vision of Dr. David Thompson, an American doctor with a heart for equipping African surgeons. Their vision and purpose are to “enable doctors who qualify to experience the same kind of surgical training that doctors in America and Canada receive and develop in them a commitment to serve rich and poor alike with the love of Christ.” We were especially honoured to have Dr. David Thompson and his wife, Rebecca, present at this ceremony.
Dr. Sherif Hanna, the PAACS Assistant Program Director, gave the main speech at the ceremony. Dr. Sherif spoke about the importance of servant leadership as a fundamental characteristic of the Christian life and encouraged the new doctors to embrace and seek humility at every turn. He reminded us that even Jesus, who is God himself, “did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:43, NIV).
After the presentation of the diplomas, the new doctors were given an opportunity to respond. Both Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad expressed immense gratitude to the PAACS faculty and staff, the Harpur Memorial Hospital staff, their families, and most importantly the Lord for sustaining them throughout the demanding years of the PAACS program. In his response, Dr. Amgad said, “Before we came here, I was struggling to learn and progress. I had to travel from my town to another one to gain some experience, experience which is very difficult to acquire as most surgeons working for themselves, and not interested in teaching…[but] When I joined PAACS I met professors pushing me to succeed and ready to give me all their knowledge and skills. Dr. David, Dr. Sherif, Dr. Shady, and Dr. Todd taught me not only excellent surgical skills but also humility, patience and to glorify God in every action.”
Bishop Mouneer, who spent almost 20 years of his life living in Menouf with his family serving as a surgeon and as Hospital Director, delivered a short meditation on John 13:3-10, where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Bishop Mouneer also emphasized the importance of humility in our lives, especially as a surgeon. Afterwards, he prayed for the doctors, along with Bishop Samy and Canon Hany.
The entire ceremony concluded with a foot-washing of the graduates by their professors and teachers, a beautiful example of the theme of the day: servant leadership.
Both Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad will serve at Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat City, as they seek to humbly love and serve their fellow Egyptian neighbours through medicine, applying everything they have learned over the last 5 years.
Please join us in praying for these two new doctors and their families as they jump into this new adventure. Please also pray for the ongoing work of the Lord at Harpur Memorial Hospital, Menouf and Harpur Memorial Hospital, Sadat.