In our work with the poor, we see so many dedicated men and women who have given up comfortable lives to help those in need — often moving to some of the most remote and dangerous places on the planet. The faith of these unsung heroes is a constant inspiration for us in the office. One of these heroes is Dr. Paul Lim, a U.S. trained plastic surgeon who moved halfway around the world to help disfigured children in Ethiopia…
Giving up a U.S. plastic surgeon’s salary and moving your family from a comfortable home in Minnesota to East Africa to do free surgeries for poor children with congenital disabilities takes a lot of faith.
Fortunately for Dr. Paul Lim, the strength of his faith has never been an issue. In fact, he is sure that God called him to move his family halfway around the world to Addis Ababa to be the medical director of CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospital, which provides life-changing surgeries free of charge to poor children suffering from congenital birth defects such as club foot. Now Lim and his wife, who is the hospital’s pediatrician, together make $5,000 per month, enough for a comfortable living in Addis Ababa, but a far cry from the $7 million a year made by some plastic surgeons in the U.S.
When Dr. Lim told his extended family his plans to move his wife and two young children to Ethiopia in February 2008, some argued that he should stay in the U.S. They said he could make millions as a plastic surgeon and donate heavily to charity. His answer was a statement often quoted by the Lim’s pastor in Minnesota: “Christ does not call us to a prudent life, but to a God-centered, Christ-exalting, justice-advancing, counter-cultural, risk-taking life of love and courage.”
Dr. Lim takes God’s call to serve and love others very seriously, and one can see his faith in his work. He prays with patients before every surgery and tells parents that God sent him to cure their children. “If all we are doing is healing the physical that’s good but not enough,” he said. “We have to be holistic and reach the spiritual needs of these families, also.”
We support the work of Dr. Lim’s hospital and other Christian hospitals around the world by providing the funds for them to do life-saving surgeries for the poor. Click here to learn more. Check back often for more stories of the unsung heroes we work with. We’ll be sharing more of them on this blog in the coming months. Our prayer is that their inspirational stories will move you to make a difference in your world.