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Iron Sharpens Iron – Who Sharpens You?



“We traveled to the Exploring Medical Missions Conference as just acquaintances, unaware of the awaiting revelations.” Rachel Jamison and Courtney Baldridge at that time were first year medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “The EMMC created a place to foster what’s become a life-long friendship. We also met first-rate people who inspired us: Cindy Obenhaus from a birthing center in Haiti and Patrick Railey from Operation Mobilization. They became to us like the iron in the statement from Proverbs 27:17 ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ These EMMC speakers also developed our vision from simply rescue on toward resilience; from only providing medicine toward working to upgrade the health of an entire community and empower people to care for themselves.”


What community? Guinea, West Africa. They and their husbands are moving to the capital city of Conakry as part of Hope Ignited – a faith-based training and service organization. Rachel and Courtney, now pediatric specialists, are animated over their professional prospects. “Guinea has very few physicians and only rare specialists. A top priority for us will be transferring our skills and vision for Guinean healthcare personnel to serve the poorest.”


“But no matter how good our motivation, the transition from healthcare in Dallas to Guinea will be complex. That’s why we just completed the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course, with its emphasis on cultural skills, low-resource disease management, and sustainable community development. And the bonus? Again it was our interaction with our inspiring classmates, people already engaged in Burma, Nigeria, Ghana, Bolivia, and the Middle East.”


Rachel Jamison and Courtney Baldridge intentionally pursued venues where they would meet virtuous role models and could nourished uplifting friendships. Iron sharpens iron, indeed.


Whom will you allow to sharpen you? The next Exploring Medical Missions Conference on May 30-31 is a marvelous opportunity to enlighten and encourage yourself among exemplary people. The upcoming International Medicine and International Public Health Intensive Hybrid Courses, starting on April 28th and May 19th, provide superb occasions to hone your skills and forge alliances with some of the world’s most upstanding individuals – like these two global-minded pediatricians.

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