In a few short days, the nation of Iraq will participate in the First Annual Joint ICS/Operation Hope & AHPBA Medical Symposium - the first medical symposium of it’s kind ever to be held in the nation of Iraq. Despite the obvious risks and dangers involved in traveling to a nation torn apart from the inside-out by wars, insurgencies, and revolutions, 10 Doctors will share their medical know-how along with the love of Christ with a group of people in desperate need of both. In addition to General Surgeons such as Dr. Thomas, the symposium will also feature lectures from Ophthalmologists, OBGYN’s, Transplant Surgeons, Paramedics and the like. Below is a copy of the Pamphlet for the symposium containing a list of doctors involved and courses offered (click on the image for a larger view.)
Apart from the symposium, Dr. Thomas along with a number of other doctors will be working directly with Iraqi doctors and surgeons teaching them various procedures that have not yet been taught in that part of the world. Dr. Thomas began traveling to Iraq 5 years ago teaching many simple procedures such as gallbladder removal and other basic surgeries. He has since moved on to much more complicated techniques and operations many of which aren’t even offered in local hospitals here in Lubbock. Rather than simply flying a handful of Iraqi doctors to the states in order to train them on various surgeries and techniques, Dr. Thomas and those with him understand the importance of teaching these doctors in their own hospitals with their own equipment to ensure that everything will be easily reproduced once the doctors are on their own. Not only will the doctors be trained in specific operations and techniques, they will also learn how to effectively reciprocate the training they have received so that the impact can reach much farther than this initial group of doctors.
Joining Dr. Thomas and the medical professionals with him will be Stephanie Berzinski and David Morris from KAMC 28 News in Lubbock Texas. The news team will be right alongside Dr. Thomas throughout his trip to document and report back everything happening in real time. Click here to be directed to KAMC’s website for continuing coverage of the entire trip as well as blog and “vlog” (video-log) entries by Stephanie and David.
Although Medical training will be the overall focus of the trip, Operation Hope’s intentions are not to simply train medical professionals, but to share the love of Christ to a hurting nation. Dr. Thomas is determined to speak boldly about His faith as a Christian and has never hesitated to express his faith in Christ to anyone and everyone willing to listen. Despite the violence and danger that is present not only in Iraq, but all over the world, our job as believers is to share the love of Christ wherever we go - and that is exactly what Operation Hope exists for.
Dr. Thomas continued to emphasize that despite the fact that there is a certain level of risk involved in traveling to a nation such as Iraq, the team will be traveling to a relatively peaceful part of the nation and will be well guarded the entire time. That being said, please remember to keep Dr. Thomas, the KAMC team, and everyone else involved in your prayers as they travel to, from, and around the nation of Iraq. Please join with the rest of us here at Operation Hope in believing that God will bless the work of their hands and touch the hearts of the Iraqi people in a way that only the Father could.
“I would like to ask everyone to keep us prayed up. I would also like to thank all of those who have made this possible by their charitable giving of instruments and all the items they donate for us to go do this work. The ultimate thing is that Love Conquers All. It doesn’t matter what culture it is, or what distinctions of cultural society it comes from, love conquers all and that’s what Christ stood for.” - Dr. John Thomas