Yesterday, my wife accepted the Henry and Grace Farrar Award for Service in Medical Missions for me from the International Health Care Foundation. I was in Nigeria so I could not accept it myself. I don't like to focus on my individual accomplishments but I mention this one because so many people actually contributed to my being given the award. 

My wife is the most important as she has sacrificed the most. I have spent a huge amount of time in foreign countries, enjoying myself operating, while she has been at home taking care of the mundane business and worrying if I would ever return (both because I was enjoying myself doing my work,  as well as the fact that I might be killed or kidnapped or taken ill). My children have also sacrificed a lot.

My Family-getting ready for the zip line
I probably would never have been in a foreign country operating if it had not been for my mentor. Nearly 30 years ago, through a series of fortuitous events, I found myself on the phone, speaking with Dr. Henry Farrar, a general surgeon from Lebanon, TN. He invited me to join him for 3 months on a mission trip to the Nigerian Christian Hospital (NCH)-a ho.

Dr. Henry Farrar
I could never accomplish the surgery I do without the help of the employees at the Nigerian Christian Hospital, as well as the surgeons and doctors I have met over the years such as Dr. Mike Enyinnah, Dr. Uche Nkeonye, Dr. Chikwe Ifeanyi, Wilson Anyanwu. So many have come and worked with me and they have all donated their time and energy. 


Thank you….  

I am very proud to accept this award for my husband. I would like to thank the board for recognizing Brian’s service as a medical missionary   It is a tremendous honor, and I know each person considered for this award is very deserving. And the choice was difficult.

He would be very surprised and proud and say that others were more deserving, because he is just doing what he loves and was called to do.  God  blessed him with a mind for medicine and gifted surgical hands.  He would recognize those who help make those trips happen, Rose Ann Alexander, his travel agent, who works very hard to make those trips come together.

Barbara Maufas, a friend, a nurse and an Earthwide board member.  Her dedication, input, and involvement, allows Brian to focus only on patient care. Finally, he would thank the workers at NCH who continually strive to meet Brian’s high expectations of excellent patient care and to make his trip pleasant.

Looking  back on how he arrived at this place in his life, and I gradually became a missionary’s wife,  I believe that everything goes according to God’s plan and timing. Twenty-seven years ago, I would never have predicted I would be a missionary wife, and I probably never would have agreed to be such.  That just wasn’t in my plans for my future. But God had His surprise planned for me long before I even knew Brian.

Brian’s chance meeting of Dr. Farror almost 30 years ago set the stage for everything that followed.  A seed to serve the needy had been planted.  Brian’s career plans were modified, and continued to be modified up to this day so that he can do what God intended him to do-serve his fellow man in the only way he knows how-Surgery. His relationship with Dr. Farrar grew, not just from a medical perspective, but also a spiritual one. 

My husband was born and raised in the Jewish faith, but he married me, a Christian girl.  Our children were raised as Christians and went to a Christian school.  In fact, it was my son, Deryk who was so insistent on getting baptized in the second grade, that he pleaded with Dr. Farrar to baptise him.  At first, Dr. Farrar was skeptical, but after speaking with Deryk for a while,  he came out of the hotel room and said, “he is ready.  I will meet you at 1 o clock in the pool area to baptize your son.” So right here in this hotel's swimming pool, 10 years ago. Dr. Farrar baptized our 2 children.

Through the years, they remained close, Brian looked to him as a father, often seeking advice on life’s problems.  The mission trips , which started out as one a year increased to 2 a year, then 3 a year, and last year, there were 4  maybe 5 trips. So  by now, I have come to accept my role as a missionary wife.

In God’s time and plan, about 5 years ago, Brian’s heart was filled with the desire to be baptized.  He called Dr. Farrar and asked him perform the baptism.   I forget where Dr. Farrar was, but Brian told him here was no hurry and when they saw each other again it would happen. That meeting happened the next day. Dr. and Mrs. Farrar were at my front door; with Dr. Farrar saying that a man’s desire to be baptized has precedent over all schedule sand obligations. He baptized Brian and our youngest son Sunday morning.

So in closing, thank you all again for this honor. He will cherish it.  

Susan Camazine, RN