Dr. Sawyer Serving with Samaritan's Purse

Dr. Sawyer Serving with Samaritan's Purse
Papua New Guinea

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Making a Difference...One Life at at Time...

A midwife working so hard that she has barely left the hospital for weeks. A woman who comes into the hospital clinic a week past her due date and has hardly any water left around her baby.  A young physician, new to the hospital, is orienting to the hospital, clinics and life here in Togo.  A woman, who after over ten pregnancies comes into the clinic with her insides literally falling out.  The phone rings and a there are twins being delivered; can you please come now?

As the first week here at the Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo, has unfolded, these opportunities to serve have all been presented to me.  To the overworked midwife I asked if I could assume her responsibilities for a week next week so that she could take some time away with family who is visiting.  There was immediately joy visible in her eyes, followed by tears of gratitude.

For the woman who presented to the clinic past her due date, we admitted her to the hospital and delivered a healthy baby boy for her.

For the new physician, offering time to teach, encourage and mentor were met with gratitude and appreciation.

For the woman who had carried many pregnancies and now her body was showing the wear and tear from these pregnancies, a surgery is planned for next week to repair the long term damage.  When she heard this was the plan, there was joy on her face.

And when the phone rings, and help is needed STAT, just being available to go and help is a blessing.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important law in Judaic Law, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  He went on to say, “This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Commandments or laws are often perceived as constraints imposed on us which impinge on our freedom; however, the command to love your neighbor as yourself brings forth joy, not only for your neighbor, but also for yourself.  Being in a situation where I can bring reprieve for someone who is weary; healing to someone who is ailing; mentoring to one who needs to be mentored; or delivering a healthy baby to a mother who is not progressing normally on her own; each of the opportunities to serve and to love brings joy for both the giver and the recipient.

Each of these have brought joy not only to the one who is the object of the action of love; but to me, the one who has been  commanded to love.  The command to love is not a rule that limits freedom or imposes hardship; but rather, the commandment to love thy neighbor has become a source of great joy.

As the weeks unfold here in Togo, I look forward to sharing not only the stories of the experiences here, but more so about the rich relationships that are being formed.

Yesterday on a white board in the common dining area here someone wrote a quote by Francis Chan which says, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”  My hope is to share the richness of the experience of doing things here that really do matter.


  1. Love it Dr Sawyer. I met you a couple of times years ago, doing "registry" fill-in work at the hospital. I have been away from Arizona for awhile, but now I wish I had gotten to know you better while I was there! I have 11 children and have only been able to volunteer out of the country once, in Haiti. Such a humbling experience. God Bless you and your family.

  2. I love this post. I am so glad you are able to help others like you have helped so many here. You words are still so encouraging and you have miles away. Be safe. Get rest

  3. Great post!! Keep the photos coming, it is such a blessing to get to peek into your work there! Lots of love from the Rikli's :)