I first met Sarah at the Prescription for Renewal conference in Asheville, North Carolina. She had just finished her surgical training program and was so excited about beginning the Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission 2 year post-residency training program. Her heart’s desire and dream was to be a career missionary surgeon. She had been assigned to Mukinge Mission Hospital in Western Zambia.
The next year I spent several months with Sarah at Mukinge. She was a talented and gifted surgeon and she was a caring and compassionate doctor. She was immediately embraced and loved by her colleagues at Mukinge. She had such great vision for the future of Mukinge—a new operating room complex, perhaps a PAACS surgical training program. She was actively putting down roots to serve at Mukinge for the “next 35 years”.
I last saw Sarah at Mukinge in July of last year. She was one of the first people that I asked to speak at our M3 conference coming up the following February. She was so excited to be a part of this first conference. Sarah mentioned that she had been sick for the past few weeks with probably just a viral illness. Little did we know that just a few weeks later she would be diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Despite great care and aggressive treatment, Sarah’s tumor progressed. And on Wednesday afternoon, she passed from this life to the next. From the loving and tender care of her family to the loving and tender care of her Heavenly Father.
All who knew and loved Sarah are grieving her loss—from her immediate family in Indianapolis to her many friends all around the country to her extended missionary family around the world. She will be greatly missed. Sarah will not speak at our conference this year. But she spoke clearly with how she lived her life. Her example of genuine devotion to Jesus, her desire to give her life away for others, her radical obedience to what she felt like God called her to—will live on as a legacy that will continue to inspire and challenge us all. -Paul Osteen
You can read Dr. Kent Brantly’s tribute to Sarah here.
May 7th, 1981 ~ January 13th, 2016