It's Complicated

Dr. Daniel Fountain was a friend of Discipling for Development’s founder, Dr. Richard Patterson.  When the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was still known as Zaire, Dr. Fountain was treating a three-year-old boy.  The boy’s family had carried their child for three days to the mission hospital where Dr. Fountain worked.  The boy was close to death because of a problem in his abdomen.  During the operation to save his life, Dr. Fountain found 500 worms in the small boy’s intestines.  Thankfully, the boy recovered and the family returned back home.   

A year later this same boy was again brought to the hospital with worms and required another operation.  Dr. Fountain realized this family’s life could be different if there were a focus on preventing such problems.  

The boy’s situation was both common and complicated—beyond just a health issue, his condition was also an economic and environmental issue.  The family could not afford decent medical care; and poor sanitation in the boy’s village contributed to his illness.  Dr. Fountain began to think that if someone could go to the village and train the people how to improve their environment, sanitation, and personal hygiene, this boy and many others could live free of parasites.  This would save the children from physical suffering and their impoverished families from the monumental expenses of hospitalization and surgery.  

Because we believe God is concerned about the whole of our lives, the approach of Dr. Fountain, Dr. Patterson, and Discipling for Development became holistic—in this way, we address the numerous complicated factors that create issues facing the poor. 

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