TCC Background: Rick is the son of Glenn and Shirley Sacra (strong and faithful members for over 40 years). Glenn has served in many leadership roles. Shirley was a tireless worker for the Lord’s work before she passed away in 2006. She was an inspiration to all whom she met and worked with.
What is your ministry?
Rick and Debbie have served the Lord in Liberia, West Africa since 1995, where Rick has been a doctor at ELWA Hospital outside Monrovia. Now that their sons are grown and in the USA, Rick and Debbie are collaborating to develop a Christian Family Practice Residency training program for Liberian doctors.
What is your role in that ministry?
Rick is a Medical Doctor involved in treating patients, training staff and is the director of the Family Medicine Residency Program for Liberian Doctors.
What religious groups do you serve?
Liberia has a mainly animistic population. Many identify themselves as Christians (but the number of nominal believers is very high); about 20% would identify themselves as Muslims.
What age groups do you serve?
What is the country and location of your ministry?
Rick and Debbie currently split their time between Holden, MA and Liberia.
What is the geographic area you serve?
Liberia is a nation on the coast of West Africa, between Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire. Most of our ministry takes place in Monrovia.
Briefly describe your current ministry
Dr. Rick Sacra currently takes about 4 trips per year to Liberia to serve at ELWA Hospital. While in the US, he is spending time speaking to various groups and conferences, fundraising for SIM, recruiting physicians to serve, and helping to locate and obtain drugs and supplies for ELWA Hospital. Debbie helps to keep the SIM Liberia publicity up-to-date (Facebook, etc.).
Tell us one brief story of how God is working in peoples’ lives through your ministry.
In July of 2017 Rick became the director of the newly opened Family Medicine Residency Program for Liberian Doctors founded by ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, and run this program which currently is training 3 Liberian physicians. Each year we will add approximately 4 physicians and it is a four year program so we expect to be training 16 doctors at a time.
Debbie started a PHD program in the Communications Dept. at Regent University (primarily online study) in June of 2016. She hopes to conduct research to shed light on aspects of missions work in West Africa, and hopes to complete her degree by 2020.
List the three specific goals you had for the past year and describe the degree to which they were reached.
- My key goal for next year is to start a Family Medicine Residency Program in Liberia. The government authorities have opened the door for this, and I have been asked to be the ELWA Hospital “Director of Medical Education” now, to head up this effort, in collaboration with several other physicians both on ELWA staff and in the country serving with other organizations. This is such an answer to prayer!!!!
The Residency Program got started at ELWA Hospital July 1st! This has been a great success so far. I’m so grateful to God for the answer to this prayer of ours of many years. The program is going well so far. God has provided another faculty member (Dr. David Okiror) who is also a believer. He is from Uganda but has lived in Liberia for about 9 years now and plans to stay on a long-term basis. We are continuing to pray that God would provide other faculty members for the program and funding for several resources we need to make the program more successful.
- Help the HIV Counseling program get it’s programs up and running again, including support group, and other activities. God brought in over $27,000 for the program through the “Dr. Rick’s Ride” fundraiser (Thank you, TCC, for your key role in this!). So now we need to get the program going again.
The support group and nutritional support programs are up and running again, which has breathed new life into the program. There have been some challenges—we wanted to have some training programs but this has not really materialized. Part of the challenge is that the more programs we run the faster this limited funding will run out. So please also continue to pray with us that Liberian churches would begin to contribute to the HIV care program, and that God would provide other sources of support as well.
- Deb will continue to keep the SIM Liberia Facebook page up-to-date with news and prayer items.
I’d say this has been a big challenge, with Deb working full time on her PhD as well. But she has managed to put in some hours during school breaks on updating the ELWA web page. So I’d give this one a 50%.
Please update your children’s (thru High School) activities, school / college plans, ages (birth dates), etc.
Caleb—Junior at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Age 20 (turns 21 in January)
Jared—Living in Holden, MA and working (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning installer). Age 23
Max—Living in Holden, a transfer student at Clark University. Age 26
Our personal blog: http://iscripts.blogspot.com