Returning to Liberia
By Fred Koenig
In spite of the Ebola crisis in Liberia Dr. Sundeep Franklin, from the Ludhiana Christian Medical College Dental School had decided to return to serve in Liberia at the Ganta Methodist Hospital.
Five years ago Bishop Innis, United Methodist Bishop in Liberia, asked the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries in New York for help with their dental crisis. There were only three dentists in the entire country and they were all 65 years or older. The General Board of Global Ministries turned to the Ludhiana Christian Medical College in India for help. The Dental College happily offered to send a succession of their graduates to serve at the Ganta Methodist Hospital six to twelve months at a time. For the past four years some of the finest Dental College graduates have been treating patients and training dental health care workers in Liberia.
Over the years a number of Missouri mission teams have served at the Ganta Methodist Hospital which is the strongest of three hospitals in the country. Most recently a mission team from St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City led by Franklin Walker visited Ganta. While there they met Dr. Ashwin Zecharian the dentist from Ludhiana serving at the time.
Early in 2014 Rev. Max Marble, Director of the Ludhiana Christian Medical College Board USA met Dr. Sundeep Franklin who was preparing to leave for his term of serve at the Ganta Methodist Hospital. He is pictured along with Max Marble and Dr. Abi Thomas, Director of the Ludhiana Christian Dental College.
In August because of the Ebola crisis in Liberia Dr. Franklin was called back to Ludhiana. Upon returning he was quarantined by the government but was home to safety. His safety did not last long because his heart was back where he knew he was badly needed in Liberia. It took a persuasive trip to the Dental College principal’s office to enable his return. The college had serious reservations about sending him back to the Ganta Methodist Hospital where some of the facilities had become a new Ebola holding and treatment center. However, Dr. Franklin assured Dr. Thomas that he fully understood the risks but that he was wanting to return as an Ambassador for Christ and an ambassador from the Ludhiana Dental College to serve the people in Liberia who were in such great need.
Dr. Franklin has now been back in Liberia for a month treating patients and training dental health care workers. The world-wide United Methodist partnerships that serve the purposes of Christ everywhere is a wonderful thing.