VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/24/13)—Dr. Tim and Kathy Rice, RN, MS have been endorsed by American Baptist International Ministries (IM) to serve as missionaries in partnership with an IM partner, the Baptist Community of the Congo, at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital.
The Rices will train nursing and medical students for Christ-centered, whole-person care in an environment of poverty and limited or no access to health care in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Dr. Tim Rice is currently on the faculty of the School of Medicine at Saint Louis University . He is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He will be continuing in this role with the School of Medicine one month of the year while serving in the DRC. The couple resides in Saint Louis, Missouri with their four daughters, Diana (age 24), Karen (age 22), Susan (age 19), and Nancy (age 16). Nancy will be making the move to Vanga with them. New City Fellowship, a Presbyterian (PCA) congregation also in Saint Louis, is their home church.
Vanga Evangelical Hospital is a 500-bed teaching hospital that serves thousands in the DRC. It oversees a network of rural health clinics for people who otherwise would have little or no access to health care. This ministry grew out of the dream of American Baptist missionary Dr. W. H. Leslie, who established the Vanga station around 1900. It was strengthened in the latter part of the century by the 35-year ministry of IM missionaries, Dr. Daniel and Miriam Fountain.
The Rices are excited to be able to continue this important medical ministry. Dr. Tim commented, “I look forward to training the Family Medicine residents in Vanga as well as working with the eager young Christian medical students finishing their medical school training. I want to challenge and encourage them to use their gifts and training to help the poor and suffering see the love of God through their work throughout Congo.”
Kathy, a registered nurse, will be training nursing students. “I plan to develop a nursing clinical skills lab where nursing and medical students can practice procedures as they become proficient practitioners,” she explained. “I love working side-by-side with students to guide them through the process of giving skilled health care, while addressing patients’ spiritual needs.”
The Rices are not strangers to the health care needs of people in the DRC or to the Vanga Hospital. Beginning in 2006, the couple traveled ten times to the African country to serve as medical volunteers. Kathy explains why they chose to volunteer in the DRC, “God brought many Congolese to our church in St. Louis. As our church began to connect with churches in the DRC, Tim and I began making short-term mission trips, particularly to look at addressing health needs. After making ten trips, including four to Vanga, we felt God inviting us to participate with Him in what He is doing at the hospital and nursing school there.”
As an endorsed missionary couple, the Rices will be working in the months ahead to build their Mission Partnership Network. They will be inviting individuals, groups and churches to partner with them by committing to share the spiritual, relational and financial support needed to begin their ministries in the DRC.
Please join IM in celebrating this new endorsement and praying for the Rices as they invite others to join them in ministry. You may send words of encouragement and communicate directly with Tim and Kathy at http://www.internationalministries.org/teams/639-rice. Or you can contact the Rices directly by email at Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Find the Rices on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/ricetd?fref=ts.
American Baptist International Ministries is a Christian mission organization connecting U.S. churches and individuals to holistic ministries around the world. Organized in 1814, IM is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. It serves more than 1,800 short- and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries to share the good news of Jesus Christ in word and action.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.