An operating room worship service in Zambia

Earlier this year I traveled to CURE Zambia with a group of church leaders. I asked a good friend of mine, Tich Dzinotyiwei, to join us. Tich was one of my best students when I led the Theological College of Zimbabwe, and he went on to become the head of his denomination, working with Baptist congregations all over Zimbabwe. Since the trip, we have been blessed to have Tich join our team at CURE as the Director of Development and Sustainability for our African programs.

On this trip, we had the opportunity to be in the operating room and observe our neurosurgeon, Dr. Kachinga Sichizya, as he operated on a baby with hydrocephalus, a fatal condition where excess fluid accumulates in and around the brain. When Kachinga is in the operating room, he begins by praying for the patient and the procedure. He sings worship songs during the surgery, creating an atmosphere in the operating room that is unlike anything I have experienced outside of a CURE hospital.

Dr. Sichizya prays over a child before he begins her surgery. Dr. Sichizya prays over a child before he begins her surgery.

The baby in surgery this day had an infection as well as hydrocephalus, which made the procedure a delicate one. We watched in wonder as Kachinga operated, successfully, to save the baby’s life. As the surgery wrapped up and we exited the operating room, I turned to my friend and said, “How was that, Tich?” The first time witnessing a major surgery can often be difficult, and I wanted to see how well he had fared. Tich looked back with tears running down his face.

This experienced churchman, who has spent years participating in services in a different church every Sunday, pulled down his surgical mask and said, “Dale, that was by far the most profound worship service I’ve ever attended.” When we put God first and make him the focus of our life, every act becomes an act of worship. There in Zambia, the doctor and the nurses saw the work they were doing as an opportunity to glorify God. The result for the kids who come to us from a place of pain and rejection is profound. They receive physical, emotional, and spiritual healing in Jesus’ name. This is true worship.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 edition of Healing, CURE’s quarterly newsletter.

Photo of the CURE International Canada

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