To Africa With Love
This exciting autobiography of Dr. Foulkes was written because a statement in a book for retiring missionaries challenged him: “During your missionary career God did a lot of wonderful things for you. It is now your responsibility to share those things with others.” While James Foulkes’ medical school classmates were settling into suburban American practices, Foulkes was treating near-fatal snake bites, hunting big game to feed hospital patients, and seeing God work miracles in the wild and rough African bush. From a difficult start in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) to retirement in North Carolina, Dr. Foulkes describes story after story of adventure and heartbreak, while always giving praise to the Lord for His work in every situation. An encouraging and enlightening read!
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by James Foulkes, M.D.
James R. Foulkes, M.D.
Central High School Class of 1945
The admissions committee at The Ohio State University Medical School asked Jim Foulkes why he wanted to be a doctor. He answered, “Because I am called to be a medical missionary.” He thought he had ruined his chances by telling the truth. With acceptance, he began his trek to Africa.
Jim was drafted into the Army in July 1945 and spent 18 months in uniform. One significant happening during those months was that he committed his life to Christ and his service while serving in Panama.
Asbury College provided a pre-med degree in 1949, and upon graduation from The Ohio State University Medical School, Dr. Foulkes interned at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Columbus and took a surgical residency at Akron General Hospital.
At a conference in 1949 Dr. Billy Graham gave a challenge, and Jim Foulkes responded with a lifetime commitment to missionary service. In 1958 he entered Zambia and from then on his life belonged to Africa. His first wife and two of their three children died in Africa. He stayed. Mukinge Hospital is located in a rural setting serving 50,000 widely scattered people. At the center of a large endemic area of African Sleeping Sickness, they treated 75% of the cases in Zambia. As a result of this experience, he published a number of articles in tropical medical journals.
1987 brought AIDS into the region. A team was formed to fight the epidemic full time. By counseling, lecturing and caring for those who were dismissed from the hospital, the infection rate has finally begun to diminish.
When the only ophthalmologist left the region, Foulkes decided that it was up to him to learn eye surgery. That training progressed to making Mukinge Hospital the eye center for the entire province and included an eye safari program where the Mukinge eye surgeons flew to other hospitals in the mission plane. That program brought vision to thousands of cataract-blinded people.
In 1998 Franklin Graham, the son of the man who first inspired him, presented Dr. Foulkes with the Excellence in Medical Mission Award. The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health presented him with the 2000 Alumni Achievement Award.
Since his retirement, he resides in Boone, North Carolina, but at some time each year he returns to Africa for the purpose of filling in where he feels he is most needed at the time. Two of his three adult daughters are following in their parents’ footsteps serving as missionaries in Africa.