Having worked nearly two decades “inside the beltway,” I’ve become blasé about the public relations entourages of people with massive ambitions and meager accomplishments. How refreshing then to read about the real thing — a man of humility and faithfulness whose remarkable life includes medical missionary work among the poorest of the poor, as well as founding and building one of the premier mission hospitals in the world. In his newly released book, Miracle at Tenwek, Gregg Lewis provides a gripping account of the heroic life of Dr. Ernie Steury, a medical missionary who established a world renowned hospital in a remote area of Kenya.
Ernie Steury’s life brings reality to St. Augustine’s comment, “It is pride that changes angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” The account of Steury’s dedication and commitment to excellence “strangely exalts the heart,” as St. Augustine so aptly put it.
Dr. Ernie Steury went to Kenya in 1959 to serve a small clinic and dispensary. Over the years, he turned that clinic into a 300-bed hospital that is recognized around the world as a model medical facility. The outstanding national and missionary staff at Tenwek Hospital — located near the village of Bomet in the highlands of southwest Kenya — continues to serve the medical and spiritual needs of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans. The hospital’s community health and development programs garner praise around the globe. Dr. Steury’s extraordinary dedication to his patients, along with his integration of top-notch medical skills and deep faith, make him a model for medical missionaries.
An Indiana farm boy, Ernie Steury became a medical doctor worthy of being a hero to American young people who want their lives to make a difference. He went into an area of Africa with an uncertain and inadequate electrical supply, and years later, through his efforts and financing, a dam was built on the nearby river to provide hydroelectricity to the whole region. Without any formal training as a surgeon, and with few medical instruments, he saved lives.