Bongolo Hospital has a unique and rare opportunity to establish the first post-doctoral ophthalmology residency program in the country of Gabon for licensed, African Christian medical doctors. You will serve fulltime at the Bongolo Hospital Eye Clinic.

Posted on January 5, 2011

Gabon - Bongolo

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Position Type

  • International worker–Vocational Track
  • Medical Doctor in field of Ophthalmology
  • Responsible for raising own support
  • Couple or Single

Dr. Wendy Hofman (with the help of three short-term ophthalmologists from the U.S.) started training a doctor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in November 2009, in a three-year apprenticeship program. The addition of a second, full-time ophthalmologist at the hospital would enable the hospital to upgrade this program to a residency program and increase the chances for full recognition by the Ministry of Higher Education.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A clear testimony of Christian conversion.
  • A heart that is fully surrendered to God and a clear and compelling call to cross-cultural, pioneer church planting ministry on the part of (in the case of couples) husband and wife.
  • If married, a clear and compelling call to cross-cultural ministry in areas of giftedness on the part of the spouse.
  • A positive team player.
  • Demonstrated passion, experience, and fruitfulness in engaging lost people in relationship and verbal witness to the gospel.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and complete ministry tasks.
  • A personal make-up which highlights flexibility, adaptability, and teachability.
  • Desire to lead or at least willingness to lead when called upon.
  • Experience in personal evangelism.
  • Active ministry in a local church.
  • Positive and healthy family dynamics.
  • A personality configuration which handles transition well, with indication of passion.
  • Successful completion of a process involving a positive review of five references, completion of application materials, and a multi-leveled interview process that would involve full mental and physical health assessment and background checks.
  • A commitment to serve for at least five years and more if desired, including one year for French language study.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A medical degree (M.D.) and certification from a recognized university for post-doctoral specialty training in ophthalmology.
  • Proven ability in teaching or training in teaching ophthalmology.
  • Proven ability to disciple new believers.
  • A ministry track record that indicates the ability to lead in the initiation of new ministry and/or measurably grow established ministry to new levels.

Ministry Responsibilities:

  • Serve fulltime as an ophthalmologist at the Bongolo Hospital Eye Clinic.
  • Make a healthy and positive adjustment to local culture.
  • Effectively perform any work duties related to the professional ministry platform.
  • Where applicable, perform needed community service, ministry center program duties, and other appropriate and relevant duties as assigned by the Team Leader.
  • Raise all necessary funding from churches and individuals to pay for all travel, living expenses, health insurance, educational fees and related expenses for children (if applicable), professional, and ministry related expenses.
  • Regularly, effectively, and securely communicate with supporting churches and individuals.
  • Accept the authority of the hospital in matters relating to staffing, work hours, chain of command, issues with hospital employees, and other matters related to the hospital administration.
  • Attend annual Field Forums and prayer retreats and help to organize them when asked.

Timeline for deployment:

Once appointed, fundraising begins. Release for ticketing once fundraising and other criteria is met.

General Information:

The Bongolo Nursing School has been in existence since 1978 and has graduated more than 210 nurses. It is the principal source for nurses, candidates for the midwifery school, ophthalmology nurses, HIV/AIDS nurse/counselors, anesthetists, and lab techs. This staff is critical to keeping the hospital on mission.

Currently three of the four nurses who teach in the nursing school are approaching retirement. For the past two years the hospital administrative team has been actively seeking Christian Gabonese nurses with a university education to serve in the nursing school. This may take another five to 10 years to develop.

Bongolo Hospital has one other post-doctoral residency program, a five-year general surgery program under the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons. Although the Ministry of Health is fully supportive of the hospital and its educational programs, the hospital is currently seeking official approval for both post-doctoral specialty programs from the Ministry of Higher Education. An important aspect of the ophthalmology residency program is discipleship through Bible studies, training in personal evangelism to patients, and mentoring.

Ministry Team Make-up:

The Bongolo Team includes five long-term missionary doctors, four missionary nurses, one missionary maintenance director, a bookkeeper, seven African residents and their families, two African doctors and their families, hospital administrators and chaplains, and one couple from Envision. All currently live on the hospital housing campus. Approximately 10 short-term medical volunteers come every year for periods of two to four weeks.

Work/Living Environment:

Housing would be in one of the houses or apartments on the Bongolo hospital campus, if the unit is completed. Otherwise a rented house in Lébamba or staying in a station guest house until permanent housing is available.

Language Expectations:

Fluency in French achieved through one year of study in France prior to arriving in Gabon.

Expectations for Spouse:

Spouse’s ministry would be fulltime (40 hours per week) in his/her area of giftedness and training. This would be negotiated with hospital leadership.

Children’s Educational Options:

Home schooling for grades 1-6. Rain Forest International School in Yaounde, Cameroon for grades 7-12.

Available Housing:

Mission housing on the campus or a local rental in town.

Health Considerations:

Must be able to take malaria prophylaxis, have valid vaccinations for Yellow Fever, Typhoid (oral), and Hepatitis A & B.

Geographic Information:

Bongolo is located in the central African rain forest, eight hours by road from Libreville and 1½ hours by plane. It is a rural community of subsistence farmers, merchants, government employees, and logging companies. Nursing students are men and women recruited from evangelical churches all over Gabon. One-third of patient population comes from Libreville.

Status of Christian Witness:

No restrictions.

Compensation Package:

Once appointed, funds must be raised through the applicant’s network of friends and family, local church, or other resources. Cost information will be made available upon application.

Whole-Life Health:

The C&MA is an evangelical denomination committed to planting churches both in the United States and internationally. Due to the nature of this ministry opportunity, part of the required qualifications include being healthy in all aspects of life. As you move forward in the consideration process for appointment, these will be assessed.

Important Clarification:

Applicants should be aware that serving in the international world often requires a higher degree of grace and flexibility. For example, overseas teams can be suddenly and unexpectedly impacted by illness, government decisions, financial realities, team changes, or other factors beyond the team’s control. The challenge for applicants is that these factors can sometimes necessitate the sudden redefining of a position, which may take place before, during, or after the application/interview process has begun or is completed.


Please contact Amy Roedding at roeddinga@cmalliance.org.

Apply Now


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