Skip to main content

Resident Profiles

Dr. Abenezer Iyassu

PAACS Resident Profile

Dr. Abenezer Iyassu
Orthopaedic Surgery Resident
Soddo Christian Hospital

From a young age, Dr. Abenezer Iyassu was captivated by stories of hope and healing that his mother would tell him about Soddo Christian Hospital (SCH) in Ethiopia. When he was in high school, his mother was a dedicated worker at the hospital and often spoke of the countless patients traveling from distant villages, desperate for medical care. Occasionally, he would visit her at SCH and witness firsthand the dire need for surgical and other specialty care. His family also had a guesthouse where patients who had traveled long distances could stay while seeking treatment at SCH. Almost all of the guests he met had orthopedic needs, highlighting the significant demand for trauma care in Ethiopia. It was during this time that Dr. Iyassu first learned about the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). He recognized the critical importance of surgical care and saw PAACS as a means to meet the needs of the people through surgery while sharing the gospel. His first-hand view specifically sparked his interest in becoming a Christian orthopedic surgeon.  

Years later, God has brought him full circle. He is now training at SCH, the same hospital where his mother worked and where he first learned of PAACS. As a current fifth-year PAACS resident in the orthopaedic surgery program, Dr. Iyassu was one of the earliest residents of the program. He was greatly influenced by Dr. Duane Anderson, a pioneer of the PAACS orthopaedic surgery program at SCH. "I thank God for this program," Dr. Iyassu shares. "God has impacted thousands through it and I am sure He saw me in His vision before I ever even thought about it. I am getting the best training in a spiritually rich environment, and I would choose this program over any in the world."

One particularly unforgettable story he recalls involves a 39-year-old woman who suffered from severe hip pain and kidney problems due to post-pregnancy complications. For this patient, receiving affordable and quality care seemed like an impossible dream. Her kidney condition severely limited her options for pain medications. After visiting multiple hospitals across the country, she simply could not afford the surgery she needed. Her pain was becoming unbearable. When she arrived at SCH, she was overwhelmed with sheer desperation.

The affordable care and quality surgical expertise offered through the PAACS program at SCH was the first time she saw the possibility of healing. Dr. Iyassu and the PAACS team were able to perform a successful total hip replacement. She was overwhelmed with God’s goodness, knowing that she would soon be able to walk free from pain. Every follow-up visit revealed more hope and joy. She represents many who are crying for help but cannot afford necessary care. It serves as a reminder to Dr. Iyassu that there are others who have no access to surgical care. He emphasizes that patients like this are inspirations for him to work hard and try to make surgical service accessible for all. He adds that the best possible way to accomplish this is to train many more quality surgeons who will share the love of Jesus.

Dr. Iyassu's testimony is a powerful reminder of the life-changing impact of the PAACS program in Africa. By supporting PAACS, you are not only investing in the future of talented surgeons, like Dr. Iyassu, but also in the countless lives they touch. Your support can make a world of difference. Our fiscal year ends on June 30th. We ask that you prayerfully consider giving to this ministry. Join us in the mission to train and disciple more surgeons and related specialists who will provide quality surgical care to those who need it most, while sharing the gospel.