Mark Zimmerman
Our speaker today was Mark Zimmerman, the new pastor at the Methodist Church in Lebanon.  He spent many years in Nepal following his medical education at Dartmouth Medical School, he graduated in 1971. He then went on to do his internship and residencies in Syracuse.
He started his talk showing us a video of a woman being carried by stretcher over miles and miles of rocky hills and streams.  The woman was in labor and her birth canal was too small for her to deliver her baby. She had already been in labor for at least two days.  It took an additional two days for this team from her village to walk (hike) to a river where she was transported across the river by a rope tow; to a truck that brought her to a clinic. Once at the clinci a team of medical professionals successfully delivered the baby via c-section. A vivid example of how remote some parts of Nepal are, and that it can be very difficult to obtain medical care.
He showed the video from this journey in two parts.
After part one, he talked how an experience in medical school doing a rotation in Africa.  It made him realize that he wanted to do more care in an underserved part of the world.  Upon completion of his residencies in Syracuse, he shared that he told his family he wanted to take four months and provide care once again in an underserved part of the world.  He headed to Nepal, and 4 months gradually turned into 35 year of primary care in Nepal.
The second part of his talked he talked about the unexpected steps in life that can lead you to profound changes and experiences/adventures that can shape your life.  He met Methodist missionaries, that influenced his decision to stay in Nepal, and they helped shape his faith. He shared stories of various patients that he cared for, one who came to the clinic with tuberculosis that he was able to successfully treat and restore her to health.
He met a dietician from Ireland.  They started doing projects focused on improving nutrition.  After some time they fell in love, married, had two sons.  His sons are now grown and back in the United States, but they often identify themselves as Nepalese. The whole family shares a love for the culture and life they had in Nepal.
He shared a story of another young American who died in a flood, Nick Simon. Nick Simon’s parents then decided that they would invest in clinics in Nepal, that are named the Nick Simon Institute.  They continually work to improve rural health care in Nepal.
Nick Simons Institute (NSI) is a Non-government Organization whose mission is to innovate solutions in rural healthcare through training and hospital support and to advocate for their scale up with the government of Nepal. The country’s mountainous terrain and poverty pose immense barriers to the provision of medical care for people living in remote communities.

In 2002, a young American named Nick Simons came to work in Nepal. Despite the cultural and language barriers, he stayed for 9 months and when he returned home to New York his fondness for Nepal remained. He told his mother not to be surprised if he wound up spending his life in a country like Nepal. He enrolled in the remaining courses that would allow him to apply to medical school.

During the summer of 2003, Nick drowned while swimming in Bali. A little more than two months after his death, his parents, sister, and a handful of friends came to Nepal hoping to create some tangible goodness in a place they knew almost nothing about. They first funded a Maternity Ward for Patan Hospital. Read more
Upon returning to the United States, he decided to change his focus to his spiritual life.  As he explored opportunities to serve the Methodist church, he learned of an opening for a minister at the Methodist Church in Lebanon…just a few mile from where he did his medical education.  A feeling that he had come full circle.
He also shared that he performed his first baptism on Sunday, 40 year ago he delivered his first baby in Nepal.  Another full circle moment.