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Missionary profile – Dickson Kaburu

By Mercy Kambura

Kenyan missionary to South Sudan

I was a young man, working as a banker and cruising in life at high altitudes. Life was good until the day a cooking gas tank exploded at home, leaving me with extensive, almost fatal burns. I was in hospital for eight months at the mercy of doctors and nurses. I could have died. The day I left the hospital, I knew I’d never be the same person again. I dumped my career as a banker; I’m now a medical missionary in South Sudan.

Did I say, “medical missionary?” Absolutely.

My ordeal at the hospital changed me. I saw people come in with various ailments, and the medics would do all they could to save their lives. My job as a banker involved signing cheques, stamping receipts, and balancing the books. Its impact paled in comparison to what I saw in the hospital.

My dad is a medic, so I volunteered in his clinic briefly at the reception. That’s when I knew I wasn’t going back to banking. I left my job and status and enrolled in a medical school. People must have thought, “Maybe the fire got into his head!”

When I completed my training as a Clinical Officer, I interned at a hospital in Kenya. When I was done, there came a call for a medic to stand in for a missionary who needed to go home for a while.

When I was first asked to go to South Sudan, my first thought was, “Why? Why would I want to go to this place famous for famine and fights?”

But God had pruned my life and showed me that He can take everything away in a moment. All I had left after the fire was my family and my brains. So, I agreed and went. It has now been 12 years. I never regretted becoming a medic and going to South Sudan.

I didn’t think I’d survive my first 12 weeks. South Sudan is very hot; with my burn scars, I couldn’t sweat, and I needed to sweat. I only sweat on my back; the heat was unforgiving. What touched me was the great need there. People would walk three or six hours to get health care.

The most challenging part of my job is seeing kids come to the hospital, and when they don’t get healed fast, the grandmother takes them back to witch doctors, and most eventually die. We’re doing spiritual ministry and medical ministry among the people here.


  • For God to continue giving us wisdom, protection, and strength in the ever-challenging and changing environment of South Sudan.
  • For the matriarchs who hold a lot of influence on families to know Christ and lead others to Christ, too.
  • For more missionary medical staff as the project budgets cannot allow us to hire new staff.
  • For the project to find suitable donors to raise the much-needed funding.
  • For SIM in general, for enabling me to serve in South Sudan, and all the partners and donors that are making this possible.

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