FOT is pleased to begin a new feature that introduces you to the medical missionary families whose service and leadership at Tenwek Hospital and beyond truly exemplifies the founding mission of the hospital. We begin this series with a profile of the Roberts family.
Dr. Ben Roberts first visited Tenwek Hospital in 1998 as a medical student. After completing his residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in vitreo-retinal surgery in 2006, he and his wife, Jenny, moved to Kenya to serve as medical missionaries at Tenwek through World Gospel Mission. The family – which includes their three young sons – lives out their ministry motto, Sharing the Light, Restoring Vision at the hospital, in a local church and orphanage, and through eye clinics in remote parts of East Africa.
Dr. Roberts provides medical and surgical care to adults and children suffering from a wide range of eye diseases and injuries. He shares and multiplies his expertise through academic and clinical instruction to residents, clinicians, and nurses at Tenwek. He also has led numerous medical missionary teams that bring eye treatments and surgery to remote areas in Eastern Africa where such medical care is unavailable. (See related story.)
Central to Dr. Roberts’ approach to patient care is sharing the Person, presence, and power of Jesus Christ – the Light of the world. In nearly a decade of service, hundreds of people have received sight-restoring treatments and surgeries and have come to know, love, and trust Jesus Christ.
Dr. Roberts’ arrival in 2006 coincided with Tenwek’s plan to construct a new eye and dental facility on the hospital campus to meet the every-growing needs in these areas. He became a passionate advocate for the project. Though architectural plans for the new building were developed in 2009, construction was delayed. In 2013, there was only one operating theater available for eye surgeries and Dr. Roberts led an ophthalmology team that regularly scheduled three simultaneous eye surgeries to maximize use of the available space. “It makes for good accountability and jovial fellowship during long days,” he noted at the time, while hopefully anticipating that construction could begin as soon as local approvals were received.
Construction of the eye and dental facility began in April 2014. Phase I of the project will be completed in April 2016, with the completion of Phase II probable by the end of 2016.
Jenny is a valued member of the greater Tenwek community, teaching children’s Sunday School, working in orphanage outreach in Bomet, and providing the ministry of hospitality in the Roberts’ home. Their sons Luke, Isaac, and Nate participate in local church activities and accompany their parents to the outreach clinics where they serve together as a family.
The Roberts’ dedication to the people of Kenya and the mission of Tenwek Hospital is a powerful example of the life-changing impact that Christian faith and sacrificial love can make in the world. Please pray for them as they continue to serve.