Who is Dr. John Patrick?

When he first heard John Patrick speak at a conference, Ty Hopkins was part way through a two-year stint as a full time medical missionary.  But he was troubled, even in a crisis.

He had already served in several different mission hospitals on three different continents. Planning to devote his life to medical missions, he was intent on having the right approach, the right world view, in order to be effective and not just export American culture.

But whereas advanced medicines and technology made differences in the USA, Africans getting those treatments “overall … were not healthier,” Ty says.  Lives were not flourishing.  “You’d treat people for something, and they were back the next year needing the same treatment again.”

Ty wanted to know “Why are advances in technology and disbursement of it not doing more good?  Why can’t we seem to solve the AIDS crisis?  Why, despite bottomless pockets of money, is it just getting worse not better?”

The problem has frustrated Westerners for decades: Many Africans are in desperate need of food and healthcare.  The help gets sent–$100s of billions worth–but it does not solve the problems. Why not?

In November 2004, Ty was on his way to do more medical missionary work in Haiti.  But he was at a breaking point.  He says he realized “I didn’t have the philosophical or theological underpinnings necessary to guide or even justify what I was spending my life on.”

So before Haiti he stopped in at the Global Missions Health Conference held annually in Louisville, Kentucky.  There he attended a session by a Dr. John Patrick on “A Christian View of Development.”

Patrick had been a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa, a medical missionary, and a researcher in molecular biology.  In fact, he had helped discover the dietary protocol for bringing children and babies safely back from the brink of death caused by Protein Energy Malnutrition.  This protocol is the one recommended by the World Health Organization and the UN to this day.  Patrick was also president of something called “Augustine College” in Ottawa.  What Ty heard Patrick say that day changed his life forever.

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