Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#1 Arrived!

Where to start... I was born... skip a little... I went to school... skip some more...

In college, Danae spent a year in Zambia. She spent much of that year in a rural clinic. She knew she wanted to go to medical school and return to Africa.

After college, I spent half a year traveling Africa. The original plan was to spend four weeks in a hospital (with my friend, who was deciding between medical missions in Africa vs medical missions in America) and four months doing what I wanted to do (preparing videos for the church).

We had a blast in the hospital. We stretched four weeks into five before our video obligations drew us elsewhere. On the train leaving Heri Hospital in rural Tanzania, I knew I would be missing something if I didn’t go to medical school and return to Africa.

My first year in medical school at Loma Linda I met a girl. She was up front in church talking about a mission trip to Ethiopia. All I knew about her was that she was hot, compassionate, funny, intelligent and passionately in love with God. I turned to my friend beside me and said, ‘I’m gonna marry her.’ (By way of full disclosure, I said that a lot, just because I thought it would be awesome to be able to say that some day about my wife.)

After she shot me down asking her out on four dates, she eventually recognized that true love ignores restraining orders (just kidding) and married me.

Danae finished medical school a year ahead of me and began Obstetrics/Gynecology residency. The next year, God answered prayers and I started Emergency Medicine residency in the same Massachusetts hospital.

Two years later we found ourselves preparing for the mission field. On a scouting trip, leaving the capital of Tchad, N’Djamena, on the was to the Adventist hospital in Bere, Tchad (southwestern Tchad), we felt like we had found our home. One week later we asked to replace the departing doctor and were conditionally approved. This was August.

In April, we found ourselves beginning the formal process of becoming missionaries. So many miracles fell into place that I don’t think I can describe them all here. Many individuals in the General Conference worked very hard to overcome some slow political machinations to get us to Tchad. Everything fell into place in the exact timing necessary without even breaking any protocols, although I must admit being nervous staring down $300,000 in medical school loans coming due and being unemployed right up until the last possible second.

August 13, we became missionaries (even though it had to become retroactive), employed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

For those who wish to contact us... danae.netteburg@gmail.com


  1. Olen, I hope you and Danae will get to come to Buea Cameroon while you are at Bere, but it will probably be easier to meet up in Europe!! Glad you arrived safe and sound. You are in our prayers.

    Bill & Trixy
    7day Health Centre Buea

  2. I am inspired by your posts-- God bless you! We spent 6 years in Madagascar during '90s and can feel for you in these tough situations.