Dr. Mark and Linda Jacobson are FLC’s global medical missionaries. Mark is the Executive Director of the Lutheran Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania. He and his wife have served in Tanzania for over 30 years. Their stateside church home is Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota.
FLC has had a long history of sponsoring missionaries. The Jacobson’s became our church’s global partners in June of 2011 as a part of the congregation’s Blessed To Be A Blessing mission emphasis. An initial gift of more than $13,000 was matched by an African Medical Foundation based in Ohio that provided a total of $26,000 that was used to build a post operative recovery house known as the Plaster House.
The Plaster House was needed because patients who experienced successful surgeries and then returned to their homes in the bush often had to return to the hospital for additional surgeries due to infections and unsanitary conditions. Now, patients can return to their homes fully healed, reducing risks that might otherwise cause them to return for more surgeries.
The Jacobson’s are sponsored by a number of the Lutheran Churches in the USA. Some congregations send delegations on a mission trip to Arusha in order express their support and see first hand the great medical ministry that is being provided at the hospital.
FLC decided to conduct a Reverse Mission Trip due to the expense associated with traveling to Tanzania and the lack of volunteer opportunties at the hospital. So Dr. Mark and Linda Jacobson came to FLC over the weekend of July 20-21!
The April-May 2013 Global Health Newsletter contained an article on Dr. Jacobson. The article follows.
“Jacobson Honored – Dr. Mark Jacobson, ELCA missionary with the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center in Tanzania, received in February the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis International Award for Excellence in Medicine. On receiving this award, Dr. Jacobson said that “it affirms the work and commitment of an entire team of professionals, supporters and faithful co-workers through decades of service among the poor and needy.”
Dr. Jacobson spent two decades transforming a small dispensary in the outskirts of Arusha, Tanzania into the Selian Lutheran Hospital, which now encompasses 10 buildings, 250 employees and 12 physicians, providing care for thousands of the marginalized and disabled, as well as the nomadic Maasai people.
In 2005, Dr. Jacobson spearheaded the fundraising and planning efforts to build a second hospital, the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center, which now offers inpatient and outpatient services to Arusha, Tanzania’s urban population. His most recent passion has been leadership in the development of Hospice and Palliative Care services across Africa. Dr. Jacobson is from Stillwater, MN. He attended Harvard College, medical school at the University of Minnesota, and received a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins.”