CMF on Facebook CMF on Twitter CMF on YouTube RSS Get in Touch with CMF
menu resources

A yak in the fridge

summer 2016

From triple helix - summer 2016 - A yak in the fridge [p20]

PDF version
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)

Life and work in Nepal
John Dickinson and family

Xulon Press, 2016, £13.15 Pb 228pp, ISBN 9781498461221

Reviewed by John Martin, CMF Head of Communications

The title alludes to the author's research into altitude sickness, involving storing yak hearts in the kitchen refrigerator. It's one episode in a compelling account of a medical career devoted to Nepal. The author and his family went there in 1969 with BMMF (now Interserve) to work with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN).

It's a lively, often humorous, account of expatriate life among the poor, spiced with comments. Lots of quirky incidents as West meets East: stresses and lifestyle plusses. The story continues after UMN with work as an army doctor and consultancy.

Dickinson insists it's not a 'missionary' book; no accounts of church life, missiology or crosscultural issues. Nevertheless there's a profound underlying mission narrative. In 1969 there were just 500 Nepali Christians, with conversion and evangelism punishable by imprisonment. Today Nepali Christians number 800,000. As in China, a persecuted minority learned to share the faith and grow the church with little outside help. UMN did no visible missionary work; its contribution will only be known in the annals of eternity.

A case study for the western health professional considering service long-term in a resourcepoor context: learn the language, be flexible, do research and get it published, acquire networking skills and, most importantly, love the country and its people.

Article written by John Martin

More from triple helix: summer 2016

  • When the foundations are being destroyed
  • Life is the gift of God...
  • Death of a 20-year-old
  • A call to arms
  • BMA retains opposition to assisted suicide
  • the nurse-physician relationship
  • Exporting British healthcare expertise
  • New template for the UK
  • Robots and healthcare
  • Tackling global health inequalities
  • Integrity in research
  • Gospel mission and medicine
  • A yak in the fridge
  • Emotions
  • The amazing technicolour pyjama therapy
  • The worry book
  • Rediscovering a ministry of health
  • The unicyclist, the vicar and the paediatrician
  • Openness unhindered
  • Mindful of the light
  • eutychus
  • help with learning to walk
  • Christian Medical Fellowship:
    uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
    Contact Phone020 7234 9660
    Contact Address6 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1HL
    © 2019 Christian Medical Fellowship. A company limited by guarantee.
    Registered in England no. 6949436. Registered Charity no. 1131658.
    Design: S2 Design & Advertising Ltd   
    Technical: ctrlcube