Read letters from Martha Sommers
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About Martha Sommers' ministry
Martha Sommers is a family physician at Ekwendeni Hospital in Malawi. She is under appointment to minister with the Synod of Livingstonia. She has been under appointment since 1997, first as a mission volunteer and then a PC(USA) mission co-worker.
Martha is one of two long-term doctors at Ekwendeni Hospital, which is known for their community health work, success in emergency triage and treatment of children under 5, being a Baby-Friendly hospital, and being the main clinical site for the Synod's College of Health Sciences.
Malawi, a relatively small country on the African continent, is poor and has suffered from drought and floods as well as the spread of HIV/AIDS. In spite of the many challenges and hardships Malawi faces, the faith of its people remains strong. With roots in the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, and the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, the CCAP was formed in the late 1940s. Since beginning its involvement in Malawi in the 1950s, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has sent many long-term and short-term mission personnel to serve in the country. The Synod of Livingstonia, one of four synods of the CCAP, grew out of a mission station founded in 1875 and named in honor of David Livingstone, the famed Scottish Presbyterian missionary.
About Martha Sommers
Martha worked as a long-term volunteer for the PC(USA) in Embangweni from 1997 to 2000 and as a mission co-worker at Embangweni and Ekwendeni from 2001 to the present. “I’ve grown so much by journeying with Malawian friends,” says Martha, “:and thank God for how they have picked me up when I have tripped, made sure I was not alone with illness, and taught me to enter into grief and grab joy."
Martha also served as a volunteer doctor at the Chogoria Mission Hospital in Chogoria, Kenya, from September 1991 to June 1992. In between periods of volunteer service she worked in family practice at Grantsburg and Webster Clinics and Burnett Medical Center in Grantsburg and Webster, Wisconsin. There she worked in the areas of maternity, inpatient, outpatient and emergency room service.
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Martha featured in documentary about struggling hospital in Malawi
Martha received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology with a minor in theology from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1986. She earned her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990 and followed this with family practice residency at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
When in the United States Martha attends church at Holy Mother of Consolation in Oregon, Wisconsin. While serving her last term in Embangweni, she attended both St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and Loudon Station Presbyterian Church. “When not on call, I would start Sunday at the Presbyterian English Service and after that finished, would walk up to the Catholic Chitumbuka Service,” Martha says. “It was wonderful journeying both with my denomination’s congregation and the denomination that had invited me.”
Birthday: January 19