Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa Info

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Sarah Thebarge ponders the intersection
of faith and medicine in this insightful narrative of her medical
mission trip to Togo, West Africa.

Sarah
Thebarge, a Yale-trained physician assistant, nearly died of breast
cancer at age twenty-seven, but that did not end her deeply felt
spiritual calling to medical missions in Africa. Risking her own health,
she moved to Togo, West Africa-ranked by the United Nations as the
least happy country in the world-to care for sick and suffering
patients.
Serving without pay in a mission hospital, she
pondered the intersection of faith and medicine in her quest to help
make the world "well."

In the hospital wards,
she witnessed death over and over again. In the outpatient clinic, she
daily diagnosed patients with deadly diseases, many of which had simple
but unavailable cures. She lived in austere conditions and nearly
succumbed herself in a harrowing bout with
malaria.

She describes her experiences in
gripping detail and reflects courageously about difficult and deep human
connections-across race, culture, material circumstances, and medical
access.

Her experience exemplifies the triumph
of surviving in order to share the stories that often go untold. In the
end, WELL is an invitation to ask what happens when, instead of asking
why God allows suffering to happen in the world, we ask, "Why do we?"

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.31

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Reviews for Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa:

5

Nov 07, 2017

I was first introduced to Sarah Thebarge when I read her memoir, The Invisible Girls (2013). That story was so powerful, beautifully written, and heart-wrenching. When I heard she had written a new book called WELL, I knew immediately I would have to read it. I devoured the book in a few days and was incredibly taken with it. Sarah's writing is deep, heartfelt, passionate, real, transparent, and overall, so articulate and moving.
In the pages of WELL, Sarah takes us on her journey to Togo and I was first introduced to Sarah Thebarge when I read her memoir, The Invisible Girls (2013). That story was so powerful, beautifully written, and heart-wrenching. When I heard she had written a new book called WELL, I knew immediately I would have to read it. I devoured the book in a few days and was incredibly taken with it. Sarah's writing is deep, heartfelt, passionate, real, transparent, and overall, so articulate and moving.
In the pages of WELL, Sarah takes us on her journey to Togo and shares the stories of the people she cares for in a hospital in rural West Africa. The stories of suffering and loss, healing, hope, and new life are astounding. I found myself caught up in the stories…moved to tears at the suffering and loss, and fully experiencing Sarah's tenderness with those frail patients who were leaving this earthly life; she was literally the hands and feet of Jesus to these fragile ones. I also found myself laughing out loud during lighter moments of humor and joy, such as playing soccer with the sweet “FIFA Boys” in the nearby village.
This book has too many incredibly thought-provoking experiences, stories, and reflections, to mention here. However, at least one takeaway I had from this book is that it challenged my own thoughts and attitudes on suffering, compassion, and serving others.
In the midst of a serious bout of malaria, Sarah examines the nature of compassion. Sarah writes, “One night I woke up in the early hours, sweaty and thirsty, unable to fall back asleep. As I lay there in the dark, I started thinking about the word compassion, which comes from the Latin words co, which means “with,” and passion, from the word pati, which means “to suffer.” So the word compassion literally means “to suffer with.” I had always thought of compassionate people as people with tender hearts. But after my Togo experience, I realized that in order to practice compassion, your heart needs to be tender but the rest of you— including your emotions and your commitment and your will— needs to be tough as nails. Compassion, in its most extreme forms, is not cute; it is costly. It isn’t always sweet; sometimes it is downright scary. Compassion makes you suffer and sweat and smell. It requires you to pour yourself out, sometimes, until there’s nothing left. Togo gave me a new appreciation for Jesus. Instead of having sympathy for the human condition, Emmanuel, God With Us, came down to suffer with and for us. He took the cup of hardship, loss, grief, pain, and death, and he drank it to the dregs. Maybe, I thought as I lay in the dark that night in Togo, maybe Jesus was calling me to that same level of compassion, calling me to love the world at a great personal cost that I never would’ve chosen if it was up to me. To take the cup of suffering and drink it all, down to the dregs. I didn’t know yet what radical compassion would look like for me when I got back to the United States, but in Togo, when the sun came up the next morning, for me, having compassion meant picking up my nearly empty water bottle, walking over to the clinic, and seeing patients in a malodorous, muggy exam room while I was hot and thirsty and tired. It meant sharing with the Togolese people in this hardship, drinking the cup of suffering down to the dregs. Down to the very last drop.”
These are powerful words. I am challenged and encouraged and “spurred on toward love and good deeds” after reading these words. This is such a great reminder that compassion, love, and service—especially to the least of these—is not a sweet sentiment, but instead is costly and often painful. Ultimately though, this is what Jesus demonstrated and modeled for us and it is the best way to live. Sarah shows us an amazing example of this level of compassion in WELL. This book will challenge you and encourage you and will change you (if you let it!). I cannot recommend it highly enough! ...more
2

Nov 01, 2017

Solid two and a half stars.
The first quarter of this book felt like the author patting herself on the back for her decision to spend three months working at a hospital in Togo, Africa for three months. Almost like shes checking it off her Christian bucket list. Theres also a bit of self-promotion for her previous book. I couldnt help think of the scripture in Matthew 6 that says do not let your right hand know what your left is doing when giving to the needy.
When Thebarge finally arrives in Solid two and a half stars.
The first quarter of this book felt like the author patting herself on the back for her decision to spend three months working at a hospital in Togo, Africa for three months. Almost like she’s checking it off her Christian bucket list. There’s also a bit of self-promotion for her previous book. I couldn’t help think of the scripture in Matthew 6 that says do not let your right hand know what your left is doing when giving to the needy.
When Thebarge finally arrives in Mango and at the Hospital of Hope—a hospital she states if better than the government run facilities in Africa—she begins to question the organization and her follow workers (many of whom are lifetime missionaries). I couldn’t help but wonder why a journalist didn’t do more research into the organization before arriving.
The author states her time in Africa was lonely, that she never connected with any of the people there but proceeds to tell stories in which she is teased, encouraged, cared for during illness, and even asked when she will return. She seems to only connect with one person when they are working together. When you are a part-timer in a group of life-timers, connection is going to require some work on your part. An effort Thebarge didn’t seem to put forth.
The best—and most heartbreaking—parts of this book are the stories of the Togolese patients. In a world where “first world problems” is a popular hashtag, it’s easy to take the medical advancements of the western world we enjoy daily for granted. The African people daily fight diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis—diseases which are non-existent in the US.
There is a lot of medical jargon throughout the book and much recounting of Thebarge’s time in college and PA school. I would have rather read more stories—more happy ones—from Thebarge’s time in Africa.
Well does relay the practice of loving others, of showing compassion in a tangible way, of pouring ourselves into other lives until we have nothing more to give.
Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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4

Mar 17, 2018

Sarah Thebarge's book is about her three months living in Togo, West Africa, and working as a physician's assistant in a remote Christian hospital. I'm not a huge fan of Christian books, or missionary work, but gave the book a chance and am so glad I did. Although, the author talks about her faith throughout the book, I found her delving into it much more toward the end of the book, which I had to skip through. However, her medical stories about the people she treated, the diseases that she Sarah Thebarge's book is about her three months living in Togo, West Africa, and working as a physician's assistant in a remote Christian hospital. I'm not a huge fan of Christian books, or missionary work, but gave the book a chance and am so glad I did. Although, the author talks about her faith throughout the book, I found her delving into it much more toward the end of the book, which I had to skip through. However, her medical stories about the people she treated, the diseases that she never came across while working in the U.S., and the difficulties in finding medicine and medical equipment that she and the other nurses and doctors needed to heal their patients, was very interesting and why, I ultimately, picked up her book. In addition, Thebarge's accounts of Togo brought me right back to Ghana, where I lived for five years.

The deaths that Thebarge experienced on a daily basis were overwhelming and crushing to read about. The journals that the author kept in Togo, and then brought to life in her book, gives readers a true sense of her experiences. Her writing is descriptive, emotional, and honest, and I was touched many times by her loving interactions with her patients as she tried to heal them, or help them to pass away peacefully.

I highly recommend this book and thank Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review it. ...more
5

Nov 10, 2017

"Well" is a book that will have you in tears and unable to put it down. It is one of the most, moving powerful reads of 2017! Courageous, vulnerable and daring, Sarah took me from my comfort zone and made me realize the heartbeat of Jesus again. So often in the Western culture, we find ourselves being stuck in a consumerism mindset where everything is about "me or seeing what is best to move us forward," but Sarah challenges the reader to look at life in a different way, to look at people with "Well" is a book that will have you in tears and unable to put it down. It is one of the most, moving powerful reads of 2017! Courageous, vulnerable and daring, Sarah took me from my comfort zone and made me realize the heartbeat of Jesus again. So often in the Western culture, we find ourselves being stuck in a consumerism mindset where everything is about "me or seeing what is best to move us forward," but Sarah challenges the reader to look at life in a different way, to look at people with compassion and to serve people well.
Sarah is such a beautiful writer and instantly her story telling will captivate your soul. She is an engaging writer and you will wrestle with the content, but amidst the hard, you will the grace and see beauty for ashes. This book will get you to see the heartbeat of Jesus and have compassion on people like never before. I love that she begs the question we all ask ourselves during the mist of trauma, confusion or terror, "Why does God allow suffering?", but "Do we?" I cannot say enough good things about this book! I really enjoyed this book, despite the emotional journey it took me on. I have several pages ear marked and I was just broken over this book. I am still thinking of Sarah and this book days later. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy.
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4

Nov 06, 2017

Thebarge is a physician assistant who went to Togo, West Africa, to work in a mission hospital for three months. She shares her experiences, her observations, and spiritual lessons learned. Her studies in journalism show as this is a very well written memoir of a difficult time.

Her stories of the people she met are heart warming and heart breaking. Her buying a soccer ball for local boys was a heart warming experience. Her losing so many of her patients was just heart breaking.

I was surprised at Thebarge is a physician assistant who went to Togo, West Africa, to work in a mission hospital for three months. She shares her experiences, her observations, and spiritual lessons learned. Her studies in journalism show as this is a very well written memoir of a difficult time.

Her stories of the people she met are heart warming and heart breaking. Her buying a soccer ball for local boys was a heart warming experience. Her losing so many of her patients was just heart breaking.

I was surprised at Thebarge's account of how the whites in the mission hospital treated the local employees. While there was not outright racism, it was disappointing to see that the Togolese hospital workers were not invited to the Sunday church service.

The memoir is a good look at working in another culture. Thebarge writes about the plight of women in the country, for example, and the painful custom of female circumcision. She shares the anguish she felt when medicines so common in the US were not available for her to use in Togo.

Thebarge shares her struggles with God, asking why so many suffer and die. She also shares spiritual insights she gained from her experience. When she was deathly sick with malaria, she asked God to heal her with the same Sunday morning power with which He raised Jesus from the dead. Then she realized that same power from God was active on Friday, giving Jesus the strength to suffer and die for us. We want the Sunday power but often receive the Friday power instead.

Thebarge hopes her story will encourage readers to help those in developing countries. I recommend her memoir. You will read an honest and insightful account of work among people who so desperately need the help of others.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. ...more
4

Nov 14, 2017

In Well, Sarah Thebarge immerses us in her three-month experience of working as a Physicians Assistant in a missionary hospital in Togo, West Africa. From her first days of climate and culture shock to her trip back home, she shares not only what she sees, hears, and smells, but also what she feels on many levelsphysically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Many chapters are short. Some are narrativewonderful storytelling. Others read like essays that speak to large themes of love and the meaning and In Well, Sarah Thebarge immerses us in her three-month experience of working as a Physicians’ Assistant in a missionary hospital in Togo, West Africa. From her first days of climate and culture shock to her trip back home, she shares not only what she sees, hears, and smells, but also what she feels on many levels—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Many chapters are short. Some are narrative—wonderful storytelling. Others read like essays that speak to large themes of love and the meaning and purpose of life in the shadow of unspeakable suffering and the inequality of the developed versus the developing world. Scattered throughout her chronological account of her Togo experience are flashback stories about her medical training, her battle with breast cancer, and her experiences in Portland.

Thebarge is an excellent writer and a delight to read. She remembers events in amazing detail—though I’m sure some credit goes to her journals, which she repeatedly refers to keeping. However, many of the stories are hard to read because of their content. The book is heavy with heartbreaking tales of death disease, and primitive conditions. Over and over Thebarge refers to Togo as the saddest place on earth. She is deeply affected by the inability of the medical staff to help more people and prevent what appear to be the meaningless deaths of newborns, children, mothers and fathers needed as parents.

Thebarge’s dedication and love are Mother Teresa-esque. One of the most beautiful passages in the book for me was this short exchange between her and Omari, her Togolese work partner:

“I want to see patients like you do.”
‘You already said that,’ I teased him.
“No, no, I mean, I want to look at people like you do.”
“What do you mean? How do I look at people?”
“You look at people with love,” Omari said.
O thought about Massiko’s words, that love looks around.
And the father’s words, “There is love in your eyes.”
And now Omari’s words, ”You look at people with love” – Well, p. 219.

I would like to recommend this book without reservation, but can’t quite do that. For Thebarge’s theology does not, as I’ve picked it up from Well, agree completely with the Bible. She seems to take a Universalist approach toward the mostly Muslim patients that come to the hospital, implying that in death all will find themselves transported in love to the same loving God.

She is sharply critical of what she calls the “fundamentalist” Baptists who support and run the hospital, offended that the chaplains speak to the dying of hell and how to avoid it.

I found her explanation of the Incarnation interesting as well.

I wondered what, if anything, was the point of Jesus being physically present in our world. What was the significance of Emmanuel—of God being With Us?

If we look at everything Jesus left undone when he departed from the earth, then his presence hardly mattered at all. People were still sick, they still died, they were still oppressed, and they still suffered.

So why did it matter that Emmanuel was here?

As I thought about it, the question became its own answer. Emmanuel’s value did not lie in what he did or didn’t accomplish while he walked the earth. What mattered was that he was here. – p. 294

Maybe I missed it, but in Well I never came across the crux of the Gospel—that Jesus came to earth to show the Father’s love and be with us, yes, but to also die in our stead, to pay the death penalty our sins deserve. His atoning sacrifice is the reason we can look forward to spending eternity with Him and God the Father. Though this is a free gift, it’s a gift we receive when we, with our volition, accept it.

I have nothing but praise for Thebarge’s loving empathetic heart and tireless work. I have much to learn from her. The theological critique notwithstanding, this book is a worthwhile read because of the part of the world it shares and the way it challenges the reader to grapple with issues that Thebarge has faced and worked out in her way.

I received a copy of Well as a gift from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review. ...more
5

Nov 07, 2017

Im not a big fan of the missionaries  religious organizations that go into the developing world simply to convert people to the Christian faith, rather than leave any other tangible offerings. Luckily, it turns out that author Sarah Thebarge kinda feels the same way. Her sophomore book, Well, is a spiritual memoir about time spent volunteering her medical expertise in a West African hospital essentially run by missionaries. While its not the thrust of the books narrative, Thebarge does have her I’m not a big fan of the missionaries — religious organizations that go into the developing world simply to convert people to the Christian faith, rather than leave any other tangible offerings. Luckily, it turns out that author Sarah Thebarge kinda feels the same way. Her sophomore book, Well, is a spiritual memoir about time spent volunteering her medical expertise in a West African hospital essentially run by missionaries. While it’s not the thrust of the book’s narrative, Thebarge does have her share of criticisms of the approach American Christian fundamentalists take in the Third World, for one thing.

But I’m jumping too far ahead here. Well is a book written by a physician’s assistant who also has a background in journalism. Despite having breast cancer that she nearly died from, Thebarge decides its her calling to go and work in an African hospital — so she does in 2015 for three months. The entire three-month stay, in many ways, is one filled with simple victories and excruciating agonies. She’s harassed from the moment that she sets foot in Togo, the country in question, and when she arrives at the hospital after a nine-hour car drive from the country’s main city, she finds that it is a rather bare-bones affair. While people line up for half a mile waiting to be triaged each day (often causing fist-fights to break out among patients over who can be the first in line), the hospital is — for the most part — running on spit and duct-tape. Procedures that would be available in America don’t exist in Togo. And so, Thebarge more often than not watches her patients die from curable diseases because the hospital doesn’t have the resources, or the patient either waited too long to seek help or went to dubious cultural faith healers first before the hospital.

Read the rest of the review here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r... ...more
4

Nov 09, 2017


Sarah Thebarge is a Yale-trained physician assistant. Well is her story of her spiritual and vocational calling to medical missions work in Togo, West Africa.


Well is a different book than most books that I have read. This book is not divided into chapters. Well is Thebarge's story told pretty much cover to cover of her trip to Togo to work at the Hospital of Hope, a conservative Baptist missions-run hospital in Mango, Togo. Thebarge shares her medical challenges in treating the local people in
Sarah Thebarge is a Yale-trained physician assistant. Well is her story of her spiritual and vocational calling to medical missions work in Togo, West Africa.


Well is a different book than most books that I have read. This book is not divided into chapters. Well is Thebarge's story told pretty much cover to cover of her trip to Togo to work at the Hospital of Hope, a conservative Baptist missions-run hospital in Mango, Togo. Thebarge shares her medical challenges in treating the local people in great detail. She also shares her spiritual challenges and takeaways from the experience, along with the physical toll on her body and mind from the experience.


Love Looks Around was my big takeaway from Well. I may not be able to go to a missions hospital and work in my lifetime, but I am able to look around with a love that comes from God and see what I can do to love those around me as I believe God would want me to. I am glad I read the book for the spiritual takeaways. I also felt Thebarge shared with candor and honesty her experiences which showed that missions work isn't as glamorous as one might imagine. At the same time, I have kind of a weak stomach for medical trauma so some of the details were a bit too detailed for me. I think someone in the medical field would probably appreciate those details more than I did. All in all, Well is an interesting look at medical missions and a book that I would recommend, especially to those interested in this field.


I received this book from FaithWords/Hachette Book Group. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book. ...more
5

Nov 14, 2017

WellHealing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africaby Sarah ThebargeFaithWords / Center StreetFaithWordsChristianPub Date 07 Nov 2017I am reviewing a copy of Well through FaithWords/Center Street and Netgalley:When Sarah Thebarge applied to the Yale Physicians assistant program she told the admissions panel she would change the world someday.Some decades later Sarah Thebarge finds herself on a plane reading up on Togo, somewhere she had not even heard of until she was asked to Well
Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa
by Sarah Thebarge
FaithWords / Center Street
FaithWords
Christian
Pub Date 07 Nov 2017
I am reviewing a copy of Well through FaithWords/Center Street and Netgalley:
When Sarah Thebarge applied to the Yale Physicians assistant program she told the admissions panel she would change the world someday.
Some decades later Sarah Thebarge finds herself on a plane reading up on Togo, somewhere she had not even heard of until she was asked to serve as a missionary in Togo serving at the Hospital

Prior to her call to Togo, Sarah had been battling for her life, after being diagnosed with Cancer.

While in Togo Sarah experienced language difficulties, making conversations difficult and humorous.
By the time she had been there for six weeks Thebarge's French had drastically improved.

Sarah Thebarge was deeply effected by her time in Togo, watching people die of conditions that were preventable in the U.S in a hospital that lacked modern equipment.

While in Togo Sarah Thebarge would battle Malaria, shed face the loss of patients. She'd see the realities of the conditions in Togo, the lack of medicines and medical equipment.

I give Well five out of five stars!

Happy Reading! ...more
3

Apr 12, 2019

I got this book after hearing her on a podcast, and I truly wanted to enjoy it. I like her writing style, where she switches to different times in her life between chapters. The Invisible Girls was an encouraging book and I was excited to read Well. However, this book just felt... hopeless. All throughout, its just sad story after sad story, without any offering of But God... I also felt pretty uncomfortable at how disrespectfully she speaks of the people who have devoted many years of work at I got this book after hearing her on a podcast, and I truly wanted to enjoy it. I like her writing style, where she switches to different times in her life between chapters. “The Invisible Girls” was an encouraging book and I was excited to read “Well.” However, this book just felt... hopeless. All throughout, it’s just sad story after sad story, without any offering of “But God...” I also felt pretty uncomfortable at how disrespectfully she speaks of the people who have devoted many years of work at the hospital. To me, the book came across as a journal processing her resentment and bitterness more than a book about hope and healing. The end got slightly more hopeful, but I had already kind of lost respect for her opinion after the blunt accusations toward the missionaries she was with. It felt very hypocritical to say “love is the answer” to all the things going on in Togo because it seems she did not love her fellow missionaries well. I was hoping to enjoy it, but if I were to recommend reading a book by her, it would be only “The Invisible Girls.” ...more
5

Dec 09, 2017

Sarah Thebarge, author of The Invisible Girls, takes an opportunity to practice medicine as a physicians assistant in Mango, Togo in West Africa. In the midst of what appears to be a God-forsaken country and people, she realizes a deeper meaning of Love, though at significant cost to her physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Fighting against sickness and despair with limited resources, Sarah shares her story of love and compassion at the Hospital of Hope even when healing isnt possible, when Sarah Thebarge, author of The Invisible Girls, takes an opportunity to practice medicine as a physician’s assistant in Mango, Togo in West Africa. In the midst of what appears to be a God-forsaken country and people, she realizes a deeper meaning of Love, though at significant cost to her physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Fighting against sickness and despair with limited resources, Sarah shares her story of love and compassion at the Hospital of Hope even when healing isn’t possible, when death is inevitable. The stories of Togo become personal and unavoidable, forcing us to come to grips with the harsh reality that we try so hard to ignore.

Love looks around, Sarah learns early in her journey, and through Well, Sarah compels us to look around with her, to sense the pain in her patients eyes, the panic thrashing in their chests, and the comfort that comes only with a touch of a caring hand. ...more
5

Nov 05, 2017

Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in South Africa by Sarah Thebarge is a touching memoir about the authors experience as a physician assistant in West Africa. Thebarge is a skilled writer, using her words to beautifully illustrate true events and make her story come to life. Because Thebarge describes medical scenarios in detail, the book is very informative from a medical standpoint. It is also a culturally educational book, and I learned a lot more about the culture of Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in South Africa by Sarah Thebarge is a touching memoir about the author’s experience as a physician assistant in West Africa. Thebarge is a skilled writer, using her words to beautifully illustrate true events and make her story come to life. Because Thebarge describes medical scenarios in detail, the book is very informative from a medical standpoint. It is also a culturally educational book, and I learned a lot more about the culture of Togo.

Well is a great book for people who have a heart for world missions. Throughout the story, Sarah aims to achieve wellness for others – not only physical wellness, but spiritual wellness. Sarah’s love for Jesus Christ and her desire to spread his love is evident. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sarah’s amazing, inspirational story, and I loved reading about the lives that she impacted.

*I received this book for review* ...more
4

Dec 10, 2019

Sarahs honest and raw account of her three months in Togo West Africa is both heartbreaking and refreshing. After not being able to finish Hospital by the River because I tired of the authors many stories of her travels and special gifts for her son. I found it interesting that Sarah too experienced this missionary mindset of superiority and entitlement. It was uncomfortable to read at times, because the reality of the suffering the Togolese people endure but also the way fundamentalists Sarahs honest and raw account of her three months in Togo West Africa is both heartbreaking and refreshing. After not being able to finish Hospital by the River because I tired of the authors many stories of her travels and special gifts for her son. I found it interesting that Sarah too experienced this missionary mindset of superiority and entitlement. It was uncomfortable to read at times, because the reality of the suffering the Togolese people endure but also the way fundamentalists missionaries treat people. I have many missionary friends and certainly not all have this mindset but many do.
I definitely would recommend this book. Read it with and open mind and heart. ...more
5

Oct 16, 2019

I love that this book is so real. It is a real journey with real people, real heartache and real questions. The author doesn't pull punches as she relays her thoughts, feelings and discoveries and shares her journey. Her journey to the "most unhappy nation in the world". There are some very disturbing and graphic descriptions contained in this book so it would probably not be good for a young reader and even for a teen, it would be good for a parent to read with them to help them process. For I love that this book is so real. It is a real journey with real people, real heartache and real questions. The author doesn't pull punches as she relays her thoughts, feelings and discoveries and shares her journey. Her journey to the "most unhappy nation in the world". There are some very disturbing and graphic descriptions contained in this book so it would probably not be good for a young reader and even for a teen, it would be good for a parent to read with them to help them process. For adults, though, I would encourage everyone to read it. ...more
5

Nov 24, 2017

Well is the story of Sarah Thebarge, a Yale-trained physicians assistant, who nearly died of breast cancer and her story of Medical Missions in West Africa. While telling of the intense struggles and hardships faced Well is so much more. Well is a story of Love. It is an anthem call to us to exhibit love as we never have before.

"Love looks around.

Love looks around and sees the world with compassion.

Love looks around and sees the marginalized invisible people who are often overlooked.

Love Well is the story of Sarah Thebarge, a Yale-trained physicians assistant, who nearly died of breast cancer and her story of Medical Missions in West Africa. While telling of the intense struggles and hardships faced Well is so much more. Well is a story of Love. It is an anthem call to us to exhibit love as we never have before.

"Love looks around.

Love looks around and sees the world with compassion.

Love looks around and sees the marginalized invisible people who are often overlooked.

Love looks around."

Through Sarah's story, we see that while looking around isn't easy we can love this way. We see that loving this way is most like Jesus. The heart of Well is an anthem to love well and to do all that is within our power to see others Well and made whole. We do this even when human strength fails and only God's strength can bring us through.

*Received a copy in exchange for an honest review. ...more
5

Jan 09, 2019

I loved Sarah's first book. This one is just as a good. It is about her time in medical missions where the world's unhappiest people live (togo). I can't imagine all the suffering she had to endure and witness. At the end of the book she also taught that we can do important missionary stuff on american soil. We can love the refugee in the USA or even our neighbor. Sarah also taught me that we have to do and say everything with love.
4

Mar 03, 2018

Wow! All this took place in three short months? Inspiring book on Sarah's journey to Togo and her difficult, exhausting, and life changing time serving as a Physician Assistant in a missionary hospital in the town of Mango in northern Togo. Had a hard time reading her book because I had tears in my eyes so much of the time! Favorite quote: "Love looks around". Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah!
5

May 25, 2019

I thought it was a very honest look at medical missionary work by a young woman with real love and faith in God. As the review states, she answers the question, why does God allow suffering with the answer - why do we? She also concludes that it is just as significant to love each other by visiting a local shelter, jail, or our neighbor down the street, as it is to go to West Africa to help alleviate suffering. Great insights. I can't wait to read her next book.
5

Jan 03, 2018


The author, Sarah Thebarge, told her story of being a young medical missionary in a secluded village in West Africa called, Togo. When she arrived at the airport, she encountered a French Man who instantly offered to help her with her luggage, but she immediately shooed him away. This happened countless times until Sarah yelled at the French Man to stop....My full review here http://www.shimiracole.com/book/sarah...
4

Nov 26, 2017

Loved this book. Raw, authentic, moving. Sarah's other book, The Invisible Girls, is one of my favorites as well. I'm grateful for the questions this author asks throughout the book, causing me to pause, reflect, and question. Grateful for strong Christian women like Sarah!
5

Mar 25, 2018

Engaging and challenging

Very well written memoir of the authors time working in Togo as a PA in a hospital in a desperately needy area. Her reflections on many topics are deep, meaningful, and challenging. And engaging read that will move you to action. Engaging and challenging

Very well written memoir of the author’s time working in Togo as a PA in a hospital in a desperately needy area. Her reflections on many topics are deep, meaningful, and challenging. And engaging read that will move you to action. ...more
5

Oct 31, 2017

Get ready to have your heart stretched. This wonderful true story, endorsed by Compassion International, will shake you up.
The author Sarah Thebarge is a physician's assistant who, after almost dying of cancer, packs everything up and moves to Togo, West Africa. Togo has the global designation of the most unhappy place in the world. Thebarge goes to care for the sick and the suffering.
The book is filled with stories of utter sadness and expectations of hope.
My favorite take-away from the book Get ready to have your heart stretched. This wonderful true story, endorsed by Compassion International, will shake you up.
The author Sarah Thebarge is a physician's assistant who, after almost dying of cancer, packs everything up and moves to Togo, West Africa. Togo has the global designation of the most unhappy place in the world. Thebarge goes to care for the sick and the suffering.
The book is filled with stories of utter sadness and expectations of hope.
My favorite take-away from the book is this, "Who were we to challenge, let alone try to improve upon, Jesus' model of expressing Divine Love?" (pg 258)
This book will cause unraveling in the deepest part of one's soul and convince us *that what we do for the least of these - we are truly doing for our Lord and Savior.* ...more
5

Aug 07, 2018

If I could give this more stars, I would. This is a beautiful story. While I'm not at all religious I still found this woman's struggle with faith (among many others) inspiring.
0

Aug 04, 2019

Beautiful, well written, a thought-provoking journey to West Africa. Couldn't put this book down. Loved the analogies and lessons from God's Spirit to this woman.
3

Sep 02, 2019

The compassion and the medicine is spot on. Her ability to put you there with her storytelling and prosegifted. Her theologynot so much. The compassion and the medicine is spot on. Her ability to put you there with her storytelling and prose—gifted. Her theology—not so much. ...more

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