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Jornal Brasileiro de Patologia e Medicina Laboratorial

versão impressa ISSN 1676-2444

J. Bras. Patol. Med. Lab. vol.48 no.6 Rio de Janeiro dez. 2012 





Robert Livingstone Foster was born on September 28, 1924. His missionary parents worked in Zambia, Africa, translating the Bible into local languages. Two of his siblings contracted meningitis and died because of the precarious medical service and treatment of that time. Dr. Bob, as he became known in Africa, was sent to Canada to complete his studies, having spent seven years without seeing his family. Young Robert Foster always felt the desire to become a missionary doctor.

He graduated in Medicine in Canada, attended residency in the United States, and immediately went to Zambia. Dr. Bob lived there for 20 years. He established two hospitals, where he performed surgeries and provided care, certainly saving countless lives. Raised an Evangelical Baptist, he always associated the practice of medicine to Bible teaching. After concluding his work cycle in Zambia, Dr. Foster and his family, in an act of extreme courage and determination, left for Angola, at the height of civil war in that country. He began his local action by building the Cavango hospital; he then served at the Kalukembe hospital, and later, worked hard at mobilizing resources for the construction of a hospital in Lubango.

The Lubango Evangelical Medical Center, in Angola, whose mission statement is "Health and hope through Christ", serves patients coming from distant regions of Angola in search of good quality medical care. Dr. Bob's eldest son, Dr. Steve Foster, is also a missionary doctor, working there as a surgeon.

In 2010, Dr. Bob and his wife Belva, both in poor health, returned to Angola, in order to live out their days in their beloved Africa, surrounded by the people they loved so much. Dr. Bob died on January 8, 2012, at 87, after 63 years of marriage. He had seven children, 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Most of them work as missionaries at the places founded by Dr. Foster. His biography "Sword and Scalpel" tells, in detail, about his trajectory as a physician and missionary.

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