Controlled Choas by David Galloway with Jenni Galloway

BOOK OF THE MONTH // May

 

Chitokoloki is a settlement on the banks of the Zambezi River in the North-Western Province of Zambia, Central Africa. Missionaries first settled at Chitokoloki in 1914 and since then there has always been a presence of expatriate Missionaries there. Chitokoloki Mission Hospital is a remote but remarkable facility serving a patient population of around 150,000. Living in the United Kingdom, it can be hard to imagine how health care can function so differently from the way it does here.

Controlled Chaos, published in 2020, is a compilation of daily reports from Dr David Galloway that means you no longer have to imagine, but instead can be transported into accurate and absorbing anecdotes of life in a Zambian hospital. Some of these stories will warm your heart, and others that may break it, but whatever the case every page is extremely readable.

If you have any interest in science or medicine as a Christian, it is likely that you’ve heard of David Galloway. David was a Consultant Surgeon and Honorary Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow. He was elected as President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and was honoured with various degrees and fellowships of numerous international medical and surgical colleges! He is also a lay preacher and itinerant speaker with a special interest in engaging and defending a Christian worldview.

This book is a clear demonstration of how deep faith can lead people to give up the comfort of ‘ordinary’ life for the sake of underprivileged strangers - an exploration that is both incredibly heart-warming and inspiring. This truly is the central theme of the book, whether intended or not, and as such a vast surgical understanding is in no way required. ‘Controlled Chaos’ was to me one of those elusive ‘unputdownable’ books that I’m always on the hunt for. It is a combination of surgical descriptions and human observations, peppered with insightful considerations of wider social and political issues, that is sure to be enjoyed by many different types of readers.

On top of that, halfway through the book comes a fresh and amusing portion from David’s daughter. Jenni Galloway is a doctor pursuing a career in emergency medicine, and her perspective of the hospital and the people linked to it is simultaneously enlightening and entertaining.

Learning about life in areas of the world so different from ours is always interesting, and David’s writing is truly transportive. An eye-opening insight into the world of medical missions that will hopefully motivate those who are willing to pray, support, give and even visit in order to contribute to this work.

This is a book for those wanting to learn more about missionary work; for anyone interested in healthcare; or simply for those who enjoy reading about the power of the Christian faith.

 

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