(405) 425-5070

After kidnapping, Christian doctor to receive care for wound in U.S.


Medical missionary Dr. Robert Whittaker, who spent nearly two days as a hostage of armed kidnappers, will travel from Nigeria to the U.S. for medical treatment after suffering a gunshot wound to his arm during the abduction.
“Bob is resigned to lose (an) arm if God wills,” said Dr. Henry Farrar, Whittaker’s predecessor at Nigerian Christian Hospital, a medical mission supported by Churches of Christ.
Farrar asked Christians to pray for Whittaker and a Nigerian man named America — who was shot multiple times by the kidnappers.
Dr. Brian Camazine, a surgeon from Texas working at Nigerian Christian Hospital, cared for America after the Aug. 2 abduction and Whittaker after the hospital’s staff negotiated for Whittaker’s release Aug. 4.
Camazine will determine when it is safe for Whittaker to travel to Nashville, Tenn., to see orthopedic specialists, Farrar said.
Whittakerhas served for nearly 25 years as a physician for Nigerian ChristianHospital, near the southern Nigerian city of Aba. He was at his home onthe hospital compound with his wife, Annette, and son, Ozioma, when avehicle of armed men pulled up to the compound about 11 p.m.
The kidnappers shot America, one of the compound’s security guards, at least two times and shot Robert Whittaker once in the arm.
Annette Whittaker received minor injuries from shattering tile that was hit by a bullet, said Jerry Canfield, chairman of the board of the International Health Care Foundation, which operates the hospital.
Two U.S. nurses, Ami Sanders and Emily Zubritsky, were working at the hospital on a medical mission and heard the gunshots.
“We were terrified and had no idea what was happening,” Sanders told The Christian Chronicle. “We called Dr. Whittaker’s cell phone. Annette answered the phone and told us that Dr. Whittaker had been kidnapped.”
Immediately after the attack, “the doctors at Nigerian Christian Hospital and the community alike joined together in support of Annette and Ozioma,” said Sanders, who returned to the U.S. along with Zubritsky.
Church members around the globe also showed their support, said Fleta Mooney, of Searcy, Ark.-based International Health Care Foundation.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone for the many calls and e-mails we have received that show your immeasurable love and concern for the Whittakers,” Mooney said.
The foundation set up a fund to help with the Whittakers’ expenses.
Whittaker went to Nigeria in 1975 after reading an article by Farrar in the church publication Firm Foundation encouraging physicians to spend vacation time at Nigerian Christian Hospital. The West End Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn., sent Farrar to serve as the first located doctor at the hospital in 1964. The church now supports the Whittakers.
Sanders described Robert Whittaker as “a devoted father, husband and doctor” — a pillar of the hospital and its surrounding community.
“As a dear friend of the Whittaker family told us as we were saying our goodbyes, ‘This will affect us all for a very long time,’” Sanders said.
Contributions for the Whittakers and letters of encouragement may be sent to:
International Health Care Foundation
102 N. Locust,
Searcy, AR 72143
Please note “Whittaker Fund” on checks.
Donate via PayPal at www.ihcf.net

  • Feedback
    Pray for Whittakers, for the nightwatch America, for NCH, for the church under persecution, and for Bob’s abductors.
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor.—(Leviticus 19:18) Hate your enemy.’ But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Then you will be sons of your Father who is in heaven. He causes his sun to shine on evil people and good people. He sends rain on those who do right and those who don’t.”
    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? …If you greet only your own people, what more are you doing than others? Even people who are ungodly do that. So be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:43-48
    Marty Highfield
    Univ COC, Malibu, CA
    Agoura Hills, CA
    USA
    August, 10 2009

    Dr whittaker has sacrificed pleasure and convenience in the past 25 years to serve the lord and care for his flock. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Whittaker family and the NCH community.
    Uzochi and Ugo Akoma
    Ugochukwu Akoma MD
    Pale Cedro COC
    Shasta Lake, Ca
    USA
    August, 9 2009

    For many years Dr. Bob Whittaker has been salt and light to all of those who know him. With God’s help,Bob will most certainly use this tragic event as a tool for even greater ministry. Spiritual warfare is certainly real, but Bob Whittaker’s faith is also real. He is not faint of heart. God will move this mountain and bless Bob and his family in new deminsions.
    Danny Smelser
    Church of Christ
    Monduli, Arusha
    Tanzania
    August, 8 2009

    I’m happy that Dr. Whittaker is back home with his family. This incident inspired me to write a little something about Dr. Bob. You can read it on my blog:
    http://www.myredeemedsoulrejoices.com/2009/08/dr-bob-whittaker.html
    Lowell White
    Yadkinville Church of Christ
    Yadkinville, NC
    USA
    August, 8 2009

    Thank You, Father, for delivering our brother.
    Dave Gilchriest
    Sunset Church of Christ
    Lubbock, Texas
    United States
    August, 8 2009

    Thanks be to God for His Quick answer to our Prayers. Will now pray for speedy healing for all, and for Dr.Whittakers arm to be saved.
    Lois Phypers
    Church of Christ
    Creston, British Columbia
    Canada
    August, 7 2009

    Thanks be to God for the safety of our Beloved Brother and Christian Physician Bob, whom the lord saved from the hands of the wicked gang. We prayed with my family and the brethren when I heard about the abduction of Bob, It pained my heart, and I cried for the ugly event.
    Bob, has being a family friend of the Bekee’s and we love him so much. ago. Most times, when I visit him, I would wonder on how he will call me by name, and ask me about the condition of everyone in my family.
    I am praying that the group of boys will be caught and handed over to the law enforcement agency for adequate action.
    No, Brother, Bob, can’t loose the hand that has helped Millions of people to come back to life. Our prayers will work for Him and Humanity.
    UChenna F. Bekee
    Church Of Christ Iriebe
    Portharcourt, Rivers
    Nigeria
    August, 7 2009

    Praise God for Bob’s safe return. Our family is grateful for all the prayers and moral support throughout this horrific ordeal. We now focus our prayers on Bob’s mental and physical recovery, and Annette and Ozi’s emotional needs during this time. Thank you all again for your prayers.
    Margi Larrabee(Annette’s Sister)
    St. Mary’s Church
    Palmdale, CA
    USA
    August, 6 2009

Filed under: Top Stories

View Comments

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

$
Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.