ArticleMissionary Life

A Medical Duo for the Mission Field

Culture shock isn't an uncommon side effect when becoming a missionary, especially when infants are dying your arms.
“During my entire residency in the United States, I never had a patient die,” Seth said. “In Togo, on my very first day, I had babies die in my arms.”

While on the mission field, Seth and Rebecca encountered this harsh reality on a daily basis. But they continued to serve faithfully, knowing this was the path that the Lord had called them to since they were both children.

By the time he was seven years old, Seth wanted to be a missionary doctor. His father, a short-term missionary in the Philippines, shaped Seth’s missional aspirations. However, outside of divine inspiration, he can’t explain the origin for his fascination with medicine. Besides his delivery by ABWE’s own missionary doctor Tim Hepworth, Seth had no interactions with doctors.

With her parents serving as missionaries in Brazil, Rebecca knew at a young age that she desired to help others through healthcare. But there was a catch: she didn’t want to be a doctor or nurse. So at the age of ten, Rebecca began praying to God for a husband who was a doctor with a heart for missions.

Years later, she met her knight in shining armor during a medieval-themed birthday party at a friend’s house. When Seth and Rebecca discovered their mutual passions during their time at Cornerstone College, each knew they would likely marry inside three to four months of dating.

Once graduated and married, Seth finished his residency training. They then pursued full-time ministry through Samaritan’s Purse. After completing language school in France, Seth and Rebecca and their four children headed to Togo, where they would work at a hospital for a year.

Two other little ones would join them later. Their children Arwen, Caspian, Elora, Gwynevere, Irene, and Kalmar are all named after fictional royal characters from fantasy stories.

In 2018, their eldest daughter, Arwen, was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, requiring them to return to the US. Thankfully, the tumor has remained stable, but if it does worsen to a terminal degree, Arwen wants to go back to Togo until the Lord calls her home.

While stateside, Seth and Rebecca are seeking God’s guidance for their next steps. They hope to partner with ABWE’s mobile clinic to serve a predominantly Muslim people group in Togo called the Tem.


Editor’s Note: Learn more about the Mallays’ ministry here.

About the Author

Loren Skinker serves as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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