Wednesday, January 14, 2009
American Minute - Jan. 14 - Albert Schweitzer, medical missionary to Africa
Albert Schweitzer was born JANUARY 14, 1875, in a village in Alsace, Germany.
A Lutheran pastor's son and acclaimed for playing the organ, he earned doctorates in philosophy and theology, was pastor of St. Nicholai's Church, principal of St. Thomas College, and professor at University of Strasbourg.
Then, at age 30, he read a Paris Missionary Society article on the desperate need for physicians in Africa.
To everyone's dismay, he enrolled in medical school and became a medical missionary, founding a hospital in the jungle village of Lambarene, Gabon, west central Africa.
A friend of Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize and used the prize money to build a leper colony.
He visited the United States in 1949 and his daughter married an American doctor volunteering at the hospital.
Overcoming innumerable difficulties, Dr. Albert Schweitzer wrote:
"One day, in my despair, I threw myself into a chair in the consulting room and groaned out:
'What a blockhead I was to come out here to doctor savages like these!'
Whereupon his native assistant quietly remarked:
'Yes, Doctor, here on earth you are a great blockhead, but not in heaven.'"