Dr. Jim Foulkes - 2006 A Award Recipient
For his service as a medical missinary for 38 years in Africa, we honor Dr. Jim Foulkes '51 with the "A Award."
A banker's son from Lima, Ohio, Foulkes' mother committed both of her sons to missionary service before they had committed themselves to Christ. She said, "If the Lord has called one to become a missionary, then one should not stoop to becoming the president of the United States."
In 1939, Foulkes met Dr. E. Stanley Jones (class of 1907) who was preaching at his home church. Jones challenged the congretation to "follow Christ" and Foulkes wanted to do so.
In 1947, after two years of military service, Foulkes enrolled at Asbury College. It was here that he decided to become a medical missionary.
Foulkes graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1955 and married Marilynn Hall, a nursing student that same year. Following medical school, they set off for Mukinge Hospital, the only source of medical care for the 40,000 tribes people in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1958.
Although the government was supposed to supply salaries and medicine, these were hard to find, as was food for the patients. Foulkes hunted wild game, including elephants and hippos, to feed the people in the hospitals and their families. He treated everything from malaria, measles, and dysentery to African Sleeping Sickness and AIDS. He later learned to perform cataract surgery and opened an eye center at the Mukinge Hospital.
The first AIDS case was diagnosed in MuKinge in 1986 and within a few months there were 42 confirmed cases. Convinced that the number would climb, Foulkes secured an AIDS microreader to screen a large part of the population for AIDS. He and his team went into schools and taught about the seventh commandment, abstinence and fidelity to stop the spread of AIDS.
Ministry in Africa came at a great personal cost to Foulkes. He buried his wife, Marilynn, and two of their five children, David and Jill, in Africa.
In 1975, he married Martha Penner, a missionary nurse from Canada who had worked at the hospital with im for many years. Since his retirement in 1997, Foulkes has returned to Africa under the auspices of Samaritan's Purse to a hospital in Southern Sudan.
Foulkes has three daughters, Terrie Caisley '79, Gwen Amborski and Jackie Royster '86, and several grandchildren. Two of his daughters and their families have lived in Africa continuing the missionary tradition.
In 2005, Foulkes published his story in "To Africa with Love: A Bush Doc's Story" with a forward by Franklin Graham.