- Currently serving: Macha, Zambia
- Home church: Dillsburg (Pa.) BIC
- Serving since: 1975
- Married: 1970
- Children: Rebecca and Matthew
Both John and Esther Spurrier grew up in an environment where serving God was part of life and where missionaries were valued guests in church and home. After John completed his medical training, they deployed to Zambia in 1975 for a two-year term of service. Two years became twelve, and after a fourteen-year hiatus, the Spurriers returned to Macha, Zambia, in 2001, serving full-time until the end of 2017. Now retired from full-time service and living in Pennsylvania, they continue to return to Macha each year for several months.
Macha Mission Hospital is a vital health care facility operated by the Zambian Brethren in Christ Church. In addition to providing general medicine, the hospital treats many patients with malaria and HIV/AIDS. When in Zambia, John continues to treat patients at the hospital while Esther fills a variety of roles, including providing hospitality and encouraging Tonga language learning.
During their full-time service, John recalls a scenario while attempting to treat an eight-month old baby. The child, vomiting and having had diarrhea for two days, arrived with his mother and father on a bicycle. His parents had ridden desperately for 20 miles to Macha’s outpatient clinic, yet the child died just as John began to examine him. Without any time to grieve or mourn, the parents wrapped the deceased infant, tied him to his father’s back, and rode home.
Had this child been born in the United States, he would not have died. And it’s this inequity in the availability of health care that has kept John and Esther serving at Macha hospital.
The Spurriers are grateful for their partnership with the mature, vibrant church in Zambia, and pray that more Christians would be moved by the global inequity in health care to commit themselves to long-term service in the name of Christ. They are thankful for the 2019 deployment of a Pennsylvania surgeon and wife, Mark and Maggie Roth, for long-term service at Macha.