The Evangelical Medical Center of Lubango

Health and Hope Through Christ

The doors of the CEML Hospital officially opened on October 16, 2006 with 22 staff seeing 60 out-patients that first day. By December the x-ray department, in-patient clinical services, an operating theater and an emergency department were fully functional.

One year later, CEML had 130 employees, consulted with 60 patients daily and offered a functioning emergency room 24/7, operating room, wards, labs, x-ray services, opthalmology services and a pharmacy.

As a health care facility offering round-the-clock services, it has identified new opportunties for people to serve with them in short-term and long-term capacities. There is a growing need or specialized physicians, critical care equipment and training and related services for their staff.

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Three decades of civil war plunged Angola into deep poverty.

Decades of civil war destroyed the fragile health care infrastructure. More than 300,000 of the most educated and trained people fled the country – leaving less than 100 university trained medical graduates.

Current Angolan Statistics

70% of people live on less than $2 a day. 70%
43% of people live in hard to reach, remote regions. 43%
60% of children’s death could have been easily prevented. 60%
Dr. Stephen Foster's Story

Below is a video created by Living Truth of Canada about Dr Stephen Foster and his work in Angola for the last 30 years.


Want to learn more?

Check out Dr. Foster’s Biography

Born in Canada; raised in Zambia; serving in Angola. Dr. Steve Foster has lived a remarkable life as a missionary surgeon, bringing what he calls “the benefit of steel” to relieve suffering people in times of war and poverty. Steve is one of many missionaries in his family, a lineage with more than 100 years of worldwide service. This is the story of Steve and his wife Peggy and how God shaped their lives for service in Angola, where they have been since 1978. As the Fosters’ story is revealed to you in these pages, you will learn the history of Angola and its civil war and witness stories of miracles, dangers and heartbreak.

How it all started...

The leprosarium had not seen a doctor in nine years or a missionary in four. The mud brick buildings were run-down and inadequate and funding was about to be withdrawn.  It looked like the mission work at Cavango would close down. When Dr. Robert Foster and his wife, Belva arrived in December of 1970, there were 250 leprosy patients and a few African staff members that had been caring for them as best they could. Dr. Foster preached of the saving grace of Jesus Christ in the Luchazi language on the first Sunday and began to forge strong relationships with the Africans there, hoping to build up the people as well as a clinic.

By 1974, the hospital had seen nearly 100,000 patients with Dr. Foster often performing 2-3 major surgeries each day. About 350 new converts had been added to God’s family and twenty churches had been established in the surrounding villages.  Many of the leprosy patients had healed enough to return to their villages.

In February of 1975, the war in Angola, which had seemed so far away, escalated and came like a wildfire to Cavango. Dr. Foster and the other missionaries had to flee leaving all behind.

Soldiers ransacked the entire compound.  All the drugs, furnishings and equipment were stolen; missionaries’ homes emptied…everything gone. Leprosy patients fled into the bush and staff disappeared. Thirty of the weakest and most deformed patients were herded into a grass hut and set ablaze.  No one escaped.

Restoring it again

In July of 2006, 81 year old Dr. Robert Foster returned to Cavango, with his grandson, Daniel, daughter and son-in-law, Shelley and Peter Duplantis and friend Sean Reimer. With a financial commitment from Samaritan’s Purse, the re-building of a clinic had begun.  The clinic is now a satellite of the larger CEML hospital in Lubango.

During his six weeks in Cavango, Dr. Foster again preached, after 30 years, in the Luchazi language.  After 4 weeks of primitive bush living, piping was completed from a near-by spring producing 90 liters of water per minute. The Lord also provided Angolans, trained as nurses, to run the clinic. Tim and Betsy Kubacki, a medical doctor and his wife have now been stationed at Cavango, but the 500 kilometer trip by car from Lubango is a bone-jarring 12-hour adventure.  The need for an airstrip is evident and funds have come in through AGA and MAF to start the 1,000 meter (3,000 feet) runway project.

To the support the work at the Cavango Mission Station and to bring Doctors by air, make a donation at the link below.