By Elissa Cooper
Dr. Catherine Hamlin, 87, has saved countless Ethiopian women’s lives through her work repairing fistulas. Most don’t know that she labors out of love for Jesus.
Vesicovaginal fistulas (VVFs) and the people who champion their eradication are fascinating. For Dr. L. Lewis Wall’s Christianity Today piece “Jesus and the Unclean Woman,” I spent a lot of time learning about VVFs for the accompanying news article, and enjoyed a refresher course for documentary review of A Walk to Beautiful for Her.meneutics. But I finally got to the heart of the story when I met Dr. Catherine Hamlin last month.
The world knows Hamlin’s name. The Australian obstetrician-gynecologist has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof dubbed her “the Mother Teresa of our age,” and Oprah has featured her story. However, Hamlin’s most striking quality is her Christian faith. It has driven her life’s work in healing women withVVFs in Ethiopia and her goal to end VVF worldwide by the end of the century. During her trip to launch Hamlin FistulaUSA — the newest member of Hamlin Fistula International — 87-year-old Hamlin sat down with me to talk.