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UMTV: Surgeon On A Mission



Dr. Steve Herbst believes that God gives each of us unique gifts that we should share. Herbst's talent happens to be in highly specialized foot and ankle surgeries. The Indiana doctor has found a perfect way to combine his faith life and his life's work to serve those in need.

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(Managua, Nicaragua)

(Herbst leads devotional) "That's how you find God. You've gotta seek him. He's there all the time waiting on you.

(Herbst in interview) My name is Steve Herbst. I'm from Selma, Indiana. I am in Managua, Nicaragua on a mission trip. I'm with a group called Operation Walk. We are here performing orthopedic procedures in Managua for one week's time.

The purpose of Operation Walk is to restore mobility to people who have lost their mobility. The types of surgeries that will be performed will be ranging from hip replacements to knee replacements to various foot and ankle reconstructions. I'm an orthopedic surgeon. And my specific role with the group is to perform foot and ankle reconstructions.

The people who need these procedures have been stricken with different types of problems of the foot and ankle. Some of those range from traumatic deformities to deformities that have come secondary to disease, and others from congenital deformity as well. So our goal is to try to restore a more normal walk for them.

I became a member of the United Methodist Church about 9 years ago. We moved to a new community, and that community had a child care program that was superior to all the other child care programs. And so to check out the child care we decided to attend the church. From that child care experience and attending the church just to check things out, we've been members and attending ever since.

I'm proud to be a United Methodist member. And one of the reasons I'm proud is because of the work that they do in the mission field. They have been on the forefront with disaster relief and in helping people in disadvantaged countries for many, many years. When it comes to helping the poor, the disadvantages and those in other countries, and even those in our own country who've been hit by hard times, I feel their hearts are open. And they're a caring, loving denomination which makes me proud to be a member.

This trip that I make to Central America yearly is a direct result of my faith and what I feel is my calling in my life. I have a particular skill that I have been gifted by God with, and that is to perform orthopedic surgeries. And I've also been called, I believe, to serve the poor here in this area. I feel that if I don't do that and use my gift in that way then I'm shorting what I could do for the kingdom. For that reason every year I pack my bags and come here and try to do what we can to help the people in Central America. My faith affects every decision that I make with respect to this trip, and hopefully it affects most decisions that I make in my life in every different way. So I feel my faith is integral in me being here and having the skills that I have and in being able to help the people that we help here.

(Dr. Herbst to patient) I pray for healing for you, brother.

The hardest part of the work that we do here for me is probably just being separated from my family for one week. But my family lets me go with a wonderful heart and a good attitude. And I know they're praying for me down here. And I know that they know that this work is important to do."


Dr. Steve Herbst attends Selma United Methodist Church in Selma, Indiana. To reach the church, call 765- 282-1648.

Learn more about Dr. Herbst's work with Operation Walk.

Posted: July 26, 2012