Book Highlight - Rev. Steven Szilagyi: "Habakkuk to SARA"
Habakkuk to SARA: A memoir of the Reverend Stephen Szilagyi and his Founding of the SARA Ministry. A boy with a crooked back on a Hungarian street corner inspires the founding of the SARA Ministry.
Carol Hall wrote, "A wonderful, heartwarming story of a man who comes to the United States to make better things happen both in his life and the lives of others. The author makes you feel like you are part of the journey. Set some time aside as you will not want to put the book down as you read of Rev. Szlagyi's experiences in various churches and even the White House. The founding of SARA is one of his highlights in the book and you will read of the many people he has helped in Hungary and Ukraine. An excellent book!"
SARA (Sharing America's Resources Abroad) distributes medical supplies, equipment and expertise throughout the world. A number of years ago Rev. Stephen Szilagyi was visiting in Hungary and saw a small child who needed surgery to correct scoliosis, curvature of the spine. The procedure was not available in Hungary but was done regularly in the U.S.
Rev. Szilagyi collected enough money to bring this young boy to the United States to receive the surgery he needed to straighten his back. But other children needed this operation, too. Rev. Szilagyi realized that what was really needed was doctors trained in the U.S. to go back to Hungary to perform many operations. So he arranged for one physician to come the U.S. to be trained and for the equipment the surgeon would need to be sent to his hospital in Hungary. This was the way SARA began. Helping one child and one physician. Since that beginning, more than $18 million of medical equipment and supplies have been sent to more than 10 countries.
Today, the procedure to correct scoliosis is being done regularly in Hungary, and hundreds of children stand straight and tall because of it. We seek used medical equipment from US hospitals and physicians that are replacing their older equipment with new equipment, and we work with other ecumenical ministries that rehabilitate it into usable equipment for developing nations. Some examples:
We have provided ambulances to foreign countries so that transportation is available in remote areas when people need to reach medical care. We send items such as aspirin, dental supplies, medical books and more to enable providers in foreign countries to help persons who cannot pay for those services.
SARA assists physicians from all parts of the world to come to the United States to receive medical and surgical training to provide improved health care in hospitals in their country.
SARA teaches preventive health care procedures to communities where disease is fostered by poor sanitary and health services.
SARA believes that helping people to help themselves, and giving them a boost toward self-sufficiency, will make the world a healthier place. Groups of people from the Ohio Conference have traveled to Eastern Europe many times to observe SARA's work, deliver equipment and supplies, install medical equipment, train medical personnel and present cash donations to individuals and groups--promoting and furthering SARA's mission wherever possible.
SARA is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of representatives from various denominations and faith groups. We also have physicians, health care providers and administrators represented on the Board. Other medical mission programs are represented on the Board, and SARA works in close cooperation with them.
SARA is a non-profit organization, incorporated in Ohio. It is an ecumenical ministry affiliated with the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. SARA is a ministry that works with other not-for-profit organizations who are seeking to serve others in the same way. It has no paid staff person. We are all volunteers. Our Executive Director and founder, Rev. Stephen Szilagyi, is a retired minister who gives full time to this program. We do pay for his and other volunteers' expenses when possible.
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About Rev. Stephen Szilagyi
AHF's Tako Geza Award winner, Dr. Stephen Szilagyi, founded SARA, "Sharing America's Resources Abroad." SARA is a Christian ministry offering medical assistance to improve lives around the world. From humble beginnings, SARA has distributed millions of dollars in medical supplies, services, and medical care, establishing a network of doctors and suppliers ready to assist the needy.
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