Clark, Val, and Hannah Sleeth arrived at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya October 2017 to begin their first term with World Gospel Mission. Clark is helping run the inpatient and outpatient pediatric departments and NICU. In 2020 he helped start a two year pediatric training program for Kenyan physicians. Val is raising their kids Hannah (2016), Luke (2019), and Simon (2021). She also helps take care of adults in the hospital part-time as a physician assistant. They are blessed to have opportunities to pray with and encourage patients, disciple medical students and residents, and open their home to the community in and around the hospital compound.
Having grown up in non-Christian households in New England and the Northwest, Clark and Val both met the Lord in their teen years.
Initially, Clark’s only exposure to Christianity was the article on Jesus in the children’s encyclopedia. When he was fourteen, Clark met the Truth behind the article. He was saved, along with his whole family, and was soon sharing the Gospel with his classmates and neighbors. Later that year, sitting in the library at lunchtime in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, he felt God’s call to serve as a missionary doctor, and that has been his aim ever since.
About the same time, 2500 miles away, Val also had a powerful call to serve. A year after meeting the Lord, while studying the epistles on the bank of the Snake River, she heard a clear voice in her head asking her to commit to full-time, overseas missionary work. She spent the next fifteen years preparing to enter the mission field, though she did not know in what capacity she would serve. Her junior year at Asbury College, she spent four months in India with her future sister-in-law working with a palliative care NGO. While there, she saw how the Lord meets physical and health needs to build His kingdom; she realized there is a reason in his ministry Jesus “spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” (Luke 9:11)
After meeting at Asbury College and discovering their shared call to missions, Clark and Val began to pray about where they should go. During their time at Asbury, and later at the University of Kentucky hospital, they met multiple missionaries who had served at Tenwek and were encouraged to hear the work the Lord is doing there. After learning that Tenwek is in need of a physician with Clark’s training (internal medicine and pediatrics), they decided to serve there.