by Peter Agwa, Executive Director.

Dr. Robert Stephens (Bob) was the first Executive Director of EMAS Canada, and he celebrates his 100th birthday on March 18, 2024.

Bob’s influence is still evident through EMAS Canada’s services to various parts of the world and at Nyankunde Hospital in Congo.

Our China teams are the fruit of his response with others to an invitation by Friends of China in 1986 to visit cities in Wenzhou and Ningbo on the east coast.

Later in 1991 at the invitation of World Vision, he co-led a team to the northwest of China. We served in the region for over twenty-five years; off shoots of that team to the northwest most recently served in Mongolia.

Prior to his participation in the China teams, Bob had served as a career missionary in the then Belgian Congo.  Beginning in 1949, Dr. Stephens helped establish the Nyankunde Hospital.

Dr Stephens’ service in Africa was among the reasons EMMAS was formed.

In 1948, the Evangelical Medical Missionaries Aid Society (EMMAS) was formed as stated by one of the founder members: “recognizing the difficulties under which medical missionaries are frequently obliged to carry on, and in an endeavour to bring some relief and assistance,”

Dr. Stephens became one of the beneficiaries of EMMAS through a shipment of hospital equipment and supplies to the hospital he was building in the Belgian Congo.

At the peak of EMAS Canada’s expansion to Angola, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Uganda, and Vietnam, Dr Stephens was active in various leadership roles and was mentor to several of our team leaders.

China South Team with Dr. Bob Stevens and Sylver

Today’s EMAS Canada is built on the foundational work of Bob as witnessed by our teams to Cambodia, Haiti, Ecuador, the D R Congo, and Vietnam.

To honor his dedication to EMAS Canada and medical missions, at our 75th Anniversary in 2023, the board established The Robert Stephens Scholarship Fund to support the advanced training of healthcare professionals for medical missions both in Canada and abroad.

Watch this short video honouring Dr. Stephens on his birthday.

For details and policies, please contact Peter Agwa. 

By donating to the Robert Stephens Scholarship Fund you are bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to future generations through healthcare.

Thank you for being part of an eternal process for the glory of God.