MISHAWAKA--Vicki DeBolt, D.O., a graduate of Bethel, has made the most of her skills and abilities to serve people around the world by teaching them about health. She has been teaching at the university since 2011, and currently, she is the professor of Anatomy and Physiology, which is a year-long, cadaver-based course. During her time at Bethel, she taught environmental science, human and microbiology, botany, zoology, geology, a foundations course on genetics and international health.
When DeBolt was 16, she believed God called her to be a missionary doctor. With that in mind, she came to Bethel with a full scholarship to the Memorial School of Nursing. She faced hardship when the school closed, and she had to decide what her next move was. She decided to major in Education because the department had always been very good, and she graduated with a degree in Education with a certification in bilingual education.
Once she obtained her degree, she taught at a mission school in Appalacia and on the Texas border. But her faith was pulling her to acquire her medical degree. With both degrees, she runs the cadaver program at Bethel. She never saw herself returning to her alma mater.
“God’s way is a long cut, not a short cut,” DeBolt said.
DeBolt has traveled around the world to provide medical care. Her Bethel profile states that she has used her medical degree to provide primary care for Indian reservations in South Dakota, migrant communities in Wisconsin and New Mexico and mission trips in Mexico and India.
One of her fondest trips was her scout trip to Indonesia with a group of Bethel students where she made close friendships with families that lived there. On the trip, they provided care for a homeless community of about 8,000 people. They were also the first Americans to visit an all-Muslim island named Madura. She is still providing her knowledge and medical advice to that community through friends in which she keeps contact. From this experience, she was asked to write a local health initiative to help Indonesians care for their own people.
Bulgaria is another country that showed interest in this health initiative, and she was invited to a hospital there to provide her care. She first went to visit in the spring of 2019 and plans on visiting again once travel becomes more accessible and safer.
“The big thing, even with a language barrier, is for them to know the love of Christ, and for them to see that we’re not going to come in as the experts and tell them how to do things. We’re going to come in with respect, and with listening, because love listens, and love respects,” DeBolt said.
When she thinks of all of her trips, the first thing that comes to her mind are the people she has met and the lives that have made an impact on her.
She also has conducted research into the relevancy of Scripture with newfound scientific knowledge. It is titled, “In Agreement Faculty Project.” Through it, she provides information on 100 scientific discoveries, comparing and contrasting it to Scripture in the hopes to help anyone who may struggle with their faith as a Christian scientist.
“What I wanted to somehow be able to demonstrate is: is Scripture relevant to twenty-first-century science?” she said.
She said her philosophy of “listen first, then respond,” brought her to reading the scientific journals that were published each week and asking herself if Scripture speaks on any of the issues. And she said she was blown away by what she found.
DeBolt doesn’t only help students on our campus. She helps people with healthcare internationally and shares her faith in Christ as well. She plans to return to both Bulgaria and Indonesia to help struggling Christian scientists with their research.
“When we remind ourselves that there’s so much more to science than evolutionary theory, then we can see the beauty of life, the beauty of the present. The scientific method is present,” DeBolt said. “It's what we can do in the present. And then when we begin to see the beauty of what is in the present, then we can trust God’s word.”