Philip Wood has written In Praise of Simplicity that he describes as a memoir of Christian service in times of peace and war in Africa. The world needs more Philip Woods.  As a Cambridge trained surgeon, he had the opportunity for a life of high income and reality ease.  But motivated by a desire for Christian service, he chose to serve the neediest in Africa.  It is his personal story, along with his equally trained and motivated Canadian wife Nancy, but his clear desire is to teach that fulfillment does not need to be found in material riches.

We have been blessed and honoured to have worked with them in Bunia and Nyankunde.


On their graduation from medical school, Philip and Nancy immediately set out to serve in Africa as medical missionaries.  In Praise of Simplicity tells their story with many insightful vignettes, notably that we need to trust and to marvel in God who will provide.  From the early days in Nyankunde, eastern Congo, political upheaval and war were always nearby.  They were serving in Liberia when strongman Charles Taylor was advancing into the capital.  When Liberia was no longer safe, Philip found himself part of the Nyankunde massacre where an estimate 1,500 were massacred, the hospital demolished and the Woods lost all of their earthly possessions.  Yet there is never a hint of complaint from Philip.

Philip and Nancy made an incredible positive and tangible impact on many thousands of people both physically and spiritually.  The book is the recording of a great man’s life that should be honoured, although of course Philip would never put it that way.  We need to celebrate and honour such unselfishness.


The book is available at (U.S.), (U.K.) and (Canada) and GoodReads.