New memoir from Medical Teams International founder details how he went from abuse victim to global Good Samaritan

Photo byRon Post

In his new memoir, “Unchained: A Man’s Journey from Abuse to Healing to Saving Lives,” Ron Post readily admits he should not be the founder of a global medical humanitarian organization. He never envisioned receiving the National Jefferson Award for being a changemaker or being named one of “America’s Unsung Heroes” by Newsweek magazine. According to Post, he was a simple businessman with a family when an evening news story forever altered his life.

“My wife and I were watching news accounts of what we refer to now as the Killing Fields of Cambodia,” says Post. “We were watching them pick up a body out of a rice field that appeared to be a teenage girl. At the time, over on my couch, my teenage daughter was laying there. As I watched that unfold on television, I felt God say: ‘Recruit a medical team and lead them to the refugee camp to aid the people there in two weeks.’ I was stunned. It was as if someone had sketched it on paper and handed it to me. I felt utterly unqualified at the enormity of the task. A million questions ran through my mind, but I suddenly just blurted out what I believed God had said to my wife and she immediately agreed with me! I called the local reporter who had covered the story and told him I my intentions. He told me to call another person at the television station along with our state’s U.S. Senator. His office put me in touch with World Vision. This all happened within 24 hours! A local reporter covered the story and minutes after the broadcast, we had doctors calling to volunteer their time. Two weeks later, we had over $250,000 in donations. God’s plan unfolded because of those who heard and responded to God’s voice.”

Since then, Medical Teams International has served countless lives in countries around the world, most recently in war-torn Ukraine and in Uganda as the Ebola virus reemerges. Post says while he has had many personal encounters on the mission field over the years, one is etched in his memory.

"We were in an Ethiopian camp with over 150,000 hungry people,” Post recalls. “Every morning, over 1400 mothers with starving babies and children would line up as we offered medical attention and grain every day. Our nurses would walk the line with heavy hearts, feeling between the babies’ fingers to determine the fat content. The number of ill people was so enormous that the nurses knew some unadmitted babies would die by the next day. One morning, as I watched the nurses moving down the line, two older women walked toward me carrying buckets, hoping to find grain. They stopped just a few feet in front of me and then one lady started trembling violently and fell to the ground. Nurses rushed to her aid, but she died right there. That moment is seared in my memory, and her empty bucket remains a powerful symbol. There are millions of empty buckets in our world, and Medical Teams International is still working to fill them to this day.”

Post’s memoir also details a secret he kept from his family for many years. He was sexually abused as a child and he says forgiving his abuser was not an easy task.

“Child USA published a study that concluded that the average age of people reporting child sex abuse was 52 years,” says Post. “In my case, 72 years would pass before I revealed to my wife the terrible truth festering inside me. I became a Christian when I was 27 years old, but it took another seven years for the Lord to confront me with the fact that I had not forgiven those who hurt me. And through getting on my knees one night and asking God to forgive those people who abused me, that changed my life completely. But I still didn't share it with my family. I just didn't know if it was good for them to know it. I finally kind of woke up one day and felt they needed to know so they could see the difference between then and now in my life. It was a number of years later when I realized that maybe my story could help other people as well and that's why I wanted to put it down in a book. Holding in that kind of secret can destroy your life. It nearly destroyed mine.”

Ultimately, Post says he wants people who read “Unchained” to be inspired to find meaning and purpose in their own lives.

“There is no age limit to serving God,” says Post. “God has called us and created us to do good works. It doesn't matter what age you are. I've seen people who have retired from lifelong careers who later find meaning and purpose through a volunteer job. Helping people is one of the greatest ways to achieve meaning and purpose in your life.”

About Ron Post:

In 1979, Ron Post founded Medical Teams International which currently serves people in eight countries with a staff of over 2000 worldwide. He has received two Honorary Doctorates, was presented the 403rd Points of Life by President George H.W. Bush, received the World Service Media from Kiwanis International, and the National Jefferson Award signed by founder Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. In 1999, he founded Mission Increase which offers free workshops to ministries assisting them with Biblical fundraising, Board Governance, and Church Relations. He has appeared on Good Morning America and was featured in Newsweek magazine. For more information visit

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