A Most Unusual Man

Front Cover

Steve Duncan profile in The Samaritan’s Daily Walk, front cover, 1985

Steve Duncan profile in The Samaritan’s Daily Walk, front cover, 1985

Dr. Steve Duncan, pictured on the cover, is a most unusual man. During his early twenties, he heard a missionary doctor speak in Boston about the opportunities for the Gospel in the southwest African nation of Angola. As he listened, God touched his heart to become a medical missionary. At the age of 26, Steve applied for admission to medical school in the United States but was refused. Undaunted, he wrote to a school in Italy, was accepted, and moved there to begin his studies. Six years later, after completing his courses, he graduated and returned to the U.S. to do his surgical training. Soon afterwards, he took his wife and four daughters to Angola to fulfill God’s calling and serve Him there. Now 43, Dr. Duncan and his family have labored for several years in Angola to make Jesus Christ known through missionary medicine.

Angola, a Marxist nation, is one of the most difficult places anywhere in the world today. A ten-year civil war, combined with drought, famine, and disease, has created a great need for Samaritans—individuals like the one Jesus told about, who gave of himself to demonstrate Christ’s love to others. Dr. Steve Duncan is indeed a Samaritan. On the back cover is an account from his daily walk, which I pray will encourage you to make the most of every opportunity the Lord gives you for His glory.

Back Cover

Steve Duncan profile in The Samaritan’s Daily Walk, back photo, 1985

Steve Duncan profile in The Samaritan’s Daily Walk, back photo, 1985

Because of the civil war raging in Angola for more than a decade, travel there is always risky, sometimes deadly. Land mines, some powerful enough to destroy large trucks, are a threat on many roads. Although daytime driving is a little safer because one can spot potholes, which often contain explosives, travel at night is to be avoided.

Dr. Steve Duncan stopped one evening to spend the night in a small remote town. Soon a local resident came and asked him to examine ‘about eight’ of his friends who were ill. “We have had no doctor for years,” he explained. “Please help us.”

Dr. Duncan agreed, only to be introduced to nearly 20 sick people! “I’ll see half of them tonight and the other half in the morning,” he decided. Next morning, though almost 80 people wanted to “see the doctor.”

“What can I do?” Dr. Duncan wondered. “I don’t have time to examine all of them—yet all need help.” He determined that even though he couldn’t not physically treat all the patients, he would at least point them to God, who is able to meet every need.

“I prayed with each person, encouraging them to place their trust in Christ,” said Dr. Duncan. “That way, God could get the mileage out of the situation.”

Giving God the mileage out of each needy situation—that’s a good principle to remember while serving Christ in our hurting world.

transcription of articles by Franklin Graham, The Samaritan’s Daily Walk (Boone, NC: Samaritan’s Purse, October 1985), front and back covers; found and contributed by Gloria Boyer [Tad’s daughter] to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What do you remember of Franklin Graham’s visit to Angola with his two colleagues?
  • Who else has articles about the Duncan Eight stashed somewhere that you might like to contribute to eightduncans.com? Can you scan them? Would you like to drop them in the mail? I can email you my address if you need it. Let me know in the comments box below.


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