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Former March GP David Donovan and his wife Shirley will be talking of their hostage ordeal and their faith at St Wendreda's Church



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A former March GP and his wife are set to give a talk in the town exactly a year to the day after they were captured while undertaking medical missionary work in Nigeria.

Dr David Donovan and his wife Shirley will be talking about their hostage ordeal. (4461807)
Dr David Donovan and his wife Shirley will be talking about their hostage ordeal. (4461807)

Dr David Donovan and his wife Shirley endured 22 days in captivity during which one of their close friends and fellow captive Ian Squire was shot by the kidnappers.

Now the couple are returning to March, where Dr Donovan was a GP in the area including at the Riverside Practice for over 15 years.

The Donovans pictured in Nigeria where they have been carrying out medical missionary work with their charity since 2003. (4461832)
The Donovans pictured in Nigeria where they have been carrying out medical missionary work with their charity since 2003. (4461832)

He explained the talk on October 13 at St Wendreda's Church was a way of saying thank-you to the churches and people of March who held and attended daily prayer meetings while they were being held hostage.

Dr Donovan said: "We have a real sense of gratitude to all those people, who every evening gave up their time to pray for us. We really value the support of the people and we want to show our gratitude.

"The talk is a way of contexualising what happened to us, to explain what we were doing and why, what we have learned from the experience and to encourage Christians in the town in their faith."

Dr Donovan and his wife were working in the Delta area of Nigeria where they run four health clinics set up by their charity New Foundations when they were captured by militants.

Their good friend Ian was shot the day after the kidnapping, but a fourth prisoner, optometrist Alanna Carson, was also safely freed.

The kidnapping made headlines around the world and since the incident, which happened on October 13 last year, the Donovans have been unable to return to Nigeria because of safety fears.

Some of the New Foundations team have had to move out of the area for fear of reprisals and two of the clinics have closed because it is too dangerous to operate in the more remote areas.

However, the Donovans are hoping to return to Nigeria, where they have been carrying out their work since 2003 next year, but they will not be going to the Delta region.

Dr Donovan said Ian's death was a tragedy but added that everyone was aware of the dangers of working in the region, which is home to Nigeria's oil industry.

Dr Donovan concluded: "Sadly hostage taking has been the bread and butter of that region for a long time. The area is still very volatile. We were subjected to an attempted kidnapping in 2017 - but this experience has been a journey of learning and we want to pass on the lessons learnt."

The Donovans, who were members of March Providence Baptist Church,will be speaking from 7pm. The event is free and is open to anyone interested in attending.



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