Campion’s Vision to Rebuild a Mission Hospital in Nigeria Connects Communities Across Continents

Sueanne and Don Campion, of Banyan Air Service, Inc., stand before the ECWA hospital in Egbe, Nigeria. Photo courtesy: Egbe Medical Mission

“In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:6, TLB). This is the life verse of Don Campion, co-founder and president of Banyan Air Service, Inc. and his wife, Sueanne Campion, who have spent the last 15 years rebuilding the mission hospital compound in Egbe, Nigeria, where Don was raised in rural West Africa. Their efforts have made such an impact in that community that leaders conferred on Don the Chieftaincy Title of Alatunse of Egbe Land, meaning “Restorer of Our Village,” literally crowning him as a chief. And he accomplished this while continuing to lead his team at Banyan Air Service, Inc., based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, to be the Number One Fixed Based Operator (FBO) in America, recognized by Professional Pilot Magazine as a customer-driven company focused on service and excellence. A full-service 24-hour business aviation organization, Banyan provides support for owners, crews, passengers and aircraft.

“The quality of our work is the platform of our witness,” said Campion. “When we use our God-given talents to the best of our ability, I believe it is a form of worship and a way to glorify our Lord.”

Having witnessed Don’s passion for excellence and for the people of Egbe, Nigeria, many in South Florida have been drawn to join his efforts, traveling to the region on short-term mission trips or donating funds and equipment. Partnerships have also been forged at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Nursing and the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, creating community bonds across continents.

Don and Sueanne Campion and Don’s sister Betsie Campion Smith

It all started in 2008 when Don returned to Egbe, Nigeria, with his wife Sueanne to attend a celebration marking 100 years since Christianity was introduced to the nation through a Canadian missionary named Tommie Titcombe. It was the story of this pioneer that inspired Don’s parents, Dr. George and Esther Campion, to establish the mission hospital in Egbe. “During this trip I was just showing Sueanne where I grew up and representing these missionaries at the town celebration,” said Campion. However, they discovered the hospital had deteriorated so much that it was basically a rundown clinic about to close. There was no running water, no electricity and the roofs were all leaking.

The community was pleading for the hospital to come back to life and Don understood its importance. “In this area of Nigeria, when a child has malaria, dysentery or appendicitis, it is almost a certain death sentence because there is no medical care for over 100 miles of treacherous roads.”

The couple returned to their busy lives, then Don said, “We just felt God calling us to rebuild the hospital, though it felt impossible being so far away.”

Sueanne said, “Don requested that all the missionaries and volunteers who had ever served on this mission station pray for this project, and the doors blew wide open as God had everything lined up ready to go.”


Miraculous moves

The building above is the mission hospital as it appeared in 2008
The ECWA Hospital Compound in Egbe, Nigeria, as it appears today. Photos courtesy of Egbe Medical Mission

Don recalled four distinct miracles that paved the way.

Because the Campions could not be missionaries in the field full time, they were initially turned down for help by SIM (Serving In Mission), the international missionary organization his parents served under before the hospital was transferred to ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All), a Nigerian mission organization. However, weeks later the board had a change of heart and decided to make it a SIM project after all with Campion leading it from Florida, a model that had never been done. That was the first miracle.

The second miracle occurred when trying to get containers of supplies through immigration at the Nigerian ports, where corruption and bribery stopped shipping by SIM. Because Don had developed a 5-year plan for the hospital and met with all the key stakeholders in the region to introduce it, he found favor with the Nigerian authorities. The number two man in immigration told Don to send the containers in his name and he’d handle all the immigration clearing.

After being told by SIM officials that it would take two years to find missionaries willing to serve in Egbe, Don’s plans came to a halt again until he attended a Men’s Bible Study at the National Christian Foundation (NCF). Having enrolled in Lifework Leadership, Don was invited to the study led by Stephan Tchividjian, NCF president. The verse they studied that night happened to be Don’s life verse, written inside the cover of his Bible by his father. When Don discovered Tchividjian was the eldest grandson of Billy Graham, he recalled gathering around the shortwave radio with the missionaries in Egbe to listen to Graham when he was a child. It wasn’t long before Don shared his vision for the hospital revitalization with Tchividjian, who remarked, “I think Franklin would like to hear your story.”

Soon after, the Campions and Tchividjian traveled to Boone, NC, to tour Operation Christmas Child and meet with Tchividjian’s uncle, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Don had brought along a thick binder with ideas of what was possible at the hospital in the future, but once Don and Franklin began talking about Africa and their shared interest in motorcycles and aviation, there was an instant connection. Franklin called together a team of four people from Samaritan’s Purse, including the medical director of World Medical Mission in West Africa to hear Don’s presentation and within minutes they all volunteered to join Don on his next trip to Egbe to scope out the project. Samaritan’s Purse ultimately became a major partner, providing critical missionary support and funding. That was miracle number three.

In reflecting back on their relationship, Graham said, “Don Campion has been a friend for many years, and I am grateful that he also serves on the Samaritan’s Purse Board of Directors. Don owns a large aviation company in Florida, so as a pilot, I have a natural connection with him. He is a great businessman, but what I appreciate most about Don is his commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to Christian ministry. I am thankful for Don’s efforts to honor God and his parents through his continued work at the mission hospital they founded in Egbe, Nigeria. It is one of the great mission hospitals of the world where tens of thousands of patients not only receive quality medical care, but also hear the Good News of God’s love. We are privileged to partner with Egbe Hospital in ministry.”

It was primarily Samaritan’s Purse providing a construction engineer for three years, a hostess on site and the initial thrust of volunteers. American, Canadian and British volunteers all descended on Egbe, and Nigerians with interest in the trades of plumbing, carpentry and electricity worked beside skilled volunteers, catching on fast.

“Then the Banyan team really jumped into action,” said Don. “All five of our team members that manage the building and grounds for Banyan Air have been to Egbe. All the plans come out of my office and the Banyan team really took an interest in staying connected. Sueanne and I were going to Africa three times a year for three weeks at a time, and I told the Banyan team I felt guilty for spending so much time there when their future is here. A week later, I was called out to the hanger for a routine inspection and was met by our Banyan teammates who surprised me with a picture bordered with their signatures and a check for $10,000 they had raised for the project. They said, ‘You look after the rebuilding of Egbe on behalf of us, and we’re going to look after Banyan.’ That was miracle number four,” Campion said with emotion.


Transformative progress

Since then, the progress that has been made is astounding. At least 12 Banyan teammates have traveled to Egbe to help out, and they have shipped 31 forty-foot containers filled with critical supplies and equipment. “With support of Banyan customers, employees and numerous volunteers, we’ve built 22 houses, built a reservoir and water system, installed diesel generators and solar and completely rebuilt the hospital and a nursing school.” Don recalled.

Now a 50-acre medical complex with more than 70 buildings, the infrastructure has been rebuilt and medical equipment upgraded. The team implemented best practices for sustainability and monitors operations via an Starlink internet system. The hospital serves about 21,000 patients per year that come from a 100-mile radius of small villages and towns, performing life-saving surgeries and sharing the Gospel with thousands.

Notable additions and upgrades include:

  • Family Medicine Residence Program with 6 resident family medicine doctors in training
  • Surgery Center with 2 operating theaters
  • Digital radiology, including X-ray and Ultrasound
  • Physical therapy
  • Eye center
  • Dental clinic
  • Emergency Unit
  • Intensive care unit
  • Neonatal intensive care unit with 24-hour electricity from solar power and batteries
  • Pharmacy
  • Pathology Laboratory capable of 100 tests and microbiology with telepathology
  • Chapel of Blessing on campus with five chaplains serving on the compound
  • Hospital Outreach to villages in the bush, providing HIV testing, dental and eye care
  • Starlink connection for telecommunication enabling virtual training and telemedicine.
  • New water reservoir and water filtration system providing clean water 24/7 to the hospital and college.
  • Accredited College of Nursing and Midwifery for 300 residential students
Don Campion (2nd from right) stands with the King of Egbe (5th from right) along with the chiefs from Egbe and the surrounding villages.

Having served on a short-term mission trip to the ECWA Hospital in Egbe with a group of South Florida businessmen about ten years ago, Stephan Tchividjian said, “I have had the privilege of meeting and knowing many visionary leaders in my lifetime. I must say Don and his wife, Sueanne have set the bar very high. Their humility coupled with their intentionality makes their leadership compelling. Don’s boldness to do all things with excellence is driven by his deep desire to honor God in all things. I’m honored to consider Don and Sueanne true friends and exceptional leaders who exemplify whole life generosity.”


Local Partnerships

Sueanne Campion and Jacalyn Murray with children from a village served by the hospital.

Once word began to spread of the wonderful work being led by the Campions in Egbe, local partnerships quickly developed. Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) nursing professor Sandra Ojurongbe, Ph.D., has made the Egbe Hospital and Nursing School her personal mission field, working with the nursing students at Egbe to teach and update them on new skills. Ojurongbe also took a group of PBA students to Egbe a few years ago. And Phyllis King, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing at PBA, said they have been exploring the development of ongoing nursing sponsored mission trips to the Egbe Hospital.

“This experiential learning aspect and increasing our global outreach is a part of our strategic plans for growth and the future for our students in the school of nursing,” said King. While travel has been a concern, King said Don’s current construction of an airfield where they can fly right into the Egbe center is going to be a very positive aspect for mission teams to go there. Dr. Ojurongbe and her students had to travel eight hours over very rough roads from the capital city to get to Egbe, so having the airstrip will facilitate making it an ongoing project.”


Missionary Aviation Fellowship

The endeavor to bring planes directly into Egbe, Nigeria, is being spearheaded by Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF), the largest missionary flight organization in the world, under the direction of Ken McKenzie, who serves on the board at MAF as well as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, has years of aviation experience and was formerly CEO of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

McKenzie and Campion recently traveled with MAF representatives to Jos in northern Nigeria to connect with Christian leaders at several missionary headquarters to discuss their needs, then on to the capital city of Abuja to meet with government officials. In the nation that is half Christian and half Muslim, McKenzie said the response was overwhelmingly positive. The MAF is recommending a Cessna Caravan be headquartered in Abuja to make scheduled flights twice a week to Egbe, reducing the travel time from up to nine hours of justling roads to about 45 minutes by air. The plane would serve the Christian and secular communities focusing on evangelism and medical emergency support with plans for a second plane in the future that could provide reliable transport for mission work in neighboring countries.

Traveling with Don was an inspiring experience, said McKenzie. “Don is definitely the right man at the right time to do this job.” Since he and his sisters were raised in Nigeria and went to boarding school there, “we kept meeting with really successful businessmen and powerful government leaders who were all folks Don went to school with. We found favor everywhere we went because he’s known as such a great guy who has been a part of that community and has given back so much over the last 13 years with the revitalization project that people just want to help. They know that if he gets involved, it’s going to be a quality job.”

McKenzie took his entire family on a short-term mission trip during the early stages of the hospital revitalization and upon arrival on this trip to Egbe, Ken was amazed to witness the magnitude of progress and development 10 years later. “Don’s such a humble guy and does such a great job of making people feel like you really matter, and as you walk around the different hospital wings and support structures, you see the names of people and companies from all over South Florida who have come alongside the project.”


Social entrepreneurship

Campion’s enthusiasm for the Egbe Medical Mission is contagious. When Don Campion was inducted into the Nova Southeastern University Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame two years ago, Andrew Rosman, Ph.D., dean of the college, reached out to Campion to get acquainted. That meeting sparked a unique collaborative project.

“Our students in a social entrepreneurship class are working with Don to take agriculture from the region and make products that could be sold here in the US to return the profits to the town of Egbe. The students hope to develop a trail mix or protein bar incorporating a popular crunchy spiced Nigerian snack made from peanuts called Kuli Kuli. While the students are learning how to start a business and about import export, it’s a way to commercialize on a bigger scale than they could do in Egbe where the wage rate is something like $8 per day,” Rosman explained.

And since Nova Southeastern University has a strong focus in the health sciences, Rosman said there is a plan underway for Dr. Elaine Wallace, D.O., dean of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, to take students and faculty on a mission trip to Egbe next year, potentially creating an ongoing relationship.

Rosman said he initiated the social entrepreneurship project with Campion because he wanted to find a way to give back to him. “You think of businesspeople as cutthroat and profit driven, so when you find people like Don who are known for the quality and friendliness of the service they provide to all their clientele who come through the airport and then to find that he’s got this whole other aspect of his life. It’s refreshing.”


An aerial view of the ECWA Hospital complex that spans 50 acres and includes 70 buildings.

Looking forward

“The combination of Banyan and the team in Egbe has really gone gangbusters,” recognizes Campion. Now the big goal is making it all sustainable. “Being entrepreneurial and always trying to work better, faster, cheaper here at Banyan, we’re always incorporating technology… So we are bringing the love of Christ to a very rural setting, but bringing excellence in medical care and in training through technology.”

And in October, Campion established Egbe Medical Mission, a nonprofit organization that will manage the day-to-day support of the ECWA Hospital and Nursing School in Egbe. Betsie Campion Smith, Don’s sister is a vital member of this dedicated staff capable of vetting and developing new ideas, raising funds and recruiting missionaries to sustain the project long term.

Despite all this progress, Campion is constantly making improvements at the facility. They are currently constructing new classrooms, adding a dorm at the college of nursing, building a new surgical ward and adding a housing duplex for hospital staff.

Future projects Campion hopes to undertake include:

  • Developing a surgical residency program at the hospital with support from Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Making improvements to the George Campion High School adjacent to the compound, including bringing technology into the classrooms, establishing a solar computer lab, giving them a nicer playground and adding a sports field.
  • Revitalizing Titcombe College that has fallen into disrepair, making that a vocational school teaching plumbing, electrical and welding, including maintenance of the generators that power the cellular stations in the area, as well as agricultural skills.
  • Establishing a summer mission program for youth at Egbe that would involve adventure, fun, hard work and service to develop discipline and Christian values.
  • Advocating for the development of hydro power in the region. After discovering a large reservoir of water just eight miles from Egbe left from an abandoned project, Don has been dreaming of harnessing that hydroelectric power and begun pulling together the stakeholders to bring that project to fruition.

The ideas keep flowing! Asked when he feels they will have done enough, Campion replied, “There is definitely no end in sight.” It’s no wonder he has earned the title, “Restorer of Our Village.”


Want to help?

You can participate in the medical mission in the following ways:

  • Serve: Short-term and long-term missionaries are needed in medical, construction, mechanical, administration and hospitality roles. They are currently seeking a construction manager, a maintenance manager, a family medicine doctor to assist in the residency program and a nursing educator. Learn how you can serve at
  • Give: toward ongoing development of the medical complex, sponsorship of a resident doctor or nurse training, or to the hospital benevolent fund for patients who cannot afford care. Give securely online at

To learn more, visit and or call Lisette Ruiz, Egbe Medical Mission Administrator at 954-492-3554

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