Samkon Gado: Doing the “impossible”

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by Jean Wilund

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Only one Green Bay Packer crossed the goal line against the Atlanta Falcons on November 13, 2005, but he crossed it three times.

In only his third NFL game, Samkon Gado rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns, and was perfect in receptions, one for another touchdown. While his family cheered in the stands, the NFL awarded him Rookie of the Week. It was his 23rd birthday.

That sort of thing doesn’t happen.

It doesn’t happen to a boy growing up in a small village in Nigeria who’d never heard of the NFL. Nor does it happen to a boy with his sights set on becoming a surgeon. Yet, Samkon Gado of Kufai, Nigeria, holds NFL records, even as he begins his surgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.

For all his accomplishments, Samkon remains humbled. “I’ve heard that God uses the foolish things, the small things, to do big purposes. Now I know. I knew it in my head before, but now I know it in my heart that God is not limited by anything.”

As a boy, Samkon knew about planting corn and peanuts, but not about touchdowns and MCATs. He wasn’t dreaming of NFL greatness or operating room procedures when, as a six-year-old, he challenged a 13-year-old to a race. After sprinting off, another boy tripped him, and he broke his arm. He later demanded a rematch. Tripped again, he broke his arm once more. The odds for greatness didn’t favor Samkon, whose love for adventure often overrode his responsibility and common sense.

Why did Christ die for you?

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