I was fortunate to grow up on the mission field. Serving long-term overseas was normal in my mind, and despite the challenges we faced, I recognized the incredible rewards of laboring with Jesus in overseas harvest. While this deep non-specific knowledge that 'I was made for this' was always present, I did not begin seriously pursuing missions on my own until my after an encounter with God. That year, while working and living at home, I learned of a missional and international community health program at Elim Bible Institute and started saving for tuition. This decision was the first in a serious of decisions and experiences that solidified the calling I had since my childhood. I was mentored by a number of professors and former missionaries while at Elim, and I took the Worldwide Perspective course, which along with my other Bible/missiology courses, formalized my Biblical understanding of and commitment to missions.
I spent 3 months in Congo working with Dr. Joseph Harvey at his mission hospital, and this was another milestone experience and confirmed that I was made to serve in long term international missions. The book, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, became a key portion of my conviction, that any missionary effort must flow first from a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus, confirmed repeatedly through John 15, if you abide in me, you WILL bear much fruit. My passion for simple, reproducible discipleship missions began during my years at Elim, and was further strengthened during my numerous times at the Global Medical Missions Conference, as I sat under the teachings of various veteran workers, and through various other influences. One for the biggest confirmations of my calling is that over this past decade of working toward and completing medical training, marrying and growing a family, and living life, God has sovereignly protected both my and my wife's calling to serve overseas, even now, after we've "achieved the American dream!"
Our commitment to go has no merit in our fortitude of will, or determination, or commitment, but in the sovereign work of God in our lives.
Our vision is to spend the majority of our time in community based health work, focusing on a CHE type process focused on sharing simple, practical and reproducible health teachings that are paired with eternal truths in the form of Bible stories. My wife and I both received CHE training at Bible school and this was foundational in our attitude toward medical missions. I anticipate our work to follow some of the strategies described in the book Preach and Heal, by Charles Feilding. He emphasizes limiting formal medical structures or programs that will require massive energy and resources to start and maintain, and focus on using medicine, whether it be curative, community-based prevention, or other forms, in the context of relationship in people's homes. We both hope to use our medical skills in this manner, which naturally yields to relationships and opens doors to spiritual and Gospel conversations. This strategy works in urban context, refugee camps, and in rural villages.
- I expect to see groups of people encounter Jesus, and with transformed lives gather into groups of worshippers that are growing spiritually and spreading the good news of Jesus to those around them! I trust God to lead us to the individuals and families he is already preparing and to see the beginning of an independent, self-replicating movement of disciples among the unreached and unengaged Muslim people groups.
- I expect to see families, communities and people groups transformed as the Kingdom of Jesus brings redemption to every aspect of their lives. This will be accomplished first through the transforming power of the Gospel, but in conjunction simple, practical healthcare.
- I expect to see devoted disciples of Jesus raised up and equipped to reach their own communities and other communities and peoples. I truly believe the 'harvesters are in the harvest', and that God will use our ministry to raise up workers who will reach peoples I could never reach! We hope to pass on our healthcare skills/knowledge to equip these kingdom workers to whatever degree is most appropriate based on the Holy Spirits' guidance.