My first exposure to the international church and missions was in 2001-2002. I took a job as an English teacher in a boys high school. As I had a brief year in the Middle East when I was a young man the Lord has used this to continue to give me a desire for this region and for his glory to spread to every corner of the area. As we have learned more about God's call for all nations, tribes, and tongues to worship him through the whole story of the Bible we have been more and more convinced that if we could leverage our careers to those ends we would. As we have enjoyed studying the word the call to missions and the blessing we are called to be to all nations seem to jump out at us. Also, anytime we have interactions with those who confess worship of other gods (Allah, Buddha, or secular humanism theology) the truth burns within us to introduce them to the true God who has called those who are far off to be brought near by the precious blood of Christ and the power of his resurrection. To him be the glory for using our small acts of joyfully sharing truth with those he has planned for us to befriend.
The question reminds me of the two hands of the gospel debate and quickly my mind is turned to Jesus. In each of his stories of healing we see him faithfully care for the physical or temporary but he never neglects the spiritual or eternal needs. In the same way I pray that my medical care will always lead to successful healing, but more so, I pray that my successful healing would lead to gospel opportunities. In the field of medicine trust and intimacy are quickly build as the patient participates in a way with the medical team that they do not typically connect with others. In my practice there have been many spiritual conversations and I have been able to point patients to the gospel. As well as giving them the gospel, our hope is for them to be discipled and led through the bible. Our church family, personal bible studies, and small group have become a place to welcome patients and families to live in community and have the God work in their lives through the ministry of the word.
- Reduced distrust of Christians and Americans amongst the local population, due to the high quality of healthcare offered and unique manner of its delivery.
- A location established where seekers can enquire safely about the Gospel, and be directed to those best able to support them in their seeking.
- The expat Christian community to be strengthened and emboldened by our presence in the local evangelical (expat) church. In this region, the light of Christ has been brightly shown through medical work. Because of the sacrifice of many midwives and medical workers there has been favorable toward Christians and land has been given for Evangelical churches to be built. Because of the churches that have been formed the Islamic world is seeing a movement of salvations and discipleship in this area. We desire to use medicine as a bridge to make relationships, save the church, and give quality care to those we are serving in a Christ-centered environment.