The Burden of My Heart in 2023
A message from Rick Allen, MedSend President and CEO
Happy New Year!
The staff at MedSend will be praying for you throughout this new year. We meet every Monday morning as a team to pray for one another, our faithful partners, and the missionaries in the field. If you send us prayer requests, we are committed to pray specifically for you. It is our blessing to partner with you to bring compassionate, Christ centered healthcare to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Praying for you is part of our partnership.
In today’s world a large part of a leader’s responsibility is to manage change. I am entering my fifteenth year as a leader at MedSend. In that time, I have witnessed God’s hand of blessing and protection over the ministry. The ministry itself is thirty years old and continues to be healthy, vibrant, and relevant. Wise decisions that were made at its founding continue to have a positive impact.
Today the MedSend Board is strong and united. The staff is committed and thriving. Our donors are faithful and reliable. There are of course challenges. The burden of my heart as we enter 2023 is for the heart, mind, and soul for those we serve, the healthcare missionaries.
MedSend’s Unique Position
In the last thirty years MedSend has assisted nearly seven hundred healthcare missionaries as they respond to God’s calling. There is no other organization that has interacted with, supported, and monitored that number of committed long-term healthcare missionaries.
We work alongside fifty active mission organizations. Considering the breadth of our involvement both with sending organizations and with individual healthcare missionaries, we are unique in our knowledge of how our Lord is deploying this precious resource.
Seeing the Issue
In 2013 I noticed that greater numbers of healthcare missionaries coming off the field were suffering. As I looked for the causes, I began to fully realize the tremendous stress a cross cultural healthcare missionary faces. I learned that delivering healthcare in the US is a highly stressful profession, with significant burnout. When you layer-on the challenges of delivering healthcare in a cross cultural, low resource environment, it is a situation which tends to create a negative impact on the heart, mind, and soul.
In the early years of MedSend Dr. Dan Fountain would conduct a weeklong course for some of the MedSend supported missionaries. The participants would come back from the class and tell me it changed their perspective on how to be a healthcare missionary. That lead me to a question “If one week at the feet of a highly qualified individual changed their perspective, what other insight or information do they need to thrive?”
MedSend Develops a Response
It has taken a decade to answer and respond to that question, through formal research and many deep conversations. There are enormous challenges facing healthcare missionaries, which can only be met with a God-centered, multi-faceted approach.
I have come to believe that the best way to address the issues of heart, mind and soul is to provide access to resources for an individual at all stages of service, including preparation, early service, ongoing service, times of special stress, and return from the field. During the last few years, we have “piloted” various aspects of these resources and have been impressed both with the need for these services and with the impact the services have brought.
To this end MedSend will be introducing the “Longevity Project” in 2023. I promise to provide you with greater insight and details early in the year. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please respond back to this email, or call me directly and I will follow up with you.
On behalf of the entire MedSend team we pray that you, and those you love, will be blessed throughout 2023.
Healthcare remains the only form of access as a Christian witness in many countries.
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