We are confident in His calling us there and so intend to serve indefinitely until He clearly directs us elsewhere. Whether that's 5 years or 25 years we don't know.
“Who am I that I should go?” That’s actually the first question Alisa asked herself when God began directing our family to move to Kenya. She was willing, she just questioned whether she was the right person to go. I, on the other hand, tried to ignore God at first. I was busy with what had become most important to me - my career and trying to position myself to be one of the best.
During my fifth year of residency, I was applying for sub-specialty training and beginning to inquire about jobs, not once thinking about living overseas. I had some elective time and decided to take a trip to this placed called Tenwek Hospital to see what doing neurosurgery looked like in a developing country. The trip literally changed my life. I found myself face-to-face with people in poverty and sickness like I'd never known before. Face-to-face with people whom I'd read about Jesus caring so much for, but people who were so far from my mind.
When I returned home, I was unsettled. I was trying to reconcile the world I had just visited with the world I was living in... About that same time, I began to receive job offers. All my hard work was paying off and the very thing I had wanted was now in hand. But somehow it didn't seem to shine so bright anymore. I couldn't shake the immense need for neurosurgical care that I'd encountered at Tenwek. I remember thinking "If I turn down such and such a job they will easily fill my place with the next person in line. But if I don't go to Kenya, who will?" This dilemma actually irritated me. I was perplexed with God. "You brought me to an institution where I've received some of the best training in the world, and now you want me to go serve in obscurity?! Don't you know how hard I've worked to get to this point? Don't you know how much money I could make? Why are you asking this of me?!"
I believe God was asking Alisa and me to put what we were clinging so tightly to all on the line. Not because He was testing our allegiance, or because He's insecure and needed the reassurance. But because He is good and wanted to free us of the things that He knows can never satisfy. And because He knows that in our choosing Him over ourselves, His worth is put on display for others to contemplate.
We are finding our greatest joy in treasuring God and serving others. The reason why we're doing what we're doing is that we are learning what the writer Paul says in Philippians 3:8 to be true - “I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus."
The privilege to serve in a Christian mission hospital setting is a unique opportunity to model Christ in His ministry. Providing quality medical care in Christ’s name to those underserved allows God to demonstrate His healing power and opens the door to share the good news of His love to our patients. Teaching residents to provide the same quality care affords them the ability to also participate in God’s redemptive work. As importantly, working intimately with the residents allows for spiritual discipleship, much like Christ with His twelve.
1. Residents who graduate passionate about using their surgical skills to serve others and tell of God's love for them shown through Jesus.
2. See one or more patients come to believe in Jesus and commit their lives to Him.
3. Provide healing and relief to patients suffering from neurosurgical diseases.