Monday, July 11, 2011

Prayer letter

As you may have heard I have been accepted to a two year Post-Residency Program with World Medical Mission, which is the medical branch of the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse.   As a part of this program I will be serving as a Pediatrician in Togo, West Africa at the Karolyn Kempton Memorial Christian Hospital.   The hospital itself is run by ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) and I will be partnering with them during my time in Togo. 

I have recently had the chance to visit and serve at the hospital for a short time in April, and I was excited to see what the Lord is doing through the ministry there.  The hospital has 45 beds with a very busy outpatient clinic. There are currently two full-time Family Practice doctors at the hospital along with a part-time surgeon.  A wonderful American midwife handles all the OB/GYN and we have amazing Togolese Physician Assistants and nursing staff.  The hospital is also working on the aviation program and there are three pilots raising support stateside in preparation in moving to Togo.  We also have an extensive ancillary staff full of people who love the Lord. 

As I begin this new adventure, there are several ways in which you can partner with me.  While not everyone is able to move overseas as a missionary, everyone can take a 1st STEP towards serving in missions through the gifts and talents the Lord has given you.

Support Financially—The gift of giving.
The first missionary Paul wrote to the church of Philippi and described their faithfulness and willingness to give. “…in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I sent out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only.”  This ONE church was willing to support Paul and his journey when they themselves were early in their faith.  Paul later writes, “I have received full payment and have more than enough.”  This was an amazing testimony of people openly giving through the gifts the Lord gave.  

In my own ministry, Samaritan’s Purse is graciously providing a portion of financial support.  This support will be going directly to my medical school loans, which is allowing me to go to the mission field so quickly after completing residency.  I am asking those who are able, to partner with me financially for monthly needs while in Togo as well as providing funds to start community projects to meet the needs of those we serve.  (Financial gifts are tax deductible and placed directly into my missionary account with Samaritan’s Purse)

Tell Others—Spreading THE WORD by spreading the word.
“Go and Tell….” This phrase is repeated throughout scripture as a commandment to spread the Good News of the Gospel.   I pray that the news of our ministry may spread and others may join us in support.  I ask that you consider committing to telling others about the ministry in Togo: the needs, the opportunities, and the lives that are being changed.  HBB relies on people like you to recruit volunteers, increase awareness, and allow others to join us in our ministry.

Encourage—The gift of Encouragement
In Paul’s missionary journey he was given a partner named Barnabas whose name meant “Son of encouragement”.  He was known well as the one who was willing to take on John Mark, a young minister in the faith, who had once been a part of the team, but then departed.  Barnabas was there to encourage John Mark once again as he hoped to restart His missionary service.  Everyone needs a Barnabas (or two) in their life—people who are willing to meet us where we are at and pull us along when we are discouraged, lonely, or frustrated.  Missionary life in a foreign culture can be amazing and fulfilling, but it is also fraught with discouragement.   I know that God has gifted some of you as He gifted Barnabas.  I am hoping that you might commit to providing encouragement to me during my journey.  This might show up as e-mails, snail mail, phone calls, or even a visit!

Pray—The Gift of Prayer
The incredible thing about the gift of prayer is that it is given to us all!!  “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” -1 John 5:14-15.  The ministry in Togo will not be able to go forward without faithful servants committed to prayer.  Personally, I will need prayer for raising the financial support needed, adjustment to a new culture and environment, quick learning of the French language, relationships with my co-workers, and opportunities to spread the Gospel message.  I am asking if you would commit to praying for me, the team, the hospital, and the people we serve.

Along with this letter you will find a response card that you can fill out in any way you feel led.  Filling out your information will allow me to add you to a monthly newsletter and updates while I am in Togo.  The reverse side has ways for you to commit to partnering with me in the ways I have described above. 

Thank you for your support in my journey up to this point, and the journey yet to come.  I thank the Lord for you knowing that each of you have been placed in my life for a purpose.  Praise the Lord for all His goodness and grace to us!

Psalm 67:1-2  May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

Grace and Peace,