He Who Began a Good Work…
The title of this post is from Philippians 1:6 and it gives followers of Christ reassurance that God is faithful in his promises. Over the past few months we have seen God meet us at every step of our journey, giving us reassurance in his calling us to the mission field. We thought we would share some of the highlights.
First of all, as most of you know, we are not experienced missionaries, and in particular, the task of building financial support seemed daunting as we approached it. We had fears that this process would drag on indefinitely as we scoured the country looking for those willing few who wanted to support us. Many questions came to mind: Would we need to move into Sam and Brenda’s house again (Angela’s parents who we lived with for a short time in medical school) so that we could save money to go overseas? Would we need to live in a VW minibus? Would I have to give up Starbuck’s? We quickly discovered that God had already been working in the hearts of our future partners, and that really, we just needed to figure out who these folks were. Our role has become to simply connect people to the incredible work that God is doing throughout the world and in Kenya where we will be serving. So, as we have discovered, it is not about us at all, but about God. With that burden lifted, building support for our ministry has turned out to be an incredible experience.
We have given talks to various groups such as Sunday school classes and friends. We have travelled to our old stomping ground in Memphis, TN to build relationships with churches there. We have reconnected with life-long friends and connected with new friends. Through all of these connections and experiences we have been truly blessed by seeing people’s enthusiasm and interest in what we will be doing. We have had opportunities to spend time and share conversations with people who have played special roles in all stages of our lives. It is humbling to see how God has woven together a network of amazing people in our lives who are now excited to partner with us in ministry.
In addition to building support, we are slowly beginning to connect to the ministry at Tenwek Hospital where we will be serving. In September, we spent a week at WGM headquarters doing some training and getting to know other missionaries and the headquarter support staff. While there we met two families (John and Linda Spriegel, and Chuck and Amy Bemm) who have served at Tenwek for the past eight years and are currently home on furlough. It was encouraging to hear stories of God’s work through their ministries. We bombarded them with questions, and getting words of wisdom from our future partners in the field was priceless.
The first weekend in November, we travelled to Chicago for a PAACS Commission meeting. This is the group that helps guide the surgical residency programs in Africa (one of which is at Tenwek Hospital). This commission is made up of accomplished surgeons who volunteer their time to construct academic and spiritual curriculums for the residents. PAACS brings Christians together from around the world to train and disciple African surgeons, with the goal of seeing them living out the gospel and ministering to the sick in Africa. God is at work in Africa through PAACS and through Tenwek Hospital. We are eager to join Him!
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6