How We Got Here

Some of the most frequent questions we get when people find out we are going to Kenya are: "What are you doing?"  and "Why?"  These are not questions that can be easily answered without a little bit of background information so I will try to provide that for you here.

I have had a heart for foreign missions for many years now.  I grew up witnessing my mother and grandfather participating in short term foreign mission trips.  I also was able to observe my father's service in and around the church that he pastored.  My first mission trip was made when I was a freshman in college.  Steph and I both participated in a two week trip to the Dominican Republic where our group provided both medical care and construction work.  This was a life altering trip that changed forever how I saw the world and my part in it.  It was at this point that I knew that I was to continue participating in foreign missions.
DR Trip - January 1999
A few years later, Steph and I again participated with another trip to the DR and our acclimation to the foreign mission field was much fact it was almost as if we had never left.  This trip confirmed my desire to continue to serve in and support mission work.
DR Trip - January 2002
Medical school made for some crazy times...obviously very busy and stressful.  During my second year of medical school I was, however, able to participate with Word of Life Ministries in a medical mission trip to Honduras.  This was my first opportunity to provide, albeit in a very limited way, medical care on the mission field.  (Although I did get to extract some teeth!)  
Dental extraction in Honduras - March 2004
My schedule during residency along with family obligations did not allow for additional trips to be made during my training in emergency medicine.  After completing my residency, I remained at Lehigh Valley Health Network to complete a fellowship in Emergency Medical Services and to obtain a masters degree in Disaster Management.  As part of my training I was able to join TEAMS for Medical Missions in their ongoing work in Jamaica.  Finally I was able to provide medical care on the mission field in an independent fashion! (Kinda scary, huh?)
Heading to clinic - May 2011
Well, that pretty much brings you up to the present time.  Honestly I didn't think we would be entering full time medical missions any time soon.  My plan (and we all know how that goes) was to work at paying down my educational loans while supporting other missionaries.  (As many of you know, medical school is a lot of things but cheap is not one of them!!)  I had planned to continue participating in short term trips until we had our debt paid off so that we could then begin full time overseas work without the extra burden of raising funds for monthly payments on educational loans.  One day after returning home from work I came across a mailing from World Medical Missions describing their Post-Residency Program.  As we prayerfully considered applying, this seemed to be the next faith step we were to take.  The program is two years in length and is designed to expose young physicians to full time mission work in an effort to then plug them in with a full time mission agency upon completing the two year commitment.  At this point, we have no idea what the future holds for us.  We know what our next step is to be but beyond that, well...I guess that is why it is called a journey of faith.  

We have had so many wonderful friends and family offer to stand with us financially and through prayer.  It goes without saying that we cannot thank you enough for this.  We are about to enter on a path for which we all feel woefully unprepared.  Many questions that are asked that we simply don't have answers will you be able to raise enough money for your loans and everything else?, what happens after the two years?, will you be coming back to Lehigh Valley?  Recently I was studying about Abraham and his unwavering obedience to God.  In Genesis 12, we are told that when God called Abram (later to become Abraham) he told him to "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you."  Abraham was told to leave everything he knew...and he wasn't even told where he was going!  And do you know what his response was?  He went.  I may not have all of the answers that I want.  I may feel overwhelmed by everything that I will have to do.  But I certainly have no right to complain.  I have a faithful Savior who will guide my every step...and I at least have a known destination.  So here we go...better hang's gonna be an interesting ride.  

"Here I am.  Send me!"    

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