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10 years ago, Hannah and I got engaged on a beach in Southern California. This was around the same time that we decided to pursue a career in medicine. From the very beginning, medical missions has been an interest of ours and a frequent topic of conversation.
Fast forward to 2013…medical school is in the books and we move our family across the country to train in Charlotte, North Carolina at a program that provided well-balanced surgical and clinical training as well as the opportuniy to travel overseas during the second half of residency. In the spring of 2016, one of our long time dreams became a reality as we traveled togther to Cameroon, West Africa for a medical mission trip to Mbingo Baptist Hospital. This trip was an amazing experience for us both and provided confirmation that we need to continue to pursue opportunities in the mission field for our family moving forward.
Cameroon solidified for us the types of things we were looking for in a place to serve long-term and ultimately led us to consider Tenwek hospital in Bomet,Kenya. As one of the most well-established, long-standing mission hospitals in all the world, Tenwek has served as a model and training ground for missionary efforts worldwide. Hundreds, even thousands of medical personnel and lay volunteers have spent time at Tenwek through the years. Ultimately, it was the family friendly nature of this hospital as well as their association with nearby schools and orphanages that prompted us to investigate further. In our first conversation with Dr. Joy Draper (full-time OB/GYN at Tenwek) we learned of Tenwek’s plan to start the first OB/GYN residency program on the African continent. This was all the confirmation we needed. Already, the Lord has opened countless logistical doors to allow this trip in the fall to take place. It has been incredible! We very clearly feel that Kenya is where is He has called us to serve for the time being and He is gone before us already. This hospital and this country provide the best opportunity for our family to use our gifts and talents in a way that can serve God’s people around the world and further His kingdom in new ways.
While all this does provide amazing opportunities for our family but we can not neglect to tell you the most important reason we are going to Kenya. You see, we both have committed our lives to Jesus and the spreading of the gospel to the ends of the earth. The actual meaning of the word gospel is “good news” –this begs the question what good news needs to be shared? Well, if you have lived in the world long enough you know we have a problem. There is evil, sadness, disappointment, betrayal and brokenness everyday all over the world. This has been the case since humanity began. This creates a wondering and searching to try to explain why all this continues to happen. Our only explanation for what is wrong with the world is that mankind in his nature is sinful (Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”) Because we sin, we are separated from the Holy God who created us. God knew there was no way for us to remedy this problem on our own so 2,000 years ago He sent His son Jesus to live a perfect sinless life as a man, take all our sins upon himself (past, present and future) and die on the cross. After 3 days He conquered sin and death when he rose again from the grave. Why did Jesus endure all of this torture when he was innocent? Because he loves you and I so much he made a way for us to be with him in Heaven forever. All we have to do is believe Jesus came, he died and rose again and will forgive you of your sins if you just ask him. John 14:6 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved”. This is the greatest news we could ever share- because of Jesus’ great sacrifice we are saved from eternal separation from Him. This is in fact what we deserve but God has chosen to give us grace through the sacrifice of His son on this cross-this paid for all our sins.
We believe the Christian life is a journey; once someone has decided to believe in Jesus as their Savior it begins the process of coming to learn more and more about who Jesus is through studying the Bible, prayer, and finding a gospel centered church. As John Piper says: “The gospel is the good news that the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of the never-boring, ever-satisfying Christ is ours freely and eternally by faith in the sin-forgiving death and hope-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The best part about living the Christian life is God promises to never leave you and walk with you through life until you are with him in eternity. This is our prayer for anyone we meet in America, Kenya or anywhere we go…that you would make the decision to follow Jesus. He is our only true hope and the one who brings life in the face of death. If you ever have any questions or want to know more about this gospel we have shared please contact us- we’d love nothing more than to share our story with you!
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**Still curious? Click here to read this fantastic article that explains this concept more fully http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-christian-gospel. Don’t stop there- start reading through the book of John in the Bible- you’ll be blown away by who Jesus is and all he’s done for us!