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Showing posts from March, 2015

Welcome, Baby Esther!

Esther and Africa

"The Lord works in mysterious ways, and His hands are on even everything, including the naming of our new daughter. We did not know Esther was going to be a girl, and we had several girl names picked out. When she was born, we went back and forth, and we finally settled on Esther...sort of, and then our wonderful nurse told us of this song, a song about a missionary to Africa named Esther. And with that, we both felt peace. She pro ceeded to sing part of the song to us (and her voice was angelic). Moments of these reek of the sovereignty of God. I am blessed to have two miracle babies and a beautiful wife. This July will mark my fifteenth year of remission. God has blessed me time and time again. And like the Esther in this song, we will be moving to Africa, Lord willing, likely in early December. For various reasons, God directed us away from Bangladesh, and instead, we anticipate that we will be moving to Cameroon to serve at Mbingo hospital in December. After listening to

The Great Commission Didn't Include "Programs"

Growing up as a Pastor's Kid, I participated in every event at church -- every time the doors were open.  Over the years, we belonged to churches in rural, urban and suburban settings.  I invited countless friends and neighbors to activities such as Vacation Bible School, holiday ("Harvest", Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day) celebrations, and youth group retreats.  However, I can't remember a single person who encountered the Gospel at one of these events and subsequently chose to pursue a lifelong relationship with Christ.  This. Is. Heartbreaking. As we prepare to move abroad, my thoughts have naturally been on the differences between American church culture and the way Christianity is practiced in other parts of the world.  And I find myself asking: why do we (American Christians) waste so much money, time, and effort establishing and executing programs and activities that are not prescribed by Scripture?  Especially (and sadly) when they don't seem t

Happy Second Birthday, Josiah!

Pros and Cons Lists vs. Discernment

Ethan and I have been in serious prayer about where we will spend the next two years (and potentially longer) of our lives.  We have been accepted to the Samaritan's Purse Post-Residency Program, and have found the leadership to be wonderful, God-honoring people. They have presented us with several mission hospitals where we might serve, and asked us to prayerfully decide where God is leading us. Honestly, this is the most difficult choice either of us has ever made.  Looking back, following Christ and getting married were enormous decisions -- but the right choice seemed exceedingly obvious.  Here, we find ourselves immersed in subtleties and possibilities, without an obviously "correct" path. So we have sought counsel -- from God, of course.  From our parents.  From our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It has been refreshing to lean on the advice of people who love and serve the Lord. Yesterday, I emailed several close friends asking for prayer.  One responded wit