M3 Conference Co-Founder, Dr. Paul Osteen, and Dr. Stephen Spann and Joy Vonk join Deborah Duncan on Great Day Houston to discuss the 2019 M3 Conference, as well as the work of Casa El Buen Samaritano, a Houston clinic serving the low-income, uninsured and uninsurable population in the community. Dr. Spann is the Founding Dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine and Co-Founder of Casa El Buen Samaritano where Joy Vonk serves as the Clinician and Clinic Manager.
After 5 years of recovery, local service, and longing to return to their original calling, past M3 Conference speaker, Dr. Kent Brantly, is returning to the continent of Africa with his wife Amber and their two children. They will be working at Mukinge Mission Hospital in northwestern Zambia, seeking to follow the example of Jesus, having compassion on the sick and outcast, proclaiming “the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Please keep the Brantly’s lifted up in prayer as they transition into this new season of their lives. Click here to read more.
Doris, pictured above, came running into the office this week, eager to start her therapy. She’s been coming to our program at ASELSI in Guatemala for several years.
When Doris was about two years old, doctors told her mom she needed to start looking for a wheelchair. Doris would never walk. Two years ago, she started walking. Since then, none of us limit what Doris might do.
Today, Doris started back in therapy and completed her first day in Ovejitas or Jesus’ Little Lambs’ School. Ovejitas is another ministry of ASELSI, providing those with disability a chance to study and learn as they are often not able to attend the public schools. Most public school classrooms are already too large, and the teachers do not receive any special training in how to work with, let alone, integrate children with special needs in their classrooms.
As Doris glanced around the different items in the office, she finally found what she was looking for. In the process, she also told me she was looking for medicine, but I didn’t quite understand everything she tried to share with me. Her disability causes some speech problems as well. We would love to have more regular visits by speech therapists or, even better, a full-time speech therapist come down and work with us. Until then, we will help her as we can. Friends with Health Talents International, another ministry in the area, have a speech therapist coming in March. We hope to get her in to see their speech therapist. It may be just a one-time visit, but knowing Doris and her mom as we do, we can only imagine what that one visit will do…
Jennifer Hoines, PT, DPT, is a missionary physical therapist, teacher, entrepreneur, and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, including their right to serve in the body of Christ. She is the founder and director of Therapy Clinics International (TCI). This story came from Jennifer’s blog, and you can click here to read more about the work she is doing.
If you or someone you know can help provide speech or other rehabilitative services to this clinic in Guatemala, please contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proverbs 12:18 (ESV) says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
My wife would be the first to tell you that I LOVE words of affirmation, and I’m particularly sensitive to words of criticism. Recently while speaking at a Christian medical missionary conference in Orlando, Florida, I shared a truth that I had discovered about being a short-term medical missionary. That “truth” is that it is far better to go to serve at a mission hospital and to watch for what is good rather than to point out what is bad. Then I shared with the audience that I, too, LOVE words of affirmation, and half jokingly said, “so if you liked what I had to say today, then please come up and tell me what a good job I did; and if you didn’t like what I had to say today, then please don’t say anything.”
Well, as you would guess, after my presentation was over, people from the audience came up to tell me what a good job I had done, and that they found my presentation very helpful and interesting. Even if they were being disingenuous, I still LOVED their words of affirmation.
But this also caused me to have a moment of self reflection; actually, far more than just a moment, but rather weeks of reflection about how critical I have been in the past, in fact, for most of my career. It seems I have a particularly keen eye for what is wrong with something, and am more than willing to point out how something could be fixed. But my eyes are often myopic when trying to see what is good, admirable, and perfect.
So, as I departed this time to go back onto the mission field to serve, I made an intentional effort to see what was good, admirable and perfect; to look for the excellence and incredible intellectual and character traits in the people around me. But not just to leave it at the point of observation, but also to speak aloud and articulate what I see is good, admirable and perfect; in essence, to speak aloud those words of affirmation that I, too, so LOVE to hear.
Just a few days ago, five short-term physicians left after covering for the long-term physicians who had been away at a conference. I wrote each one of them a note, telling them the positive attributes that I had witnessed in them, and how grateful I was to serve beside them. Several of them messaged me back to tell me how much these words of affirmation meant to them.
My challenge for myself, and for you, today, is to keep your eyes open and focused on what is true, honorable and just; watch for things that are pure, lovely and commendable; searching for what is praiseworthy. Then open my (your) mouth and speak those words of affirmation people love to hear; spurring them on to do more good and to LOVE more.
Dr. Allan Sawyer and his family have been serving in developing countries since 2003. After “retiring” from private practice in January of 2017, Dr. Sawyer is now devoting himself to serving and teaching at mission hospitals around the world. Click here to follow Dr. Sawyer’s blog and support the work he is doing globally.