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.
We received a wonderful testimony from our friend Joshua Carlson, Co-Founder of Medicine With a Mission. In his letter, he writes…
I just came back from my third M3 conference, and again, it was incredible, invigorating, and so inspiring – filling me and my family up with passion to continue to go forth and try to love every single person – in our local mission work at our jobs and abroad.
I was able to speak with our good friend, Paul Osteen, who prayed over me and Natasha and our residency match last year, and since then it has been a whirlwind.
This year was especially important because last year, I came with my friend Natasha, who I have been close with for nearly 6 years now since medical school. Last year, the conference hit us so hard, uniting us so closely, that I knew I was supposed to marry her! It all happened on M3 weekend!
We got engaged 2 months later in April!
This year, we went back as an engaged couple, preparing to get married in 2 months, to continue to pursue what God has placed on our hearts. We both did our MD/MPH in Grenada and have done global mission work and continue to feel God pulling us to serve Him completely in medicine, ministry, and public health.
M3 unites you to people around the world, as well as those closest to you. We are a living testimony! We are finishing our first year of residencies, just did a major project last April in Grenada with Project C.U.R.E. and Medicine With a Mission, and are planning on preparing for the next adventure.
Please share our story and let others know that if people come to M3, their lives will be changed forever!
Much love, Joshua Carlson, along with Natasha Mozumdar
We at M3 love hearing how M3 impacts lives in such incredible ways! Thank you Joshua and Natasha for allowing us to be a part of your story.
The next M3 Conference is set for February 21-22, 2020, where we will continue to help people connect with others, be inspired, and find their mission. Click here to register today!
Max Emile is an amazing young man who is an artisan for HandUp Global Ministries. HandUp Ministries seeks to equip young men, who’ve aged out of their partner orphanage in Haiti, with Jesus and jobs. Commerce is a powerful catalyst for social change, and HandUp Ministries believes that meaningful and sustainable change happens through the power of the gospel. To accomplish this “Jesus and Jobs” model, they have developed the Teens in Transition program (TnT), which consists of 3 Pillars: Spiritual Discipleship, Financial Literacy, and Job Skills Training.
By going through this program, God put a dream in Max’s heart. In his own words, Max shares his story, “I…was desperate to find work. However, I knew that God had brought me into the city for a reason. Having a job has helped me feed some of the children there who go days without eating a single meal. Thank you to HandUp for your contribution toward my brothers and me. My dream is to be a pastor one day because I am grateful for the opportunities that He has given me. I am saving up money to build a small house in a town where there are a lot of hungry children. I want to be in a position to help take care of the children in this community. It is a pleasure for me to work for this program because it gets me one step closer to accomplishing my dreams.”
Click here to learn more about HandUp Global Ministries and their HUGG Mission Market.
The vision of Mobilizing Medical Missions (M3) is to provide a place where people can connect with others, be inspired, and find their mission. We have also found that M3 can serve as a place for people to re-connect with others…
One of our 2019 M3 Conference speakers, Dr. Stan Cobb, wrote to us to let us know that while he was at M3 this year, he re-connected with the first pastor who ever invested in his life 35 years ago! Right when Dr. Cobb began his breakout session, Pastor Russ Gibbs walked into the room. Dr. Cobb was overwhelmed to see him, and they had a wonderful reunion afterward. Pastor Gibbs, who serves with Living Water, and Dr. Cobb and his wife, Pam, enjoyed their time together at M3. Dr. Cobb shared his thoughts about M3 and said that “it was a tremendous blessing to experience…It was very encouraging…I was very touched.”
Today, Dr. Stan Cobb and his wife invest in the lives of thousands of students to bring effective change in healthcare around the world, and it all began when Pastor Gibbs did the same for Stan. Thank you Dr. Cobb and Pastor Gibbs for allowing M3 to be a part of your story.
If you want to come and be a part of amazing stories like this, mark your calendars for February 21-22, 2020, and register today to attend the 2020 M3 Conference!