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The seasons of life

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I heard someone say, “The art of living life is being able to adjust to its changing seasons. And with every season, there is a blessing and a burden”. I have found this to be so true in my own life. As I reflect on my life, the times I struggled the most was trying to live life in a season that had clearly come to an end or so looking forward to the next season that I didn’t enjoy the one I was in. Many years ago Jenn and I were in the season of raising three daughters, all under the age of three. Even though I enjoyed the season to a degree, changing diapers and getting up in all hours of the night and getting three kids strapped in car seats just to go on a 3 minute journey was only a burden to me. I so longed for the day when we would be in the next season…free of diapers and free of car seats and free to enjoy a consistent nights sleep. One day I was seeing...

Ngaoundere, Cameroon

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Several months ago I was asked to relieve a missionary surgeon in Cameroon for a couple of weeks in February. The first thing I had to do was to find out exactly where Cameroon is located! Cameroon is located in West Africa and is bordered by Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic (north, east and west) and by Gabon, Congo and Equitorial Guinea on the south. Even though I was tired from my recent trip to Haiti, I really felt like the Lord wanted me to keep my commitment to help this missionary surgeon and his wife. I really felt God’s confirmation when my sweet and beautiful wife Jennifer agreed to leave the kids in capable hands and accompany me!! It is the best I could do for Valentine’s Day this year! So on Sunday afternoon (after speaking at the church that weekend), Jenn and I boarded a plane bound for Cameroon. After a brief layover and change of planes in Paris,...

Summer in Zambia

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Recently I returned from 4 1/2 months in Zambia working at two rural mission hosptials.  One of those was Mukinge mission hospital located near Kasempa Zambia where I spent 2 1/2 months.  Mukinge mission station was founded by Reverend C.S. Foster in in 1925 as an outreach to the Kaonde people.  Because of Reverend Foster’s faithful work over many decades, there are now over 100 evangelical churches in the area.  Dr. Foster’s son, Robert, was born near Mukinge and felt God leading him to go to medical school.  He completed medical school and training in surgery and returned to Africa and founded Mukinge mission hospital in 1952.   A nursing school was started at Mukinge in 1958 and has since trained over 700 nurses.  Taking the baton from Dr. Foster were men like Dr. Jim Foulkes and Dr. Bob Weninger who spent over 30 years at Mukinge.  Since its beginning, Mukinge has been...

It’s Different when you Hold Them

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Tenwek misison hospital, September 2009 Most of you know that we have been taking care of 6-week old orphaned triplets for the last 3 weeks.  Their names are Ben, Lydia and Caleb. I so look forward to coming home from the hospital to help Jenn and the children hold, feed and care for them.  Jenn gets up many times during the night to feed them but occasionally when one cries early in the morning I pick the little one up and try to comfort him (or her!). Yesterday morning, long before daylight, I heard little Caleb crying so I picked him up and brought him to bed with us and held him in the darkness as I drank my coffee. Even though he had been crying pretty hard, when I picked him up and held him close he immediately became so calm and quiet and still. I thought he was asleep so I took my alarm clock and pressed the little button that activiates the light to let you see the time and in...

A face I won’t forget

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A couple of years ago I spent three months at Tenwek Hospital, where I took care of hundreds of surgical patients.  The patients we cared for were usually very sick or badly injured or burned or had advanced diseases. The pace at Tenwek can be overwhelming—one particularly busy night we admitted 14 patients to the surgical service alone.  It wasn’t unusual to spend many hours at night or on the weekend operating on the endless emergencies that needed surgery.  Honestly, sometimes the patients came in at such a frantic pace; they all ran together in my mind, they became just a blur in the constant activity of trying to do what you can to help them.  But then there are patients that come to you and times seems to stand still.  Something about their story, or something about their situation, or something about their illness makes you  never forget them. One such patient is named Kipkurui....

What’s the problem with Joel Osteen?

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  Two people that I am so honored to serve alongside in ministry-my sister, Lisa and my brother, Joel. I read a great blog post recently written by Phil Wagner regarding my brother that I wanted to pass along to all of you. The title is “What’s the problem with Joel Osteen?”. That is a question I’ve been asking myself for most of my life! Finally, someone has answered it for me! Let me know what you think! http://philipwagner.com/whats-problem-joel-osteen-2/    

We just call them brothers…

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John and Shirley Molina are two people among many who have a heart for reaching out to help men and women in prison.  Every week they can be found at places like the Kegan State Jail in downtown Houston or at the Carol Young Medical Facility in Dickinson (houses inmates who are ill) or the Darrington Unit in Rosharon.  They lead Bible studies or facilitate the Celebrate Recovery curriculum with the inmates.  They do everything they can to encourage and minister and give hope to these men and women. Recently I was in Shirley’s office and noticed a picture on her wall.  It was a group of men dressed in white.  When I asked her about the picture, she told me that the photo was of the men in the Darrington Unit. They are all “lifers”, meaning they are all serving sentences of at least 40 years, although many are serving life sentences. The picture commemorates their graduation from the...

Two Special Ladies

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Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to meet two very special ladies. Eva and Emily are 85 and 90 years old and have been working together as missionaries in this area (eastern Angola and western Zambia) since 1948 and 1954 respectively. They live and work in a very remote and isolated area of Zambia where they are still active in their nursing and evangelistic work. They flew in to Chitokoloki on the little airplane (piloted by my friend Phil) for an overnight stay to see some friends. They flew out the next morning, hopped in their Land Rover and drove themselves back to their mission station and to their ministry. I had the opportunity to have a brief lunch with them before they left and it was really incredible to listen to these dear ladies tell a few of the stories of their time here in Africa. The thing that impressed me about them both was they were so alert and bright and...

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