Sarah recently wrote this piece for the Global Medical Health Conference. We thought you would be interested in reading it as well!
Do you remember the year of Ebola? My husband and I were tucked away in the small state of West Virginia during the horrific African outbreak. The disease had little affect on our life there, until we headed south to Kentucky. As we walked up to our very first time at the Global Medical Health Conference in Louisville, KY there were signs everywhere. They were asking for those who had traveled to certain countries to “check in” before entering the conference center.
Stepping through the glass doors, passing by the ID badges and smiles, my husband and I were reminded again of the vastness of this world. It is easy to be confined to a comfort zone while serving, working, and living the Christian life. Through a series of nudges of the Holy Spirit, both of us felt the drawing towards missions. We didn’t know what it would look like. Three months before we attended the GMHC, he had signed a contract with a local pediatrician and joined the practice less than fifteen minutes from our home. It was a dream job with comfort and safety. But was it what God wanted for us? We didn’t really know.
As we entered the exhibit hall we were overwhelmed with the work God was doing in all the corners of the world. From East Asia to the African horn to closed countries medicine was the universal language. God could use us, was the overwhelming thought as we walked through various displays. We had come to conference hoping God would direct us to where He might want us to serve or how we could use our talents for the furthering of His kingdom.
Each break-out session, main speaker, and side conversation stirred in us a passion for missions. Yes, missions was our heart’s desire. It was confirmed the last night of the conference. Dr. Kent Brantly spoke of serving in the heart of the Ebola epidemic, calling our hearts to serve our God. Before the last session, we snapped a selfie. After this picture was taken, my husband and I sat and wiped tears away as we listened to praise and worship music. When the call was given to give your life to missions, we sat in our seats in the second balcony and didn’t say a word.
As we walked to our car, we held hands. Back home we had three young children and across the world a little girl waited for us to come and adopt her. In that moment in the parking lot of the Global Missions Health Conference the only thing we could both talk about was what God was doing in our hearts. We knew it. I can’t remember the exact words, but sitting in the dark, holding hands in the front seat of our car we prayed. We gave our lives to the Maker who had stirred our hearts to missions years before. We surrendered to God and His call for our life. It was in that moment we both knew full-time missions was a part of our future.
Instead of getting direction we were given confirmation. God didn’t “call us” during that conference. He had been calling, wooing, and directing us all along, our entire lives. It was the GMHC that offered for us the opportunity to surrender to this call. So began our prayer, fasting, and intentional pursuing of missions for our family.
Today we serve in the country of Honduras with Medical Missions Outreach. God has given us a passion for church planting and being able to provide quality healthcare in order to invite people to hear the Gospel is an amazing calling. Our vision is to help equip and grow the local church by making new contacts and ministering to the physical health needs of the El Progresso community in Honduras, specifically through the Rearick Surgical Center. Our family is passionate about spreading the gospel to unreached people groups through the avenue of healthcare and are so thankful for the seeds planted, watered, and matured through the GMHC.