Archive for October, 2011

October 2011

Friday, October 14th, 2011

A Changed Life
Dear Friends,
Today we served a patient at the clinic who has experienced a changed life by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is not surprising since God is in the business of transforming lives. But when you know someone who is “night and day” different from how they were before, it really is special. Michael will be the first person to tell you that God has transformed him. A year ago he was homeless, aimless, and hopelessly addicted to alcohol.

Let me interrupt the story to tell you about another man. Pastor Lee Bean is a humble, godly and faith-filled man with an Alabama accent and a wife and three young children. In case you are wondering, the Crimson Tide is his team. Pastor Lee came to the clinic about 2 years ago to introduce himself to me and to ask if we could help a homeless man who needed medical care. Lee had felt so burdened about these men that he and his church opened a shelter for them. Today they have a house they have purchased and every night a dozen or more men have a place to sleep. Each night they take turns preparing a hot meal for each other in the kitchen and they share a Bible study before lights out.

Lee brought Michael to the clinic because he has a thrombophilia; he tends to suffer from blood clots. Michael also was addicted to alcohol and every time he would start to drink he would be kicked out of the shelter. It was a bad cycle. We would talk to Michael and pray with him when he would come to have his blood tested. It seemed clear that unless something changed time was quickly running out for him. And it seemed each time we saw him he looked worse and worse. About a year ago he sat in my office and cried as he talked about the sad cycle in which he was caught. He told me that Pastor Lee had found a Christian ministry in Lexington, KY that would take him in and help him stay sober for 6 months. He would be helped by others who had traveled down the same destructive road but had overcome their habit. He had hope for the first time since I knew him. We prayed together and said goodbye.

The great news is that Michael has not only managed to stay sober for the last year, he has also grown in his faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. He still stays in the homeless shelter, but now he has a purpose. He is Pastor Lee’s assistant and is in charge of the shelter. He wants to be an encourager and example to the other men who are struggling with addictions and getting beat up by life. If I showed you Michael’s picture from a year ago and then from today, you would have a hard time believing that it is the same person. God is so good. Jesus truly does “open eyes that are blind, free captives from prison and release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7).
Michael in the lab

                      Michael in the clinic’s lab.

If Necessary, Use Words
I want to share with you the following powerful story written by a fellow Team Expansion worker in Southeast Asia.

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There is a beautiful elderly Cambodian lady who attends our church and who has the most beautiful smile. Her name is Ohm Ti, and she radiates Jesus’ love. Ever meet someone like that? I don’t even necessarily have to talk to this wonderful woman; I just want to sit near her on Sunday.

Ohm Tiʼs story goes back to the Khmer Rouge period in the 1970ʼs. Ohm Ti was in a refugee camp on the Cambodian border, waiting to cross over into Thailand. People there were sick, the conditions challenging, and there was great chaos, pain, and loss.

In her camp was a French doctor, a Christian. Every day he cared for the sick with kind eyes and a loving heart. He worked from dawn until dusk. He had wise judgment. He stayed longer at the camp than the other doctors did.

He didn’t know Cambodian. He didn’t say a lot. With words, that is. The time came for Ohm Ti to cross over the border into Thailand and escape the destruction in Cambodia. As workers helped her complete her paperwork, she was asked what her religion was.

Referring to her camp doctor, she replied, “I want to be whatever he is.”From there, she was herded into the “Christian” part of the Thai camp, and she came to become a follower of Jesus. Several house churches in northwestern Cambodia look to her as their “planter;” her life is a shining light for Christ.

But the doctor? He never knew. Not yet. That his actions and his love had spoken volumes that his words couldn’t.

The lesson for me, and for all of us: You are not always talking. At least with your mouth. But people are always listening. And watching.

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Wow, what a beautiful reunion there will be someday in heaven between that French doctor and his Cambodian patient. It is such a privilege to be a light for Jesus. May He continue to use our lives to point others to Him. Thank you for partnering with us.

October 2011 Prayer Pointers
♦ Praise God with us for the power of God to transform lives that we have all experienced. Pray for Michael as he seeks to honor God by living for Him and strives to serve Him by helping others with the help he has received from above.
♦ Praise God with us for the continued growth of Mercy Medical as we help those in need in the name of Jesus Christ.
♦ Please pray for God to lead us to the right person to take over the administrator role at the end of the year.
♦ Please pray for wisdom and guidance from God as I prepare for PA school and raise funds for our living expenses during educational furlough.
♦ Praise God for His provision for our financial support and for His continued provision during the next phase of our ministry.
♦ Praise God for His work around the world to seek and save the lost, and for using us to point others to the Way, The Truth and the Life.

Friends, please click here and read about our support situation. Thank you for considering this need.

In Christian love,

Chris & family