Archive for July, 2012

July 2012

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Today we had our second major exam in Pathophysiology, which means we are exactly -half way finished with this course on sickness and disease. So far we have studied how human cells can get sick and die, how our immune system can turn on us and make us sick, how cancer and infectious diseases plague us, how the skin can get sick, how our blood vessels can become diseased, and what happens when our heart stops working.

In the midst of all this suffering and disease, I started thinking longingly about the word “healthy.” So, I did a little word study tonight.

The New Testament Greek word for “healthy” is “hygies.” We get the English word “hygiene” from this Greek word.

This word is used 12 times in the New Testament. Luke, the physician, used it 3 times, two of those times he is quoting something Jesus said. Paul used it 8 times in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Finally, John used it once in his third epistle.

When Jesus healed the centurion’s servant, Luke records that when the returned home they found the servant “healthy” (Luke 7:10).

When Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, he said that the Father rejoiced by killing the fattened calf because he had received back son “healthy.”

The apostle John wrote to his reader, “Dear friend, I pray that you may by “healthy” and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well (3 John 1:2).
Paul’s use of the word takes an on interesting twist. Six times he used the word to refer to “sound doctrine,” literally “healthy doctrine” or “healthy teaching.”  I Tim 1:10, 6:3, 2 Tim 1:13, 4:3, Titus 1:9, and 2:1.

Finally, in Titus 1:13 and 2:2, Paul uses the word to describe being “sound in faith.”  Look at Titus 2:2, “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and “sound” in faith, in love and in endurance.”

Again, the word translated “sound” is the Greek word “healthy.” So, to be Biblically healthy, we need not only God’s blessing and healing on our physical bodies, but we need to be spiritually healthy, healthy in our Biblical and theological understanding, and healthy in faith, love and endurance.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already!

My Neurosurgery Experience
You’ve heard someone say, “Well, it’s not brain surgery” referring to something that was somewhat complicated, but still not totally overwhelming.

In June I was blessed with the opportunity for two days to shadow two neurosurgery PAs as well as get to know their supervising physicians. I was impressed at the knowledge and skill of this team of neurosurgeons.

Both days began with a 7 AM conference where all the neuro surgeons, PAs, and a handful of others (hospital administrators, pathologists, etc.) get together with coffee in hand in a darkened room with a large screen and look at images and discuss difficult and challenging cases. It’s an opportunity for the older and more experienced ones to share some wisdom and for everyone to benefit from the discussion.

My first conference included discussion of a 55 year old man who had a tumor pressing on his thoracic spine. It had been detected due to scans after sudden and rapidly degenerating symptoms. He noticed left lower limb weakness and within a week was almost immobile from the waist down. They discussed whether the man had a malignant astrocytoma or a slow-growing, benign ependymoma. They were about 70% sure it was fast-growing and malignant and there was a good chance the patient would be unable to walk and be incontinent for the rest of his life. They needed to do surgery the following day and at worse, get a biopsy if it was inoperable. At best, if it was benign and operable and not completely enmeshed with the spine, they could remove it and he would have instant relief from the impingement. As it turned out, the 70% was wrong and the 30% was right, and the man is doing remarkably well, now one month post-op! He is expected to make a full recovery!

There were other unforgettable patients and cases of aneurysms and tumors (some benign others not), senility & confusion due to carotid blockage, trauma and back pain.

Neurosurgery is an area of medicine that can be exhilarating at times, and devastatingly tragic, at others. Compared to my experience in the Free Clinic where we seldom see such highs and lows, it proved to be a fascinating experience. I admire the brave and brilliant people I met, and give God praise for them and their work.

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and financial support. We are humbled and grateful.
In Christian love,

Chris & family

From Team Expansion’s President, Doug Lucas
Dear Partners,
I’ve just returned from a trip to Japan to help lead prayer walks in various locations around the country. In addition, I was humbled by the opportunity to mentor some of our newest workers while encouraging some of our seasoned veterans there in 3 different locations. One team is working hard in the city of Ishinomaki, which was heavily impacted by the tsunami of March 11, 2011. You would have been so proud of all of them. While everyone else was fleeing the disaster, they were seeking it out, driving toward it. They were among the first to arrive. Immediately, they developed innovative and effective methods of transporting life-sustaining supplies to those who needed them most. As soon as the situation allowed, they moved their families directly into some of the hardest-hit areas so they could work shoulder-to-shoulder with local people to rebuild homes, lives, and futures, and just BE with the people, life on life. They’re still there today.

There’s something about Team Expansion culture, the world over. They aren’t afraid of work. They invest their entire lives into the local people. They stretch every dollar to maximum impact with maximum love. Your favorite missionary is cut from the same mold. Please join me today in giving thanks for hard workers… and thank you for helping make possible their labor! God bless you this month!
Doug Lucas