Posted in Medical Missions

2017 Plans

Changes abound in my little piece of the world.  My “baby” daughter, Natalie, is graduating high school in 6 weeks.  I don’t recall how this actually happened, but here I am.  Our week in Guatemala at Hope of Life International conflicts with us taking this baby to her new college home in HAWAII!  So with sadness and joy we will not be going on the Guatemala trip this summer but will be continuing our fundraising efforts for next year’s trip.  Instead of Guatemala or the Dominican Republic, then, I will be going to Nicaragua in June!!!  I’m going for a 2 week intensive medical Spanish course and will be able to participate in community health outreach programs during the 2 weeks I’m there.  Stay tuned for more information on this endeavor!  Please pray that God’s direction for our ministry will be clear and His word a light for the path we should follow!

Natalie photo id picture

Posted in Daily Prompts

Daily Prompt – Yellow

Yellow is my favorite color!

I think of all colors in terms of the Crayola Box:

Yellow-Orange, Banana Mania, Maize, Orange-Yellow, Goldenrod, Dandelion, Yellow, Green-Yellow, Middle-Yellow, Maximum-Yellow, Canary, Lemon-Yellow.

I have a lot of yellow childhood memories.

Yellow-orange:  Traveling to Florida and Disney World with my parents, sister and grandparents (18 hour drive in station wagon); we got these little plastic devices that you pushed into a ripe orange and could slurp the orange juice out of it!

Green-Yellow:  My grandparents bought hats for Becky and I one Easter.  They were little bucket hats designed to look like a cat head.  In the brim there were yellow plastic “eyes” that you could look through – it made the whole world tinted yellow.  I loved to look through those lenses on a rainy, ugly day and make it pretty!

Image result for yellow tinted glasses

Middle-yellow:  Yellow gingham curtains and bedspreads.  My sister and I shared a bedroom when we were little.  My mother, the amazing seamstress and tailor that she was, made the bedspreads and curtains out of yellow gingham.  I spent a LOT of time in the presences of yellow as a kid!  I wonder if that’s why I can’t help being an optimist even when my world crashes?

Image result for yellow gingham





Posted in Daily Prompts

Daily Prompt – Uneven

This brings to mind a social and theological debate I’ve been having in my brain for several months.  At it’s heart, the debate is the fundamental basis of a fair society – Equality vs. Equity.  I’m the kind of person who can see both sides of every argument (except Sharia, child pornography, racism, Nazis, and a few others).

EQUALITY – the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

EQUITY – the quality of being fair and impartial.

There are so many things in this picture that make me stop and think.  It seems so simple.  Yes – I would want all the kids to be able to see over the fence to watch the game.  Yes – being able to see without any fence would be nice.  No – the picture where the little kid can’t see over isn’t fair.  And the meme is great if all the kids at the ball field just came there to see the game and watching the game was the sole purpose of the interaction of these 3 people.

But…there is a fine line between trying to do good and slipping over the cliff of totalitarianism.

Some alternative scenarios I can think of:

  1.  Tall kid sees that the shortest one can’t see and offers him his box
  2. Tall kid asks shortest kid if he wants to get on his shoulders to see
  3. Shortest kid realizes he can’t see over the fence with his one box and he goes on the hunt to find a way to raise up his box
  4. Two shortest kids decide to combine their boxes and both stand on the top together
  5. Tall kid really isn’t interested in baseball and walks away leaving the box so the other two could use it
  6. Short kid and shortest kid get bored because they can’t see the game too well and start talking about pokemon and decide to hunt pokemons around the field and end up forging a new friendship
  7. All 3 kids use the boxes to build a fort and play soldier.  The tall kid pops up and looks over the fence every now and then to tell the others what the score is.
  8. Tall kid is not allowed to get a box but he didn’t actually want to watch the game and just wanted to play with the box
  9. Shortest kid automatically gets what he needs and never has to create his own solution to the challenge
  10. Tall kid’s box is taken from him at gunpoint and given to the shortest kid
  11. Tall kid is required to walk on his knees to be the same height as the shortest kid but he does get a box
  12. Ball field owner makes his fence shorter in certain places to accommodate the short kids
  13. The ball field owner sees that the fence is too high so installs a big screen so everyone can see
  14. Ball field owner makes his fence shorter all around and cars in the parking lot are repeatedly damaged by fly balls
  15. Government forces the ball field owner to take down the fence to ensure fairness to the shortest kid; this leads to damaged cars in the parking lot and a few head injuries of the kids watching (but not protected by the fence any more)

So what is the right answer?  Do we give everyone an even start and let each person use those resources according to their talents, creativity and passions?  Do we distribute and manipulate resources to ensure everyone gets an even end result?  Do we let the choice to share personal resources up to individual or do we force redistribution of those resources?  Do we let the choice of using talents, creativity and passion up to the individual?  Does the government see what is needed in society and determine how the talents, creativity and passion should be used?

I’m a Bible believer so here is a relevant story from God:

The parable of the talents. I am completely paraphrasing Matthew 25:14 – 30.  God gives one servant 5 talents, another 3 talents and another 1 talent.  The guy with 5 talents goes and invests his and doubles his talents and brings 10 back to the Lord.  The second takes his 3 talents, works hard, makes 2 more talents and brings 5 talents back to the Lord.  The third guy is ticked off that he only got 1 talent and so he buries it.  When God asks him what he has done with his talent he digs it up and gives it back to God without even 1% interest from putting it in a lame CD.  God blesses the first two equally even though they came back with different amounts of cash.  Each one used his talents and produced dividends for the Lord.  The last guy is cursed and sent away.  God didn’t expect him to make 10 talents with the 1 talent he was given but He did have a purpose for that 1 talent to be used in His kingdom and the guy squandered it resentfully.

I’ll finish with a personal story.  I sponsored a young girl in Ethiopia through Compassion International.  Both of her parents died of AIDS and she was living in poverty with her grandmother.  The small amount that I gave every month was used by Compassion to provide Elizabeth with schooling, uniforms, supplemental food, and many other needs.  The letters I sent her every month and that she sent me every month encouraged us both and inspired us to trust the God who linked our lives.  Elizabeth faithfully used her meager material resources with her incredible God-given intellect to graduate high school with honors (very, very rare for girls in Ethiopia).  She was accepted into college (also very rare) and dreamed of being a doctor (like me!).  Since Ethiopia pays for college education they have the right to determine what students will study.  It was determined that Elizabeth would study engineering.  It was not her first choice (or even second) and we were both disappointed. But gratitude is a way of life for her.  I admire her so much.  She eagerly and joyfully went to college to study engineering, promising to use her education, gifts and talents to help as many others as God will bring into her life.

I think of life as a tapestry being woven by God.  On this side of heaven we can only see the underside of that tapestry – the knots, the skipped threads, the hazy image of something.  Elizabeth and I trust that God works through his people and the end result will be a masterpiece more beautiful than we could ever have imagined!


Posted in Places to GO

Christian Medical & Dental Association

CMDA Where To Serve

China – Pediatrician, Family Doctor, RN with peds experience, PT

Haiti – Primary Care Physician

Tanzania – Pathologist

Cambodia – General Surgeon

Niger – FP with OB or OB/GYN

Pacific Islands – YWAM ship – primary care providers

Nepal – General practitioners, ENT, Palliative / Hospice specialists

Malawi – Physiotherapist

On Call Global Health Relief

Global Health Relief – sign up to be “on call” for emergencies around the world

Posted in Places to GO

Christian Community Health Fellowship – U.S.

Christian Community Health Fellowship

Our Mission

The mission of Christian Community Health Fellowship is to encourage, engage and equip Christians to live out the gospel through healthcare among the poor and marginalized. 

Our Vision

We envision a movement of God’s people who choose daily to promote healing in marginalized communities in the name of Jesus.

The Birth of CCHF Through the Eyes of John Perkins

by John Perkins

Christian Community Health Fellowship, as we know it today, began in Mendenhall, Mississippi. When my wife, Vera Mae, and I moved back there in the sixties after years in California, we could see that little had changed. Success for the young people in this little rural town was to leave Mendenhall and not come back.

U.S. poverty was “discovered” and first responded to in Mississippi. Up until then, poverty had always been accepted by the poor in America. There had never been an “attack” on it. Then Dr. Robert Coles, who was both a pediatrician and a nutritionist, did a study in Mississippi and Louisiana on the relationship between malnutrition and learning. A friend of the Kennedy family (and therefore having some influence) became convinced that children who grew up in poverty without proper nutrition were significantly disadvantaged. Coles believed that children who came from very poor families and did not get proper nutrition could not compete with those kids from homes that had good food and other advantages. He proposed that integration was the way to solve racial problems as well as health problems in impoverished American children.

During this time I testified before Senator McGovern’s nutrition committee. I shared how my mother died from malnutrition when I was seven months old. By this time, scientists had discovered that if a mother didn’t get the right food and nutrition, her child would likely be born with defects and might never catch up.

Out of Coles’ study and additional research came the Headstart program. My wife was one of the founders of Headstart in Mississippi. When a tornado struck there in the late sixties and killed many people, Vera Mae got involved in recovery efforts. The President sent support staff to our Headstart headquarters, which became a relief center, supplying food and medicine for those in need during that disaster.

The President’s advisor, who came to determine how bad the devastation was, could see beyond the tornado. When a tornado hits, it’s one thing; but a hit among very poor people was devastating. He said to Vera Mae, “If I get you a grant, would you study and document the poverty in this area?” He gave her a two or three-year grant.

After about six months of study, Vera Mae said, “This is terrible.” She was finding that the girls were getting pregnant and their babies were dying. Sometimes the mother would die, too. Some of those children had never had a sugar diabetes test, had never been to a doctor at all. Vera Mae would come home and say, “We need to do something about this.” Of course, when your wife gets all upset about something, you can’t sleep at night either. We had a volunteer nurse, and after some intense discussion decided to develop a health center. We found a doctor, but he stayed with us for only a year or so. We had to close this health center, which had given people new hope, until we finally found another doctor willing to serve Mendenhall’s poor.

During that time, I was writing my first book, “Let Justice Roll Down”. I was in New Hebron interviewing people who knew my mother when I was a baby. One old lady told me that my mother “just died,” that she was nothing but “skin and bones.” She remembered me as a little baby, sucking at my mother’s breast but getting very little milk. She said I was nothing but just skin and bones, too, when my mother died. After her death, my grandmother, who had been the mother of nineteen children, took in us five kids. (My father was a weekend alcoholic and had left town.) My family didn’t have a milk cow, but one of the old black ladies in the neighborhood did. Every day she would bring a quart of milk to our house. And they watched this little baby of skin and bones start to perk up. I began to develop. As this lady was telling me this story, I sat with tears in my eyes. “What happened to that lady with the cow?” I asked. She told me that she died almost the same way my mother did. There hadn’t been a doctor in this town in ten years. I wanted to do something for that lady’s family. I had never heard that part of my story before.

Out of that story, the New Hebron Health Center was born. It sits just across the street from where my brother was shot. He died in the hospital in Jackson, fifty-two miles away, because back then there was no health center in town.

When we started the health center, we desperately tried to motivate doctors to come to rural areas. For a while we went without a doctor. Then we decided that we had to raise up and train doctors to work with the poor, to develop an association of people in medical care who would have a unique concern for the poor. Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF) was created to help recruit and support health profession people who serve those poor who had little or no health care accessible to them. Many of you are doing just that today – and to you I say thank you.

I survived infancy because of one kind woman – and the grace of God. I know that many more children are surviving, and even thriving, because of your willingness to go and serve them. For that I – and they – am very grateful.