Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Tory, Emma, Tye, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why We Continue at Tenwek

Last week, on November 20th, we celebrated the 6th anniversary of our first arrival at Tenwek Hospital.  We have faced significant challenges over these last six years and many (including ourselves at times) have asked why we continue to serve at this rural mission hospital in southwest Kenya.  The following article I wrote (which was recently published in WGM's "The Call" magazine) along with this related video, explain why.  Thanks to all who continually partner with us to make disciples of Christ in this small part of the world.

The Cycle of Discipleship

As a young believer in my sophomore year of college, hungry to grow in my new-found faith, and praying for God’s help in this endeavor, a man named Roger, whose passion was to disciple future leaders in the Kingdom, asked if I would be interested in becoming a part of his weekly discipleship group.  At that time, I did not comprehend how God would significantly use Roger’s time, commitment and modeling of true faith to help me grow in a deeper understanding of His Grace.  Because of this experience in true discipleship, my life was forever changed, and as a result, I committed to making discipleship the principle aspect of ministry in the future.

As a missionary orthopaedic surgeon at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, I have the privilege of caring for medically underserved patients, providing compassionate healthcare in Jesus’ name, praying with patients and encouraging them to walk with Jesus.  However, the greater privilege is the unique opportunity we have to disciple young national surgeons who come to Tenwek for training.   As part of the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), whose goal is to raise up African missionary surgeons to reach the most needy patients in Africa, we train general and orthopaedic residents not only in excellent healthcare, but also in a deeper walk with Christ, to help them grow in their own faith, passing on the truths that were built into us, thus continuing the cycle of discipleship in an international context.

Jesus commanded his disciples, the same ones he poured His own life into over a three-year period, to continue the cycle, and go into all nations and make more disciples.   This is God’s design for all of us who would desire to make a true, and long-lasting difference in the Kingdom.  Discipleship is not easy and sometimes even messy.  But by God’s grace, the blood, sweat and tears associated with deep, personal relationship can make an eternal impact in the life of someone who just might do the same for others in the future…the cycle of discipleship.