“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”
It has been 20 years…
20 years since I officially began my journey with International Ministries. My path crossed with International Ministries in the early 90’s when I was a volunteer at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Limbé, Haiti. There, I was able to learn at the feet of some of the most amazing mentors: Steve and Nancy James, Bill Clemmer, Katherine Niles, Alta Hodges, William Hodges, Herb Rogers, Mark Thompson and so many volunteers and local medical staff. I have carried with me everything I learned from each of them..
Then, in 2000, I was commissioned by International Ministries and began working with the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic. My 12 years in La Romana taught me so much more about public health, managing teams, culture and music, language and context.
During that time, I helped to coordinate the medical outreach of IM for the earthquake in Haiti. Once again, my early education in Haiti and the team management skills I learned in the DR, prepared me for such a time as this.
Jump forward a few years and I found myself in the position of Global Consultant for Health and had the opportunity to work with the Ebola crisis in Liberia. What an amazing and life-changing endeavor for me. Now 30+ countries, thousands of volunteers and many miles later, I find I am a bit tired!
Yes. Sabbatical. During the last year, I have helped establish a sabbatical model for global servants. Starting August 1, 2020, IM has granted the gift of a 4-month sabbatical to rest, renew and listen to where God is leading my ministry for the next 20 years!
Sabbatical will also be a time to determine where my calling needs to be modified or developed. Looking back over more than 20 years of ministry in international health care, I know that there is still so much to learn. I’m excited to share with everyone what I discover.
Supporters will continue to hear about my ministry during the time I am on sabbatical, as my Missionary Partnership Team (MPT) will be stepping in for me. They will be in touch with donors, help publish newsletters and stay connected with International Ministries. I also hope to upload videos that your congregation may use during the World Missions Offering months. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me prior to August 1 and I will explain further. After that date, a member of my MPT will answer any questions or requests.
Following the end of my sabbatical, I will begin assessing the opportunity for international travel to meet with and support our global partners. If travel is still quite limited, I will continue to reach out to my colleagues around the world to learn about their current situation. This will likely include consulting, resourcing and more training. The goal will be for each of IM’s partners to feel supported and encouraged during this time of crisis.
I will still be responsible for raising support during this sabbatical so thank you, in advance, for your continued gifts.
The matching grant during the month of June was a great success and several of you chose to increase your monthly gift or begin new monthly support. I am so thankful that you continue to walk with me in this ministry.
Over the last several months, I have had to stay home just like everyone else. I have not traveled internationally since January 2020. This does not mean that I haven’t been working, though. My work has simply adjusted to what is possible and that means a lot of online communication, learning, training and advising.
Very early this year, I was asked to be a part of a task force for our Baptist partners in India. The idea behind the task force was to increase communication within the region, seek out scientifically proven methods of mitigating the pandemic, share ideas of work happening throughout India and to have a place for highlighting needs or concerns. What has come from this is greater communication between conventions and a weekly journal published online for everyone to see.
The Satribari School of Nursing continues to need support for their building although work has been constrained due to the pandemic. Please continue prayers for the students and professors.
I have maintained contact with several individuals and partners to learn of their needs. The work I have been a part of is generally with the most marginalized in the country…those who already have less access to healthcare, food, clean water, education and housing. This pandemic has only increased their needs. Please continue to pray for Symbiosis Bangladesh and the staff who still serve those at such high risk, as several are personally battling COVID-19.
The House of Hope in Cochabamba, Bolivia has stayed in touch to let me know of their situation. Family members have been lost to COVID-19 and ministries have had to find work-arounds so that food and medicine can get to the communities they serve. All mobile clinics have stopped and many of the medical and dental staff are no longer working and some have become infected with COVID-19. Please keep them in your prayers, especially Carmen and Richard, as they lead.