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The Great Physican and His Instrument

The Great Physican and His Instrument

Dave is working so hard and truly loving it…here’s what he shared recently with our prayer team. I LOVED what God put in his heart and how he articulated it.

“I just wanted to state something that might not always come across as we send out prayer emails about various sad or hard things…We love this place and this ministry!!!  It can be very tiring emotionally, physically and spiritually but we feel so privileged to be here as an instrument of the Lord.  One of my favorite things is to wake up the day after a workout and be incredibly sore everywhere.  So many days here I wake up and feel emotionally or spiritually sore and I love it.  To know that God has chosen and allowed us to be His battering ram as He pushes back the darkness is the greatest privilege and joy I/we have ever known.  This past fall we wrote our family creed–it ends with,  “I have one objective: His Glory, our Joy and I will run hard till He returns or calls me home.”  May we all live this straightforward, joyful purpose and run hard until that Glorious Day.”

Since arriving in Soddo, my sweet Dave has had a huge shift in his work, in his ministry, in his capabilities, and in his realities day in and day out.  Pediatrics tends to be a ‘happy profession’ for the most part in the United States.  Dave loved serving families and children, especially in the places God called us to prior to Ethiopia.  Here, though, life and death are part of every day. It has been a dramatic and difficult shift for Dave, and for all of us.  He is learning, I think, to trust in God’s perfect sovereignty in a deep way, though it is NOT easy.  I really can’t imagine, nor do I really want to experience all that he does each and every day.  He sees children come in who are so sick that really humanly speaking there is no hope. But he has seen God intervene with miracles.  He has seen children almost literally come back from death to life, without medical intervention.  He has watched too many pass into the Father’s arms.  He has held many and breathed life back into their little bodies.  He has helped and prayed and encouraged countless families.

This last week though, God brought a new wave that we hadn’t experienced yet.  An orphanage close to us had a measles outbreak among their children.  Within one 24 hour period of time, I think 18 were admitted with measles.  Last week, five died from measles alone.  Two other children died due to other illnesses.  It was a week marked with loss.  But God’s sovereignty weaved through it all…Dave was supposed to be in South Sudan, but the measles outbreak happened the day before he left.  Maybe many more would have lost their lives? We really don’t know.  But God kept Dave here. We trust his purposes.

The helicopter brought a young girl from the Southern Tribes up to be treated by Dave and God has given him the wisdom to know what she has and how to treat her.  Another patient came with meningitis.  Dave is being stretched…he is spiritually sore and physically exhausted a lot of the time, but he loves it.  I can see the fulfillment God gives him.  I can see how God meets with him every single morning and speaks so powerfully and specifically to him, like no other season of our lives.  I see God showing Himself Physician and Dave simply his tool.  This is one of the most beautiful transformations I’ve ever been able to witness.  You live life side by side…seeing the good, the bad, the hard, the beautiful, the really messy, the growth, the refining, the sin, and then suddenly I have been graced with standing alongside this man willing to be laid down in the Hand of His Father, to be used fully as His instrument of grace.  He has chosen to take his profession and lay it on the altar of ministry.  The gifts God has given to Dave have now been laid once again on that altar—as an offering back…all He’s given–it’s all we can give.

“Offer your lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.”


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