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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

April 15, 2011

By God’s grace, this past month was another solid season of ministry.  Here are a few highlights, as well as a look ahead:

Men’s & Women’s Nights

God gave us two great nights with key men and women from around the city!  For our men’s night, I led the guys through a study in 1 Samuel 17, which you’ll recognize as the story of David and Goliath.  For our purposes, we were considering insights on what it means to be a godly man.  I chose this topic because we’ve noticed fewer men becoming involved, and especially taking leadership, at our local healthcare campuses.  We are incredibly thankful for the many women God has given us, but we want to see men stepping up as well, and feel that this was another important step toward achieving that goal.

During women’s night, Sharon led the ladies in a study on bitterness and forgiveness.  As she interacted with the women on this topic, it became clear that it was something everyone was wrestling with in ways that are very real and personal.  In His wisdom, God had matched those who came with what they needed to hear.

Intermed

Another key event this month was “Intermed”, a student-driven gathering for worship, fellowship, teaching and, of course, eating.  Although our ministry did not personally sponsor the event, a number of different ministries and ‘people groups’ came together in making it happen.

Our informal hope for the evening was that the students would come away with a picture of what their own futures in medicine might look like as they considered how God had led our two speakers.  They were incredibly different: one, a younger geriatrician (treats older patients) at Penn, the other, an older nurse practitioner in the Dominican Republic who practices medicine and also raises up national pastors.  At the same time, both these men are tremendously dedicated to serving Christ through healthcare, and the students came away inspired to follow Christ into their own futures.

I was thankful to have played a role in the planning process, in addition to having many significant conversations during the evening and in the days that have followed.  It was a tremendous time of connecting with key students, as well as meeting new ones that I hope to influence in the months ahead.

Upcoming Plans

In the next few months, I’m excited to participate in several important events.  The first is our annual CMDA National Convention in California.  It will feature some of the very best speakers in the healthcare field, and I will be traveling with one of our key student leaders.  Since he will be graduating in May, it will be one of my last extended opportunities to spend time with him, which I cherish.  At this year’s convention, CMDA is also rolling out its National Student Council, a student-driven group designed to shape the future of healthcare and CMDA, so I’m excited to get in on the ground floor.  And, as always, the convention promises to be a rich time of networking and ideas.

As the summer approaches, as usual, my family and I hope to participate in parts of both SMI Philadelphia (July 9-30) and SMI Texas (July 2-30).  If you’ve been with us for some time, you know these are medical missions projects that teach participants how to share their faith through medicine while living in community.  They’re absolutely critical in that they allow us undistracted seasons of investing in the students, something that simply isn’t nearly as possible during the academic year.  In fact, we get more time with them during project than we do throughout the rest of the year combined.  This is discipleship at its best!

SMI Philadelphia is easy for us to participate in since it’s so close (1/2 hour), but SMI Texas is naturally more challenging.  At the same time, we are passionate about it because it allows the students to truly get away from the city and out of their comfort zone.  It also affords our family the opportunity to live on site with them, which is key both for us and the students.  One of the ways we will decide whether we should go is by seeing if the Lord provides the needed funds (about $5,000).

And so, without any fanfare, we want to put this need before you.  If you feel God leading you to contribute, would you please let us know in the next two weeks?  This will help us be good stewards of the summer God has placed before us.

Regardless of your decision, we thank God for each one of you.

Warmly,

Bryan & Sharon

Please join us in prayer/praise:

  • Praise God for wonderful men’s/women’s nights.  Please pray for lasting fruit among the students.
  • Praise God for a focused season of prayer and fasting leading up to the Intermed retreat.  We believe that much of its success was due to this foundation, largely driven by the students.
  • Pray for my times of investing with key men from around the city: Sam, Erik, Dan, Burton, Shane, Loren and others.  My heart is that God will take these men and multiply their lives in those around them.  Pray also that God will continue introducing me to other key men around the city.
  • Pray for our medical evangelism (“International Saline”) training ‘taster’ at Drexel on 5/3, and especially that believers among students, residents and “attending” physicians would come and get excited for the full version training in the fall.
  • Pray for my time at the National Convention (4/28-30), and God’s wisdom/provision for SMI Texas.
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