Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful program that provides shoeboxes filled with toys and gifts for children of all ages. The shoeboxes are delivered to children around the world in time for Christmas, sending a message of joy and hope in the name of Jesus Christ.
Four years ago, I became involved with the project and, desiring to learn more about the organization, researched it online. It is organized through Samaritan’s Purse, directed by Franklin Graham. As I perused the website, another topic captured my attention. There were many articles about medical missions and relief actions that Samaritan’s Purse workers were coordinating. One link led to a request for pathologists to serve in the medical missions field. This was distinctly unusual since most requests for medical missionaries are for primary care physicians or surgeons. An email and a phone call led me to a coordinator who put me in touch with the pathologist who is the medical director of the laboratory at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Cameroon, Africa. Coincidentally, he was on a sabbatical leave in the United States and he called me from Nebraska. We agreed that I would provide dermatology and dermatopathology consultations through photomicrographs sent through emails. Since we began our association, we have collaborated on over six hundred cases and have published a medical paper documenting our experiences. This December, he and his wife, a nurse practitioner, will be visiting Southern California and we will finally have an opportunity to meet in person.
You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Nehemiah 9:6 (ESV)
From Christmas shoeboxes and a dermatopathology laboratory in Torrance to a medical missionary hospital in Cameroon. By my limited imagination, I would never have conceived such a connection. Coincidences? Chance associations? No. This is God’s providence, bringing together seemingly disparate elements in life to forge an amazingly beautiful plan to establish His Kingdom.
All praise to the Living God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.