"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
~ Psalm 37:4
I never wanted to be a doctor. A people doctor, that is. But God had a plan for my life. And it has been more incredible that anything I could have dreamed up for myself!
I grew up in the small town of Mount Vernon, Ohio. As a child I absolutely loved animals. I was set on becoming a veterinarian until around eighth grade. My bedroom was often transformed into an operating room, with the hope chest at the foot of my bed doubling as the table where I preformed imaginary surgeries on my favorite stuffed animals. My path diverted from veterinary medicine when I was in my early teen years. I felt a call to missions while attending a youth meeting. God didn't speak to me in an audible voice, I just knew in my heart that I was going to be a missionary.
My father and I traveled with a Work & Witness team to Nicaragua during the summer after my junior year of high school. This trip was a wonderful experience for me: it confirmed my call to missions and fueled my desire to help people in need. I remember many things about my first international adventure, but one day of the trip remains with me as the most vivid memory of Nicaragua. Two nurses that traveled with our team sponsored a health clinic in one of the rural villages. My heart was broken by the many people who desperately needed medical care, but had no access to doctors or medicines. The Lord used that experience to direct my call toward medical missions.
The next 15 years were busy with preparation. I attended college next door (literally) at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Med school was just down the road at The Ohio State University. I moved to Texas for family medicine training at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and an obstetrics fellowship in Austin. JPS gave me my first job that made it possible to pay off a good chunk of my school loans. (The rest of the bill covered by Project MedSend so that I could leave for the mission field.) I thank Papa for His grace and my clear call to missions, for these kept me pressing on toward the goal!
And now the dream that He placed in y heart has been realized. In August of 2008, I became a full time missionary with Church of the Nazarene. Six months later I moved to Papua New Guinea and began working at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. I serve along side 6 other missionary doctors and a host of national staff, helping to provide medical and spiritual care to the people of PNG.
My primary responsibilities include maternity ward (where women come to deliver their babies) and nursery, as well as seeing patients in the outpatient department and emergency room. I help to run the cervical cancer screening program. I also enjoy making disciples through Bible study and by mentoring nursing students.
What do I like to do for fun? #1 and most importantly: spoil my oh so precious niece and nephew (even from the other side of the world). I also enjoy hiking, reading, playing the piano, eating ethnic food, and watching Ohio State football. GO BUCKS!
My heart's desire is to live each day for His glory, and in some small way to be a part of building the Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.