Today, as I reflect upon my one year anniversary of coming to serve at a missions hospital in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the words of a recent sermon echo in my ears. Am I a fool? Many people would consider giving up a lucrative surgical career in the US and moving overseas to serve the poor to be foolish. Some would say that risking one's own health or life to serve people you've never met is foolish. A few might even say that focusing on saving a few lives in a far off corner of the world when compared to the global scale of humanitarian needs across the globe is foolish. To many the thought of following the teachings of a crucified, Jewish teacher who lived over two millennia ago is foolishness. The Bible, however, says, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (I Corinthians 1:27-29)
Loreen receives a Bible
God loves the poor and lowly and despised. God cares about the lives of people living in far off corners of the globe. God desperately wants to be known by those who are unknown to the world. Time and time again, I have seen God work miracles in the midst of impossible situations. When I am weakest and feel the most foolish, I see God move in mighty ways and all the glory goes to him alone. Just ask the 500 patients I've operated on, or the hundreds of surgical patients I've cared for in the hospital and the outpatient clinics, or the dozens of patients who have experienced spiritual renewal through the work of the hospital in the past year. They do not believe our work here is foolish, because they have witnessed first-hand the power of God to heal physically and spiritually. What is money or fame or personal security and comfort worth in the long run? As Jim Elliot, a missionary to Ecuador, famously stated: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Lord, help me not to foolishly cling to the things I cannot keep. If I am to be a fool, let me be a fool for Christ.