Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Charles Knotbrite came to our first garage sale and introduced himself as a Christian who was interested in our mission work. For everyone's reference, we consider ourselves on a mission from God to bring quality health care to underserved areas of the world. Our primary purpose is to serve, not necessarily to "convert." This runs counter to what many in evangelical circles consider "mission work." Our drive comes straight out of Matthew 25 (NIV):
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Asides aside, Charles wanted to know where our mission work was taking us. "Well, Nicaragua for starters" I replied. "Nicaragua? Good luck with that. Ortega is a crazy man." Which was a conversation-stopper.

Unlike Jenny Wai, at least Charles Knotbrite knew where Nicaragua is. I worry though that he is not only making political judgments based on listening to radio commentators but also making medical diagnoses without enough real information. Part of my training was in psychiatry and the two top diagnoses during my clinic years were psychiatric diagnoses. Yet I would not dare make a diagnosis of Ortega's mental status based on what I read in newspapers or hear on the radio. Mountain-making out of molehills? Maybe a little but I really resent having my dreams belittled by people who have never even left their home states. At some post in the future, I will go over psychiatric diagnoses and the importance of the neurological basis for psychiatric disorders. For now, I want to take the bible quote above and show you how we tried to follow Christ's commandments when it was easier to donate money than it was to physically serve.

1. Feed the hungry: local food pantries; Hunger Task Force (
2. Give clean water to the thirsty: Water Missions International (
3. House the homeless: Habitat for Humanity (
4. Clothe the naked: Salvation Army (
5. Visit prisoners: Voice of the Martyrs (

Although not listed in this part of Matthew, Jesus also commanded us to take care of orphans and widows which has also been a significant part of Judaism since Moses' time. Today I would like to give a shout out to Ark of Hope in Florida which has done one of the best jobs of taking care of neglected and (sadly) rejected kids that I have ever seen. Visit them at when you can.

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