Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Support Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

EXCITING NEWS!!!  Rachel and I are answering God's call to spend 
a year in the mission field! This first letter outlines our journey so far, and toward the end, describes how YOU can join us in this mission!

First things First: Why are we going?

The Lord God alone is responsible for any success I have had in the long journey to becoming a Pediatrician. He has always provided a way, and as we have learned to seek His path for our lives, Rachel and I have learned to discern His leading. Though we were unaware of precisely when and how He would call us into Medical Missions, we have dedicated our lives training to bring the Gospel and Love of Christ to the unreached and underserved.

In seeking His guidance during a period of prayer and fasting (January 2013), Rachel and I unreservedly accepted God’s prompting to investigate serving in Medical Missions for one year following completion of my Pediatrics residency (Summer, 2014). We go to see God's kingdom advanced, to escape the stifling consumerism of America and grow in our Faith as we live harder lives, to learn more of this World's great need, and to make ourselves available for God to show us where and how we might serve for the rest of our lives.

When we started researching options, the number of possibilities was daunting. The World is home to SO MANY lost and needy people, and the need is especially great for medical personnel.  Our attempt to narrow down options was particularly difficult since Rachel and I have remained entirely open to wherever God might lead us.  Fortunately, the members of God's Body are in perfect placement for just such occasions, and we received excellent advice from many missions-experienced believers on how to narrow the field of possibilities.

Our first step was to choose a "sending agency", an established missions-based organization that provides the infrastructure necessary to mobilize a willing volunteer from Home State to Mission Field, and back again. Standing out among its peers, we were led to choose World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan's Purse, as our sending agency. WMM's depth of experience and genuine welcome to begin their thorough application process was definite reassurance in our choice.

With our sending agency application in progress, we were then able to focus on reviewing each of World Medical Mission's 30 affiliated mission hospitals. As opportunity presented itself, I was able to communicate via email with many of the hospitals' missionary physicians, each of whom offered unique (and fascinating!) cultural and work environments. However, through this process, we were increasingly drawn to Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea, where Dr. Susan Myers serves as both Pediatrician and Director of Medical Services, and who very kindly fielded my many questions. God is faithful, and as we soon learned, Kudjip MORE than meets our expectations for serving a year in the field!

Located in the Western Highlands of PNG, Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, founded in 1967, has 130 inpatient beds, and serves well over 50,000 patients annually. The hospital is staffed by about 150, including 5 ex-patriot physicians (1 Pediatrician, 3 Family Practitioners, and 1 General Surgeon), and hosts a Nursing School for PNG nationals.  The "Station" is nestled in a lush valley among jungle mountains, gets over 200" of rain annually, and is a bumpy 1hr drive from the closest town, Mt. Hagen.

Of Kudjip Station's many attractive features, I am most pleased to share that this facility and its entire staff serve to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!  Staff pray together daily, pray over their patients, and LIVE to bring God's Love and Truth to all they serve. The Nazarene Church has a rich history of World missions, and the evangelism work they have done in PNG is truly amazing. 

To work as missionaries at Kudjip, Rachel and I have also been completing the application process for the Nazarene Church, which most recently included participation in a Cross-Cultural Orientation. This 3-day didactic and interactive crash course on Nazarene World Missions was AWESOME! The CCO leaders shared their personal missions testimonies, opened our eyes to a REAL World View, taught us how our personalities and Spiritual giftings might best serve in the field, walked us through all the steps and pitfalls of actually getting INTO the field, and most importantly, they served as a conduit for God's affirmation - that we are indeed on the path our great Creator prepared for us from the beginning!!!

Looking forward, there are yet many steps to take before we set foot on PNG soil. With just over a year to prepare, the first and greatest initiative must be to build our support community. We need YOU, and everyone the good Lord brings our way, to commit to partnering with us. Whether in prayer, or sharing with us words of wisdom/affirmation, or spreading the word about this mission, or giving financially – ALL IS WELCOME! 

By virtue of your support, 
to Papua New Guinea!!!

To serve in PNG for 1 year, 
we must raise approximately $24,000 (by June, 2014).
...That's ~$2,000 a month, ~$460 a week, or ~$65 a day.

If 100 people committed to giving $20 a month
we would be COVERED!
(Click HERE, and search "Henderson" to give)

The glorious thing about serving our God is this:  We can trust HIM to supply all our needs. The wonderful thing about existing as a member of the Body of Christ is this: As we obediently use our gifts/talents to serve the Body, God perfectly and uniquely gifts every other member of the Body to serve our needs.  No matter how God has gifted you, thank you for your support!

All our Love,
By HIS Grace,

Ted and Rachel Henderson
T. 540-460-1003 /
R. 540-460-4129 /
1213 Santa Anna Rd
Richmond, VA 23229