The longer answer involves Faders and Cropseys getting to know each other several years ago, with the burgeoning McLaughlins being somewhat more peripheral, but all being of like mind in desire to do medical mission work in the developing world. We also were privy, at some time or another, to a casual joke in which we would all join forces in the future as a community to pursue these goals. Then one night in September 2007, John, Jason, and a couple other innocent bystanders, got together and decided that maybe we weren't joking. Maybe there was, in fact, an inexplicable sense of God's call in how 3 families and 4 physicians, from 3 different medical school years, completing training the same year, with compatible life goals, in 4 different but complementary specialties, happened to meet in the same place and become friends.
So Faders sent an email to the McLaughlins, at that time picking up a few experiential skills in Bangladesh, who were then struck by the same dual sense of "call" and "maybe we weren't really joking all this time".
We all met in November 2007 in Louisville, KY, for the Global Health Missions Conference, where the decision to pursue a common community goal was cemented. Somehow we talked Samaritan's Purse into accepting us as a team into their two-year Post-Residency Program, and then Tenwek Hospital in Kenya agreed to take us.
During our time at Tenwek, we began to eagerly scour the continent for various opportunities, focusing on medical education in areas on the needier side of the African spectrum. We sent lots of email, took lots of counsel, and visited several places. As it now stands, we are applying to World Harvest Mission in order to be sent to Burundi, to serve as clinical faculty for the young medical school at Hope Africa University.
So here we are, not exactly at the beginning, but still early in a journey that has raised numerous questions and discussions that have started to teach us much of service, community, medicine, cross-cultural living, and an ardent desire to follow God.