Drs. Ted and Sharon Kuhn, medical leads for Mission To the World (MTW), graciously made the trip up from Atlanta, GA, to meet with us and we really appreciate it. The "Lyn" and "Tel" were also present. MTW is an organization within the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), a cousin denomination to our home church, Knox, that is involved in sundry ways with medical mission work across the globe. We all met at Jessica's parents' home (a.k.a. Rivendell), and Rachel, Eric, and Jason were a few minutes late due to an incredible amount of wind, which delayed their bike ride precisely 26 minutes.
We all sat down and the McCropders, via spokesperson Eric, gave a brief overview of where we're at. The conversation lasted quite a while, and probably posed more questions than answered, which we consider to be a difficult but wonderfully necessary feature of this early stage of our planning. Obviously, a complete recap of this meeting is not possible, but here are a few highlights.
Per the Drs. Kuhn, the two main "first things" questions for us at the outset are the following:
1. What is the relationship between Word and Deed in our overall mission model? As the title of this blog makes quite clear, we are committed to the marriage of these two ideas, but how will this really play out in a day-to-day scenario?
2. What will be the relationship of the church to our work, both the local African church, and churches with which we have relationships in the US?
These questions hint at something we have, in our discussions with each other, come to call "The Impact Factor", which is very dear to us. In short, "The Impact Factor" is the ability to bring the most benefit and blessing to those whom we will serve. One of the ways in which this Factor has continued to guide our thinking through the present time is that the more medically underserved area, the better. And yes, some parts of Africa are more than the others, though need is overall quite pervasive. The spin the Kuhns placed on this was in thinking more long-term about Impact. Should we head to a larger city with established hospitals, in order to maximize Impact by working in medical education? Should we be in a similar area in order to take advantage of the increased accessability to maximize Impact?
These questions are not answered, but are a necessary flavoring to our "question stew" as we plan out our overall mission model. Thank you Kuhns, and we look forward to sharing more time and conversations in the future.
God, grant us grace to serve You well.