Taste and See
This Father’s Day weekend, Eric Liddell’s heroic life and death remind us of papas on loan. The story of Liddell’s impressive Olympic victory while honoring God’s Sabbath in the movie Chariots of Fire never gets old. Nevertheless, many do not know the more moving story of his being a missionary in China some years later. When the tensions of World War II mounted, he sent his pregnant wife with their two little girls to Canada while he moved to a remote, precarious Chinese village. He took his family’s safety very seriously; their separation was a grievous loss. Not long after they left, he became one of the papas on loan to children and youth in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, where he spent the last months of his life. Years later, when grown daughters still grieved the loss of their beloved father, stories told by their dad’s fellow prisoners helped the girls cope. They gained comfort from hearing how their dad selflessly taught classes, refereed sports games, repaired broken toys, influenced moral behavior, preached every Sunday, and tirelessly brought laughter and joy to other prisoners, especially the young. The fatherly love and concern Eric could not lavish on his girls in those months, he poured into the lives of very needy young prisoners.
Often, a missionary’s lifestyle includes repetitive family separations. Although such times apart may not be as heart-rending as the Liddell’s experience, they still hurt. For example, Debbie remembers not having her parents available to give permission for emergency surgery when she was a minor in college. Similarly, our children kindly never fault us for missionary service but accept us as counseling parents on loan to others when unavailable for them. Thankfully, the Lord graciously provides papas on loan (and mamas) during our absences and their crises. Our loving Lord created and fully understands this deep human need for a father.
Come and See
Before leaving Cote d’Ivoire in May, Verlin was asked to lead a Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Vision Seminar in Guinea, West Africa. The goal was to further coach a participant he met at the CHE Internship in Ghana in February and enlarge the witness of the medical clinic he began. Unfortunately, the timing clashed with Verlin’s already scheduled hernia surgery in the States. The Ivorian CHE team leader, Emmanuel, took up the mantle despite his busy schedule. This week they completed the CHE Vision Seminar in Conakry, Guinea. The picture shows some of the more than 40 attendees. The excited participants plan a whole week of training in November. Join us in praying for Pierre Haba and his team as they seek to bring transformation to many communities using CHE’s holistic approach to ministry. He also seeks a surgeon to join the medical ministry.
As Emmanuel emphasized the importance of fathers using Discovery Bible Studies for the spiritual growth of families and themselves, Verlin had opportunities on Wednesday and Saturday to do likewise. God inspires and informs a new generation of parents to correct errant ways. Even populist messengers now trace missteps in U.S. history like this Father’s Day reading we purchase to read, Battle for the American Mind.
Prayer & Praise
- 🙏 Pray for an outpouring of wisdom, strength, and grace upon fathers. Perhaps there is no group whose role and importance get more maligned as patriarchal and mischaracterized as fearmongering. Pray that Godly men will also embrace roles as papas on loan to hurting children and youth in their sphere of influence.
- 🙏 Thank the Lord for the CHE Vision Seminar recently completed in Guinea. Pray that participants engage quickly with what they learned and that arrangements for a November training come to fruition.
- 🙏 Pray Verlin experiences pain relief and healing of the “dry socket” symptoms after his last week’s dental surgery. It has been a week of not much eating or sleeping with chronic pain that has started to subside.
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).