Taste and See
The Scriptures have plenty to say about Christians rolling out the proverbial welcome mat of hospitality. Developing this virtue while obeying the command is often neglected in today’s busy world. For example, Romans 12 instructs us to practice hospitality even to our enemies; Peter says to do it without grumbling (a good reminder when one has had to unexpectedly feed guests!); the author of Hebrews urges that we not neglect it because some have unknowingly entertained angels; and, both Timothy and Titus mention hospitality as required of overseers (pastors). In addition, pivotal events in the Old Testament revolved around people welcoming strangers: Abraham, Lot, and Samson’s parents received heavenly visitors; Abigail fed David and his troops; and the Shunammite woman woman provided for Elisha, just to name a few.
Welcome mats await Verlin. Over five days, he travels more than 500 miles to visit Community Health Evangelism (CHE) trainers or interested parties in their relatively remote places. One visit lets him greet a brother who trains at the university with us. The next and most remote stop checks in with a minister who, when last seen, desires to start a CHE ministry when others nearer to him begin. Two more distant sites owe their initial growth to adapted CHE ministries. Lastly, a fifth stop will be a visit to another community which plans to start using CHE strategies. These latter ones have waited over a year for Verlin to follow up on a 2012 visit and their initial efforts of 2013-15 convincing them to organize and change their world. (Yes, we’re that busy with what seem to be more priority calls or efforts!) When you visit villages in Cote d’Ivoire, the people typically provide the best meals and lodging they can, even if it diminishes supplies for their own families. When culturally aware, it humbles out-of-town visitors to receive their generosity. Yet, most hosts would feel robbed if not granted an opportunity to be hospitable. If staying for more than one meal, we typically transport supplies that may be difficult for them to obtain in their varied settings. This time, Debbie spent more than 40 hours printing over 4,000 pages of CHE materials to encourage partners who live where photocopying is laborious or computer use untenable. Other lesson stacks go to the university and other trainers later in the year.
Come and See
While Verlin travels, Debbie remains at home, completing some initiatives before our trip to the USA. We purchased tickets to spend 100 days there, May 2-August 9. This is longer than our typical month for maintaining health insurance. Verlin needs surgery to correct a post-appendectomy hernia, time to recover, and must address his repeated ear infections caused by missing molars. So far, three doctor visits are scheduled, and the corrective surgery is set for May 13 in Dallas, Texas. Debbie pursues appointments for her regular check-ups, too. As Verlin recovers, we will see who we can. The priority is getting him physically fit to work in Farming God’s Way project fields without enlarging or reopening his abdominal hernia. Our welcome mat will be rolled out if you visit us in Cookeville in June or July!
Prayer & Praise
- 🙏 Pray for Verlin as he travels to and from remoter places encouraging CHE trainers this weekend and early next week. The areas where he travels require alertness for safety and typically terrible roads.
- 🙏 Debbie’s aunt (Nancy Medlin, her dad’s last sibling) entered eternity on March 15. Please pray for Phil (Nancy’s husband), Brian (her single son), and Angie (her daughter and family).
- 🙏 April 8-11 is the national gathering for Women of the Good News (RCI’s version of the NAFWB WNAC). The event happens at the Free Will Baptist women’s center in Bondoukou. Around 1,500 women are expected. Pray for leaders as they complete their plans. Ask for joyous, Spirit-filled meetings. We will roll out the welcome mat for lodging as desired, needed, or sought.
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).