No good medical advice

A man visits the doctor and complains about his stomach. “every time I eat spicy food, I have incredible pain”. The doctor says “Don’t eat spicy food”.

Another man visits the doctor and complains about a fungus on his skin. The doctor says “you must take a shower every day and then put on this cream.”

Another man visits the doctor and complains about a persistent cough. The doctor tells him “take cough medicine”. The man replies, “I can’t afford it”. The doctor then says “take a teaspoon of honey with a few drops of lemon”. The man replies, “I can’t afford honey”.

Poverty limits your menu, your hygiene, and even the availability of simple home remedies.
Today we have been working in Tel Aviv, Israel with Sudanese refugees. These people have fled from their war-torn country to seek refuge in the land of milk and honey. However, Israel is not very welcoming. There is no welfare system, social services or support for illegal aliens. The socialized healthcare system turns a blind eye to foreigners without a visa.

  • How is a man supposed to eat better food when he has no options but what he finds on the streets?
  • How is he supposed to remain healthy if he cannot take a shower or has no access to basic hygiene?
  • How is he supposed to take care of himself and keep from being a burden to society when no one cares about his well-being?

What advice is a doctor to give? If the doctor tells the man to eat better, how is this possible? If the doctor recommends a shower or keeping your wound clean, how can this be accomplished?
The body of Christ needs to acknowledge that the gospel to the poor must include humanitarian aid. We cannot pass out tracks and Bibles to the poor without a meal to ease their hunger pains. On the same topic, humanitarian aid without the gospel is no aid at all. As one of my seminary professors said, “it’s something, but it’s not Christian”.
Service to the poor needs to be contextual. Caregivers need to recognize who they are attempting to care for and respect them enough to do their homework.
This problem isn’t limited to foreign missions. In Dallas we have hospitals who write prescriptions for the homeless who don’t have the means to pay for the medicine. The ER will give a referral to a man to visit a doctor who he will never be able to see because of the lack of transportation. Or my personal favorite, the psych hospital that will kick an addict to the street after one night with a list of rehabilitation centers that they can walk to(which are probably full or won’t take them without insurance).

This isn’t rocket science, it’s poverty. The first world country should make some efforts for its third world citizens.

On a side note (and I’m not trying to get political -but) the US healthcare system has many critics. However any man, woman or child from any country in the world can walk into any hospital in the US and get treated. I work with the homeless and they too complain about our healthcare system. But none of them are denied entrance to an ER. All can get free prescriptions in Dallas if they go to Parkland. All can get free psych meds at Metrocare or Lifenet. All can get good healthcare.

Now I can’t afford my own medications or dental care. Something is wrong, but many things are right. I’m just sayin’…



I spoke at Scofield Church this morning…

This morning I was privileged to speak at a Sunday school class at Scofield Memorial Church.

This is a great church with a long history of supporting missions. If you were to look at their missionary list, you will find over fifty listed! That’s a huge commitment to the great commission!

Beyond supporting missions on their website, they show up. They have committed to hosting our Monday Night Football event once per month, they’ve had teams join us on Search and Rescue and their youth have served with us on many occasion.

It’s refreshing to see a church who “gets it”. Missions isn’t just about sending a check (although from a missionary’s perspective that is a ton of help),  they also put their faith and support in action.

The first time I met their new pastor I was at the State Fair of Texas. I was starting my shift at the Fair and Rodeo Evangelism booth with Clayton Camp. Pastor Jeff was there with a few other men from their church sharing the love and message of Christ with people at the fair.  (FYI: Fletcher’s Corny Dog + Cotton Candy + Jesus is a great combination).

At a time when many churches are concerned about the latest fad, coolest programs and getting more people in the door, it is great to see Scofield concerned with the Gospel. I pray that God will continue to use this church for His glory.


How soon to pack?

The process of selling a house is very complicated. Until the money has changed hands (or the terms of the loan), the contract could be terminated at any time.

Our house is under contract. How soon do we pack?

The realtor tells us not to pack until we close. But the thought of packing up our entire house within a two day window seems daunting. We’ve already de-cluttered for the showings, but how much do we pack now while we wait?

I have a garage full of tools and an attic full of camping fear – those can be packed now. We have pictures on the walls and closets full of clothes, but what if the contract terminates?

Does packing seal us mentally and emotionally into the deal only to lead to disappointment if the sale messes up? Is my faith weak or am I thinking practically?