Being a medical professional is a very taxing position, giving of yourself on a daily basis for the good of someone else.
Some even go above and beyond the call of duty, and answer the calling of God.
General and Vascular surgeon, Dr. Paul Osteen decided to join in the efforts of the World Health Organization and the Samaritan’s Purse in bringing help to those injured by war.
The project took Dr. Osteen to Mosul, Iraq.
It only took two months in the field for the doctor to get a glimpse of the terrors many face every day. Innocent civilians are subject to insufferable tragedies by the hands of ruthless terrorists, looking to make their mission known despite mass collateral casualties.
The Christian Post reports on Dr. Osteen’s reaction to what he saw during his stint in Iraq:
“I’ve never seen such indescribable evil in my life. I thought I’d seen evil, but nothing compared to what I saw in Mosul: A sniper shot through a mother, killing her baby. Little ones, 2 and 3 years old, with legs and arms blown off. Just terrible, horrific stuff.”
The field hospital where these horrors were witnessed was 12 miles outside the city. While Osteen was there, thousands of mothers and children trapped by ISIS were confronted with impossible choices that often led to their deaths.
One particular young man stood out among Osteen’s patients. In need of a leg amputation because of war injuries, he would hang outside of the ICU, and people “would just greet him and touch him and let him know we were concerned,” said Osteen according to the Christian Post.
The immense amount of genuine concern and care the young man received from all the staff at the field hospital truly reflected the character of Jesus. This love led the young man to want to know more about the amazing God that causes strangers to care so much about people across the globe.
The Christian Post reports on Osteen reflecting on a pivotal moment with the injured Iraqi:
“Before he was ready to leave our hospital to be transferred to a tertiary care facility, he said, ‘I want to experience the same God that you guys have.’”
You know God was moving in that facility, because the staff was not allowed to talk about their faith with the patients, yet through kindness alone the young man knew there something big going on, and he wanted to be a part of it.
“We couldn’t proselytize; we couldn’t really push our faith in any way. But just showing the love and kindness of God to those in an area where they’ve never seen that made a tremendous difference, whether it was to an ISIS warrior or just a civilian that was injured.”
Traveling to the Middle East was a new experience for Osteen that impacted him greatly. Although, he is not unaccustomed to providing aid outside his home country. About half the year he packs up his family and they go to various countries in Africa to give Doctors there leave, while he works in their place.
The conditions in much of Africa are trying to say the least, and doctors are in great need. A doctor working in Western Zambia told Osteen that he was the only surgeon “in an area the size of Louisiana,” according to the Christian Post.
Only one doctor is available for every 30,000 to 40,000 people in most of Africa, Osteen was informed, leaving many to meet an ill fate over complications that can be easily treatable. Flooding is also an issue, preventing those injured or sick from getting to a doctor in another town.
Upon hearing of the dreary medical options in Africa from his fellow physician, Osteen said God told him to use his professional skill set in the field. Thus, the creation of the Mobilizing Medical Missions (M3) Conference.
Annually, various medical professionals will join together to work on meeting the needs of others all over the world.
The Christian Post states that over 70 global mission organizations will attend the M3, quoting Osteen saying:
“The conference has three goals. Number one is to connect people that have a heart to help people in remote parts of the world. Number two is to inspire attendees when they hear from men and women who are in the trenches with their fingernails dirty doing the work of global missions. Third, we hope people will get plugged into global health care missions.”
There will be some heavy hitters of the missions field speaking at the conference, including Dr. Jon Fielder, co-founder and chief executive of African Mission Healthcare, and Will Copeland, a missionary neurosurgeon for Kenya.
Fielder has been helping form HIV clinics all over Kenya, and has seen firsthand the healthcare needs Africa is facing. He said on the Christian Post that the need for people to step in and give medical attention to inhabitants living there is “really, really overwhelming and over-matches the resources available.”
While a cure to the calamities that plague much of Africa and many other ill-equipped regions of the world are not going to be solved overnight, the M3 conference brings promise to those suffering from lack of medical attention.
Listening to the call of God is a sign of intimacy with the Father, and acting on that calling is a sign of immense faith and bravery. We may not all get direction to go as far as Africa or the Middle East from God, but wherever He sends us we should go with as much fervor as Osteen.
Please let us know in the comments section if you have had a calling from God that sent you somewhere you had never expected.