we stand in this holy assembly
of which we have been a part.
We wish to answer your call
and that of the church
to serve people of different cultures
in other lands.
May we fan into flame
the gifts that you have given to us,
so that strong and wise,
we may love your people.
Then by the Good News we share,
all will know that:
“We are God’s helpers!”
We ask this through Jesus,
who sent forth His disciples,
and in the Spirit,
who strengthened them on their way.
Yesterday was the commissioning of Mission Doctor Martha Franz.
In July, she is going to start a three year mission to St. Martin de Porres Hospital in rural Njinikom, Cameroon. And, this is the prayer she shared yesterday before our missionary family and the community of St. John the Evangelist.
I remember when Tom and I were commissioned in 1978 - feeling called to serve, feeling sent by God, and feeling truly connected to those who had gone before us...
There was also another feeling, the anxiety that comes with such a major life change.
Moving to another country and culture so different from my own, we knew and had been prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
Please join me in praying for Martha as packs her bags and makes all of the final arrangements for her life in Cameroon.
As a doctor, the unique challenges she will face can be a heavy burden, but can also present the greatest blessings. Welcoming new life, being part of the process of restoring people to health, and the inevitable suffering and seeing people as they leave this life for the next. There will be days that will be heavy. There will be days that are only filled with obvious blessings.
My prayer for Martha and for every missionary is that on balance we can all reflect on our experience as life giving, life changing and an experience that we will carry forward for the rest of our lives.