Steve
I was raised by parents who knew the Lord, so growing up I knew many of the facts of the Bible and could have correctly answered questions about the plan of salvation, but I didnít fully understand that I was a sinner. I remember a specific day when I was in the third grade when I first felt convicted about sin and prayed for forgiveness, and I believe that is the day the Lord saved me. I believe that my sin separated me from God and I was deserving of Godís judgement, but that the Lord Jesus died as my substitute to pay that debt that I could never pay on my own. Despite my unrighteousness, God sees me as righteous because I place my faith in the work of Jesus Christ for my salvation. Immediately after that day in the third grade, there was a change in my life where I first became interested in listening to teaching from Godís Word and in doing what was right.

During my junior year of high school, I had been planning to study a math or science-related field in college but wasnít specifically considering medicine. It was then that I first heard of the ministry of Dr. John Dreisbach, and I realized that studying medicine could be a way of preparing for a ministry rather than simply a career. The next year, I applied and was accepted to a college engineering program that had a direct track to medical school mainly because I felt that God might be leading me to use medicine as a means of ministry and a tool for missions. While I was a medical student I made two medical mission trips (one a dental trip with GDM to Mexico for the purpose of exploring whether God might have me use healthcare on the mission field, and the other a medical training experience at an AIC hospital in Kenya as a way to become more comfortable working in a resource-limited environment with tropical diseases).

Since then, I have completed medical school and an emergency medicine residency, served on multiple medical mission trips, and helped with behind-the-scenes preparation for other trips. God arranged for my wife Kat and I to meet on one of these trips in 2011, and after getting to know each other and serving together on a second mission trip, we were married in 2013. We both believed since before we were married that the Lord might be leading us to spend more time on the mission field, and we had been praying that the Lord would clearly show us where He would have us serve if that was truly His plan. It was on our trip to Benin in Dec 2014 when we witnessed the Lord begin to answer those prayers as we witnessed overwhelming medical and spiritual needs and a local church that was seeking to reach out to their neighbors through medicine but lacked the medical personnel to do so. We praise the Lord for all He has been doing in our lives and look forward to seeing where He will lead from here.

Read more about Steve's story and how you can get to know God.

Kat
Born and raised by Christian parents who were serving as medical missionaries in the Philippines, I had plenty of exposure to the things of God. Growing up, my siblings and I were introduced to and taught about God, and in the process that seed was planted in my heart. Because of my familyís frequent travels and relocations during my childhood and preteen years, I do not recall when I accepted the Lord as my Savior. My mother once told me I had prayed with her when I was 5 years old but my life since then did not reflect what it meant to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. During those years, I was anchoring my salvation on my godly heritage and felt confident that belonging to a Christian family was enough for me to get to heaven. From the outside, I displayed a behavior and attitude of a Christian girl but from the inside, I was rotten and rebellious. It wasnít until my freshman year in college after an evangelistic service that the Lord convicted me of my sinful nature. I realized how my life prior to that day was not genuine but a fake one. I needed the Lord Jesus to cleanse me from all my sins and give me a new heart. So that day, I resolved that problem of sin in my life and asked the Lord to forgive me and help me become a woman of God.

After I accepted and surrendered my life to Him, a sense of peace and joy swept over me, something I had never felt before. I remember waking up the next day, excited to read the Bible and filled with indescribable joy that I belonged to Him now. My life started to change and has continued since then. The desire to sin and continue in sin became an unwanted desire. I wanted to please my Savior and try to live my life in a manner consistent with what He says in His Word, the Bible. I wanted to give my life to Him since He gave His best for me by dying on the cross. I changed my major from physical therapy to nursing, knowing from my past experience how nursing can be a tool for ministry and for sharing the good news of Christ. My father as a doctor and my mother as a nurse had given their lives to reach others for Christ, and I have seen the impact and influence they have had because of their commitment to Christ. The Lord had already started to change the desires of my heart and had given me a desire to serve Him in missions as a nurse. He gave me plenty of opportunities starting in college to serve on medical mission trips with my parents. At the same time, He also gave me opportunities to serve Him in our local church.

The Lord again showed me His faithfulness and goodness by allowing me to work together with Grace Dental Medical Missions in the summer of 2008 during a trip to the Philippines. Little did I know at that time that through this mission agency I would someday meet my husband to be, who also desired to serve the Lord in missions through medicine. More recently, the Lord used GDMM to allow us to serve together on a mission trip together as a couple in Benin, West Africa in December of 2014. My husband and I had been praying for an opportunity to serve Him together in a place where there was both a great spiritual and medical need, and at the same time that there would be a local pastor present to help with the evangelism. It was on the Benin trip that all these things we specifically prayed for were answered. The Lord continues to show me His amazing grace and mercy even though undeserving. I praise God for how He has been working in my life and will continue to work as I serve Him until He comes.
 

Our Ministry in Benin

For several years, we have both believed that the Lord has been directing us toward serving Him in a mission field that has both medical and spiritual needs by using medicine to open doors to share the gospel. Because the Lord's great commission given in Matthew 28:18-20 includes "...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," we plan to work closely both with American missionaries Colin and Teena Ovenell and with Benin national Pastor Isaac and the church in Boiffo who can ensure that spiritual follow up and discipleship continue after patients leave the clinic. They have found that among the ways they have attempted to reach out to their neighbors and to the surrounding villages, medical ministry has been one of the most effective. The village chief donated land to the church for the purpose of building a medical clinic to serve the needs of the community, but the church lacks personnel with adequate training to run the clinic.

Our primary goals are:
1) To establish a medical clinic that is capable of providing better medical care than the little that is locally available, but also is effective in providing every patient the opportunity to hear the gospel

2) To train local Christians to minister in the clinic and equip the church to take over the administration of the clinic in a couple of years

3) To establish a model by which the church can reach out to other villages either through mobile medical clinics or the establishment of more permanent satellite clinics in other villages