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Doctors and Ambassadors and Artists, Oh My!

Last week, I wrote the first part of a two part article about our recent trip to Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The first two weeks of our trip to Macedonia and Greece was like the Apostle Paul in Acts 16 in the Bible. We had a Macedonia call from a Macedonian business owner and one of Dr. Keat’s patients, who invited us to come to his country. Our mission: show up in Macedonia, and see what divine connections, opportunities for influence, or God sized opportunities the Lord would arrange for us.
Our team consisted of three couples, two medical doctors, Keat Wong and Andrew Kam and their wives, Lillian and Eveleen, from Perth, Australia. The third couple was my wife Becky and I, right here from Peoria, Arizona. I’m a doctor too but of the church ministry kind. So off we went, the three doctors and their spouses, to Macedonia and Greece. Two weeks of no agenda, just enjoying the opportunity and a desire to bless and serve Macedonian people.
Our first stop was in the Dinaric Alps in a village called Mavrovo. We were in a beautiful, Four-star hotel next to a ski lodge in the high pines. We learned something. Most everyone these days has some kind of pain or need for medical care. The employees of the hotel quickly learned Dr. Keat was a GP doctor but his specialty was pain management, pain care and cure. Dr. Keat lives to serve people. Dr. Kam is a radiologist who had a large practice in Perth. They also knew that I was a “priest.” That is their frame of reference for a pastor.
So we formed a ministry team to the hotel employees and their families and friends. Dr. Andrew would look at their X-Rays, Dr. Keat would reposition or adjust them, and Dr. Ed would pray for them for their physical health and soul health. We had a clinic right there in the hotel for days. What a blessing. No charges, no paperwork, no drama…freely we had received, freely we gave and then freely God gave. The smiles on their faces said everything. News gets around when that happens.
Next we were in the second largest city in Macedonia…Bitola. It’s the complete European experience at 25% of the cost. Amazing things happened there. First of all, there was a large gathering of international artist’s from the age of nine to twenty years old. The young artists were in Bitola for an art competition. There were up to ten countries represented from as far as Hong Kong. The artists, along with their mothers, were all over this beautiful city, painting the various scenes.
The young artists from Hong Kong and their mothers ate at the hotel we were staying at. We became friends quickly. Their instructor is the most famous art instructor in Hong Kong for young people. He has a waiting list two thousand naturally gifted young artists in Hong Kong. We became friends with him also.
As the competition progressed for the week, it became apparent the art instructor’s nine year old son (who we became friends with too) was going to win the competition. So the Chinese government sent their “Economic and Commercial Counsellor” in the Balkan region to attend the final award ceremony. Functionally, he is the Chinese Ambassador of Commerce in the whole Balkan region. We met him too. We had a dinner and a breakfast with him. I had a wonderful conversation with him at dinner.
So, what happened? Dr. Keat and Dr. Andrew were invited by the “Counsellor” to the Chinese Embassy in Macedonia. Guess what? The team went to work again. They had an informal medical clinic with the employees in the Embassy. Freely given, freely give!
Also, the “Counsellor” presented Keat, Andrew and me, official Chinese government chopsticks and several bottles of very expensive Macedonian wine. That is called RECOGNITION. We were stunned and amazed.
Here’s one more incident with the many, many others I could mention. One of the artist’s mothers and I became friends. Her job in Hong Kong is finding and hiring motivational and inspirational speakers. She also goes to church in Hong Kong. Hello? That’s what I do. So what was the outcome? She is working on a trip for me to Hong Kong where I will be speaking all over the city and all kinds of venues. That’s amazing and adventurous.
Oh, by the way, the nine year old from Hong Kong did win the competition. I think I haven’t seen the last of him! Thanks for coming on the journey with us. How about you next time?


church-community-connection-02Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.

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