Transforming the Hardest Hearts

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God works in and through all situations, and He continues to amaze us!

Christian Veterinary Mission works in partnership with local organizations and churches around the world to share the love of Christ through veterinary medicine. A year and a half ago, a Haitian pastor named Johnny was looking to start a new church plant in Haiti, a calling that proved to be quite a challenge! He faced a difficult path ahead due to the location–an area called “the village.” The village is known to be a rough area with many gangs and strong ties to voodoo and this church plant would be the very first one in the area.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we are taking time this week to reflect on all that we are thankful for here at Christian Veterinary Mission, where our heart is to express Christ’s love through veterinary medicine. We are grateful for your continued partnership in prayer and financial support, as we serve the Lord together in ministry.

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Stewardship as a Joy and Privilege

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By: Dr. Sara-Louise Newcomer

“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and then to us in keeping with God’s will…But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” -2 Corinthians 8:2-5, 7

Here, Paul is writing to the Corinthians to encourage them. His focus is on how the Macedonian churches had supported others. What struck me in reading this passage was the emphasis on their attitude and not the giving. It seems they have found the secret to stewardship. Their attitude and generosity was a direct reflection of their love for the Lord. In addition, their giving beyond their ability to give shows their reliance on the Lord to provide for what they needed as they kept His will.

The following stories are about people who have demonstrated this “giving all” mentality in how they’ve stewarded their time and resources to the glory of God.

I can remember a classmate making an impression on me my freshman year of veterinary school, before I was a Christian. He was polite and friendly, yet maybe a little quiet. He found a way not to get involved in many conversations that went on between classes within the various cliques, yet everyone seemed attracted to him in a positive way. He never stressed out before an exam, but he also did not pary with the rest of us on the weekends. I know I was not the only one who noticed his behavior, and desired his peace.

There have been a number of times in my overseas travel when I have heard of individuals, and even entire families, who traveled long distances (five hours one way) to attend church or a Bible study. Their desire to gather with like-minded believers and to hear God’s Word preached, overcame all other logical reasons not to make the trip.

I one heard a CVM field staff member share about the work in literacy training and Biblical translation for a tribe with which he was working. He spoke of the gift we have in being able to obtain the Living Word of God and read it in the language that speaks to our heart.

I continue to be encourage and humbled by so many Christians around the world who meet in underground churches, who smuggle God’s Word across closed borders, and who boast proudly of their relationship with Christ, despite severe persecution. I am reminded of the freedom found in our country to worship Christ without much consequence.

Kansas State’s CVF student fellowship group decided in 2004 to support a CVM field staff member. In order to raise the money to support them, they each chose to sell one item that was important to them so that the financial support would also come with a personal sacrifice.

I have admitted many times that I was not the best student in veterinary school. That being said, I firmly believe that my time spent in Bible study, church, or personal devotion to the Lord was not “wasted” study time, even when I was cramming because of procrastination in my studying.

Many would agree that it is certainly a challenge to be a good steward of what God has given us while we are in veterinary school. Rarely do we feel that we have any “extra” time, money, energy, or freedom. Yet we do live in the land of plenty, America the beautiful, and with that comes many blessings. So, while we may run our lives with our tanks on empty, the Bible still clearly holds us accountable for all that we have, as well as for this season in our life.

“Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” – words spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13:12

Our God knows how busy your schedule is, how empty your bank account is, and how little time you have for your family. Yet, at the same time, He challenges us to look around us and consider what is going on, to see what He is doing. He does this for our own good. And He longs for us to view stewardship as a joy and privilege, a way of showing Him how much we love Him and trust Him.

Is your attitude similar to that of the Macedonians? Learn from them, the secret to stewardship. May your love for Him be reflected in your behavior, willingness to gather, use and knowledge of the Word of God, freedom, financial giving, and time. Seek ways today, not just to excel in the classroom or clinic, but to also excel in the grace of giving.

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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Giving Thanks for Evelio

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By: Dr. Richard Ervin, CVM Long-Term Fieldstaff serving in Nicaragua

Jesus said: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:33-34 ESV

I met Evelio in July of 2006 on my first mission trip to Nicaragua. He was all you could ask for in a veterinary health promoter or ‘veterinario public.’ He studied for three years to get that title in veterinary medicine and human medicine. We describe the workers as lay veterinarians and nurses. During and after training, they return to their communities to serve. Most are farmers who are available for the community when health problems arise in their animals and family. They also work teaching preventative medicine and practices. Evelio was a successful farmer who wanted to help others. He was known through the region for his skills and teaching abilities. Several University classes visited him over the years to study for a day or two the workings in a rural setting.

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Partnership

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By: Dr. Karen Stoufer

Partnership is hard work. It is quicker and easier to just do it ourselves. So why would we want to spend time and energy trying to work with others, especially those with different ideas of Christian ministry?

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