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HEATHER & JASON FADER
Our multi-talented chaplain, missionary kid, and guinea pig “volunteers” -
Heroines #1: our team kids. With a healthy amount of trepidation, a surgeon's daughter agreed that she could furnish three guinea pigs for this experiment knowing that it could save patients' lives. This pre-adolescent girl already had internalized the central ethical tenet that allows me to support animal research for healthcare - human life, as bearing the image of God, is more precious than animal life.
Heroines #2: those guinea pigs. As I was talking with this heroine, we both realized the connection between Christmas and these research subjects. They were risking their lives to save others. It might be a stretch to say that the guinea pigs were willing to die to save others, but they were standing in the place of myself and my patients so that we would not be exposed to a certain risk. In any case, I'm glad to report that all three guinea pigs came through the process fine and dandy. Eliminating the impossible, I'm concluding that these patients died of their diseases and not our treatments. Thanks guinea pigs! Thanks, intrepid missionary kids! But most of all, thank you Jesus, for absorbing not only risk, but wrath rightly deserved, for me and so many of our patients and colleagues.
ERIC & BRITTANY PEDERSEN
Saying Yes - Nikky's Story - "I went to Cross Training this year and went through the track called Thriving in College (the track for freshmen). In one of the sessions someone made the statement people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I immediately wrote it down and I thought I would do that sometime. Then, this week, I was talking to one of people I know from chemistry and he shared that he doesn’t have close friends and no one listens to him. Part of me was thinking about all the homework I had to get done but something told me to just look him in the eye and say “I will listen to you.” We ended up having a deep conversation where I got to share some of my thoughts about my faith. The next day I was so excited to tell one of the leaders in my small group all about it. I said, “Hey! I actually put to use the things I learned at Cross Training!” He was excited and challenged me to invite him to small group. At first I didn’t want to because I definitely thought he would say no to something like that. I decided to take the risk and text him to invite him anyway. He said yes and he is going to come to small group next week!" --Nikky (freshman at MSOE) Note: Her friend did end up coming to small group and she is excited to keep reaching out to him. I love working with students like Nikky who respond quickly to Jesus; look forward to helping her continue to take risks and grow in her faith.)
JULIO & KATIE ISAZA
Celebrating Christmas: Christmas in Colombia is special. The month of December is one of friends and family coming together to eat, share, laugh, pray, sing. We look forward to the ways that we are able to share with those around us. This year Katie lost count of how many cookies she made, but it was somewhere around 500. We had a full house of teenagers one night learning how to make and decorate cut out cookies…wow what a fun night that was! They then shared the cookies with the church community that came together to celebrate Christmas – another memorable night as together children, youth, and adults we told the story of Jesus’ birth together. During the Christmas celebration the children led us in carols and Katie led the congregation in an intergenerational time of learning and sharing. To top it off Katie’s parents were able to join us for the celebration. The good news of Jesus’ birth, the prince of peace and God with us, this is what motivates us to serve. E
NILS & ERIKA CLAUSON
A belated Feliz Navidad from the Clauson’s posted on Facebook after the Zion Messenger deadline. Their message: We give thanks to God for His amazing gift of Christ with us! We pray Christ's presence will be evident to all of you and will fill you with hope, peace, joy and love this Christmas. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:6-7
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