My interest in missions goes back to childhood. I remember a missionary priest visiting our church and thinking that his life was so meaningful and adventurous. As boys are prone to do, I fantasized about exploring the jungle and leading the natives to enlightenment. On television, I saw the surgeons on MASH doing the impossible - operating until they were ready to fall over from exhaustion, taking care of friends and enemies, enduring hardship for the sake of others, camping everyday! That seemed right up my alley! While I would like to say that those childhood daydreams faded, I remember being on my trauma rotation in medical school and fondly thinking back to those ideas. I loved my trauma experiences in training because of the pace, the excitement, and the obvious need that exist in those situations. It's not hard to feel useful when a trauma patient presents and time is critical. So from my early childhood I had the idea that someday I would participate in missions. At that time, I never thought it would wait until I was 45 years old before getting started on it! As to the delay, I have no valid reasons, only excuses. As excuses go, they're not bad - years of training, medical school debts to pay off, kids to raise, soccer teams to coach. But in the end, they are all excuses and not worth the time I've already devoted to justifying them. I have been called by God to serve and I'm so thankful for the talents he's given me to be capable of this service. I wonder if this work wasn't the real reason God gave me the gifts he did. Certainly, I didn't earn those gifts - my intelligence wasn't of my own making, the coordination of my hands didn't develop through my own efforts, the ability to remain calm in the midst of chaos was there before I knew I'd need it. So, I'm excited to finally be fulfilling a boyhood dream, an adolescent calling, and a man's call to service. All made possible through the blessing of the one true God!