From Inspiration To Mobilization
February 1st, 2012 by INMED
Rapid-fire rifle shots grew closer, echoing from each direction. The cadence of explosions increased, accompanied by shouting just outside in the streets. Inside Dr. Steve Foster, keynote speaker at the 2012 INMED Exploring Medical Missions Conference, and his colleague Darrel Hockersmith barred the metal door and grappled in the darkness for protection from flying shrapnel. Sheltered in a corner they breathed a joint sigh of relief. But this was short lived.
Hammering emanated from the front door, along by the demand “Abra a porta ou vamos matar todo lá dentro!” Foster edged toward entry just as the door burst open. Soldiers shoved inside, very young men carrying weapons as large as themselves. They forced Foster and Hockersmith to the floor. Hovering over their faces with his pistol, the muscular captain pronounced sentence, “You are a Russian spy. The penalty for spying is instant execution!” He pressed his gun closer. “Tell me, Dr. Foster, why are you really in Angola?”
Steve Foster inched upward, made contact with every eye in the room, and addressed them all. “I am actually a surgery resident in Canada at the University of Toronto. But while enjoying every comfort of modern life, I can not but attune my ears to the bloodshed accompanying your civil war here in Africa.”
The stone-faced captain gazed at Dr. Foster in disbelief and demanded, “Tell me who is paying you?”
“No one,” replied Foster, “in fact, it’s my friends and personal savings that finance the medical care I’m providing your people. Earlier today I repaired the landmine injury suffered by a young man,” explained Foster inquisitively. “Perhaps he was your own cousin?”
“This is unbelievable,” replied the captain in a more consolatory tone. He lowered his gun slightly. “Many people have good intentions or contribute a little to a good cause. But what would motivate a person of your stature to take mortal risks to serve in a country of such chaos as Angola?”
Dr. Foster looked on the captain sincerely, “I envision the day when I’ll stand before God and account for my life. How can I say that I chose self-indulgence while other people, no matter how far removed, are struggling to survive?”
Disarmed, the captain motioned to his cadets to exit the house. “I mobilize my men for combat. But you are mobilized for virtue. I shall not trouble you again.”
On June 1st Dr. Steve Foster will address “From Inspiration To Mobilization” at the INMED Exploring Medical Missions Conference. Who is inspiring your life? Which virtue is your theme? For what mission are you mobilizing?