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  • Brennan and Isabel Andrews

Giving tangible help to a dying world: Brennan and Isabel Andrews

Isabel Andrews was approached by Moises, one of her Togolese national partners and a church planter. He knew she was a physician’s assistant, her husband was a general surgeon, and, more importantly, they cared for people’s souls.

Moises’ father, a Togolese village leader, came to know Christ through IMB medical missionaries caring for his physical needs as well as his spiritual condition. (IMB Photo)

His father, a leader in their village, was deep into animism. A short walk from his father’s home was an idol – a dirt mound resembling a face. Currently nailed to it was an animal sacrifice. The people of his village were lost. But as one of the youngest of 20 children, Moises had no real authority to persuade his father.

His father’s spiritual state weighed heavy on his heart. Yet, today, he knew his father had a pressing physical need as well. Diabetes had taken its toll on his father’s body, and now an infected and swollen foot seemed to signal it would continue ravaging his body.

Could the physician’s assistant and missionary stop by his father’s home and see if there was anything they could do?

As Isabel examined the rotting foot, she grew concerned. She promised the village leader, Moises’ father, that she’d return with her husband, Brennan, the general surgeon.

When Brennan came to the house, he examined the swollen foot. Seeing that it wasn’t as urgent as it looked in pictures, he advised the leader to go to the nearest hospital, one hour away, and left money for the journey.

Moises’ father was perplexed. Why would this American, this surgeon, come to his home to examine his foot?

Brennan took this chance to present the gospel, the same one Moises had shared countless times with his family. He shared with the father that with his health conditions, he wouldn’t be on this earth a long time. He wanted him to understand the urgency of caring for his soul, that his lostness really was his greatest problem.

The father said he would consider their words. Next time they came to visit, he was armed with questions, considering the validity of these Christians’ faith, because they seemed to genuinely care about him. He wanted to be sure of his decision because he knew if he became a Christian, he would be sure to tell his whole village.



Two weeks later, this animistic village leader evaluated the cost and left his old beliefs behind to follow Christ. He’s now faithfully attending a church that meets just a third of a mile from his village.

Though there was little the surgeon, or the PA could do for his foot, their care for him led him to know God’s love in a tangible way.

This is the premise of the IMB’s healthcare strategies – providing tangible help can lead a dying world to hope in Christ.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Brennan and Isabel Andrews are IMB missionaries on our team. As a general surgeon and a physician assistant they hope to be involved in the ministry of the hospital with the goal of coming alongside the Togolese church in engaging unreached people groups and seeing churches planted. Isabel is from Mason, MI. She went to Mason public schools. All her family is still in Michigan so their state-side time will be 50% in Michigan.




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