Thursday, June 6, 2013

Back in the Fray

Back in the Fray

In the spring of 2002, my wife Esther and I met while working aboard the Africa Mercy.  At that time, we both received a call to pursue long-term medical mission work after completing our training.

Fast forward eleven years: we have been married eight years, have two children, have seen and been a part of medical work in four continents, completed medical, nursing school and residency and, thanks to the CMDA Steury Scholarship, we have also been able to pay off our debts a single year after graduation.

Now our family of four prepares to leave Tulsa, Oklahoma and move 7,000 miles across the world to labor at Kudjip Mission Hospital.

Kudjip is run by the International Church of the Nazarene.  Though not Nazarene, we are able to serve in this hospital through a Nazarene agency called MissionCorps, which places volunteer missionaries in various locations around the world.  Our initial term through MissionCorps will be between one and two years.  Beyond our initial term ... we would appreciate your prayers about our next steps.

I have blogged previously about our experiences in PNG in the Spring of 2011.  The challenges to this nation are many.  The culture is particularly violent, marked by tribalism, feuds and warfare of the past.  The geography is tropical jungle without a road connection between the capital and the bulk of the population in the mountains.  The people are Christian, but congregants and even pastors participate in domestic violence and theft.  The church needs to experience the transformational effects of the Gospel in many areas.  Most of the people live their entire lives without visiting a doctor and diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis and Malnutrition claim many lives.

Kudjip hospital makes a difference in all of these areas of need.  Through medical ministry, a nursing college, and community health programs the lives of those in the highlands of this island nation are improving.

I will join the medical staff at Kudjip in the Fall of this year, serving as a family physician alongside other missionary doctors.  While the medical work at Kudjip will stretch and challenge me, I anticipate contributing to the hospital's goal of improving the health of their community and the overall mission to make Christ-like disciples in this nation.

Esther will continue her calling to bring up our children Anna (4) and Levi (18 months) in a Godly home.  While the transitions of moving our family will be taxing, we pray and trust that the Lord will direct their hearts as we serve in this setting overseas.  There may also be an opportunity for Esther to contribute at the Nursing college in the future.

We plan to leave Tulsa at the end of September 2013, just four months away.  While we prepare ourselves spiritually for this mission, we are also responsible to raise funds that will offset our initial expenses and monthly cost-of-living while serving as volunteers with Kudjip.

Our initial expense will be $12,000 to fly four individuals into the highlands of Mount Hagen, as well as covering visa costs and other start-up expenses.  Once in the field, our living expenses are estimated at $2,000 per month which covers some basic insurance and our housing, lodging, basic internet fees, etc.  Praise the Lord, we will not have to raise any additional funds to pay off student loans!  That means that for one year of service we will need $36,000 or $60,000 for two years.

As of this writing, we are 55% of the way into covering our $12,000 startup expenses.  However, we have received only about 25% of our required monthly donations in pledges.  Our biggest need at present is for donors who will begin supporting us on a monthly basis.  Any recurring donations processed before we depart go toward offsetting our start-up expenses.  However, one-time donations are a great way to support our mission as they will be applied to our future needs once our initial costs have been met.

We are very grateful to our home church, Believers Church, in Tulsa for providing a large portion of our monthly needs.

Please consider joining us in this endeavor through prayer and financial support.  You may contribute tax-deductible donations, which will be reserved in our ministry fund and not used by us personally, at this address:

Those of you who would prefer to contribute by mail may do so by sending a check payable to
"General Treasurer Church of the Nazarene" with "Crouch - Kudjip PNG - Mission Corps" written on it and mail to:

Church of the Nazarene
PO Box 843116
Kansas City, MO  64184

We also want you to have an idea of the roots, ministry and fruit that we expect from this mission and have created a 12-minute audio / visual presentation that can be viewed online below.

For those of you in the Tulsa area, several of our supporters have agreed to host "Open House" events.  We will be present to share a little about our mission, reconnect with you and answer any questions you have.  We will also provide the information you would need to give toward our ministry financially.  

Please RSVP to us by email ( if you would like to attend one of these events. 


Thank you for your support, friendship and prayers.

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