Friday, October 1, 2021

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Welcome to A Willing Heart to Please the Father

I'm so glad you took the time to visit this site. It contains the amazing true life story of my dear friend Dr. Andrew C. Stenhouse, MD, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for around twenty-eight years. He began having supernatural encounters with God at a young age, and received a very unique calling, when he heard God's audible voice to become a medical doctor. 

Because of his willing heart to please the Father, he went on to serve as a physician on four continents over a period of 55 years, published several scientific studies in various medical journals, and received numerous academic awards. He also experienced God's supernatural protection, guidance, and faithfulness, as well as unusual, divine results in the patients he cared for with a very special compassion that he had for people. His life is a living example of what it means to have a willing heart to please the Heavenly Father, which is something that's so important for all of us to have. 

His life story is told in short, fifteen-minute segments (on average), in which I interviewed him over the phone. You will find the links to each blog post below containing the transcripts and audio recordings, so that you can read along while you listen to it. You may also download the podcast, if you prefer to do so. I believe the Lord will use it to speak to your heart. Enjoy!


Chapter 1 | Early Childhood: Carried on Angel's Wings

Chapter 2 | Later Childhood: God's Protection During Bombing

Chapter 3 | Teen Years: Choosing a Career Path

Chapter 4 | Called to Be a Doctor: The Voice That Changed Everything

Chapter 5 | Medical Studies: Confirmations of God's Direction

Chapter 6 | Residency: Delivering Island Babies

Chapter 7 | Post Graduate Experiences: Sailing with Half a Million Sheep

Chapter 8 | Experiences with the Lord in England: Divinely Appointed Birthplace

Chapter 9 | Experiences with the Lord in Afghanistan: God's Angelic Protection

Chapter 10 | U.S. Private Practice: Divine Results with Patients

Chapter 11 | U.S. Medical Practice in the Hospital and Hospice: Caring for People

Chapter 12 | Credentials: Counting it All Loss

Epilogue | Homegoing

Appendix: Medical Articles Published by Dr. Andrew C. Stenhouse

 

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Author's Note: The podcasts in the above posts total 2.5 hours of listening time altogether. All material herein copyright 2021 Doulos Missions International, Inc., all rights reserved, no unauthorized duplication permitted. You can find my most popular blogs at Writing for the Master.

_________________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Early Childhood

Let's begin this first post with Dr. Stenhouse's early childhood. You can listen to the podcast and read the transcript below.

Audio

Download the Podcast

Len: This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight with Dr. Andrew Stenhouse. And we're going to begin our first segment of his autobiography, talking about his early childhood.

So, Andrew, I want to welcome you, and it's a pleasure to get this started tonight with you; so, welcome.

Dr. Stenhouse: Len, thank you so much! I do appreciate the opportunity to be with you on your program. 

Len: Yeah!

Dr. Stenhouse: And you know any time you have the opportunity to introduce anybody to the Lord Jesus is such a joy and such a pleasure.

Len: I know. Amen.

Dr. Stenhouse: And I think what I'll do is, because my early childhood was a little con--unusual, I’d like to just outline it for everybody so that they'll understand where I'm sort of coming from, as the Lord works through me and on me.

Len: Yeah! Yeah, that would be great! And I thought it would be really interesting to begin with the time when you were seven years old, and then we can go back to, you know, the beginning.

But just to start with that story about what happened during the war when they were bombing London. Could you tell that to me again, please?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes. When I was a boy, about seven years old, we were in the middle of the bombing from Germany. And, one evening, I woke up after I had been asleep, and there I was--I was being carried under the wings of an angel into the bombing zone. And the angel was talking to a partner angel on his left-hand side. And they were laughing and having such a good time dodging the bombs and staying out of the searchlights.

And I was able to take this for about ten, fifteen minutes, and then it got too much for a seven year old, and I started to cry. 

The next thing I knew, I was back in my bed. And my father came in to me and asked me what was wrong, and I told him what had happened and he gave me a weird look. But, other than that, everything went back—I went back to sleep, and he didn't say much more after that.

Len: Yeah. That would be pretty neat.

Dr. Stenhouse: All that happened--the same—same situation happened again, where I was--found myself under the soft wings of an angel. It was really cozy and nice, and I was being carried under his right wings.

Len: Wow! 

Dr. Stenhouse: And they—it was the same alternative angel, as far as I could tell. And they were taking me in another ride through London and through the lights and through the--just missing the bombs and so on. 

Again, after about ten minutes, I cried, and they took me back, and I then woke up in my bed. And Dad came in again and asked if I was all right.

But most of the nights, we wouldn't be in our beds. We would be under the stairs to rest and in case the house was hit and shrapnel and stuff was coming round. So anyway that's the story of when I was about seven years old.

Len: Now we started off with you at age seven, but take us back to where you were born, and a little bit about your parents’ nationality and—yeah. So back the—back to that place. The year and the…

Dr. Stenhouse:  Ok. Well I was born in Detroit, Michigan. And my mother and father had known each other in Scotland and came over to the United States.

My mother worked in a store as a buyer and always told me, “In case you want to be a buyer in a clothing store the entra--the way you make money is by buying correctly and not selling.” So it sells itself. And that’s all I remember from my mother. 

My dad worked for General Motors and was a spring designer and a quality of steel for the war effort. He was in charge of all of the steel for the war effort and occasionally would take me on a ride up in his car--he didn't have a car, but they had a driver drive it, because we didn't have any extra gasoline to do that. 

So I remember going several times up to the Midlands of England enjoying the time with my father. So that was kind of--

Len: But this was back in Detroit still, right? You were growing up at the beginning in Detroit, right?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes. And then—oh, I'm sorry! 

Len: Yeah.

Dr. Stenhouse: We came back at the beginning of the war--just before the beginning of the war. And my father was working for General Motors, that’s right. 

Len: Yeah, when you were back in Detroit, he was with General Motors.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: Now what’s your parents’ nationality?

Dr. Stenhouse: My parents’ nationality was Scottish…Great Britain.

Len: Ok. And what was their faith? In other words, what denomination or branch of the faith did they come from?

Dr. Stenhouse: They came from Scotland to Detroit.

Len: Right, I mean--I'm talking about their faith in the Lord. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh! I'm sorry, Len!

Len: That’s ok.

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, both of them were believers--strong believers and were members of a Plymouth Brethren collection of believers or church.

Len: Yeah. Ok. And you were born in what year?

Dr. Stenhouse: 1934.

Len: Ok. So tell me a little bit about your—so, you said that you went back to north of London. How did you get over there from the US to England?

Dr. Stenhouse: We went by boat. And the only thing much I remember about the boat is that it was really quite comfortable, and a whale ran into the side of the boat. But that’s—other than that, I remember very little about the boat trip up there. And I remember--

Len: During that era, weren't there German u-boats that were known to attack even civilian liners like that?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes that's right. And my parents took the risk, because they had to get back to Britain--my father for his work, and my mother to help take care of us two--my sister and I.

Len: And, you know, one of the things that you had talked to me about was our Heavenly Father’s desire for us to have a willing heart. I think that was something that you had said was important.

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh, yes! I think as we go through the very things that happened in my life, that the important thing is to realize that we're not in a religion, really, we're in a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Len: Absolutely! 

Dr. Stenhouse: And He has called each one of us separately to be related to Him. And He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross in order that He could take our sins in His body on the tree and make the way for us to have eternal life.

Len: Thank you very much! That was excellent! I really appreciate you sharing that about your birth and early childhood. And we're going to wrap this segment up right now, for today. So thank you very much, Andrew, for joining us! We really appreciate you sharing that today.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len!

Author's Note: See the next chapter called Later Childhood. You can find my most popular blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe. 

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.  

Later Childhood

We began this series with my previous post on the Early Childhood of Dr. Andrew Stenhouse. In this post, you can listen to the podcast of my interview with him about his later childhood and read the transcript below as you listen. 

Audio




Len: This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight with Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, and we're going to be talking about his later childhood experiences tonight. So I want to welcome you back, Andrew, to the program. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes…

Len: So when you were back in England, being raised there, any other things that you want to talk about, about your Christian upbringing or about any of the wartime experiences?

Dr. Stenhouse: Wartime was a miserable time. Then we were evacuated next to Scotland, where my grandparents lived—my grandmothers. And with this going on, the train that we went on was being bombed. And I tried to reassure my mother and sister that it was going to be all right, that Jesus was going to take care of us. And sure enough, nothing happened to the carriage or to the engine or the train. We got through all right from London to Scotland. 

And I was able to go up and down corridor of this long carriage and tell people, “It's going to be all right. Jesus is with us. He’ll take care of us.” That was the way we did and getting into Glasgow. 

Len: Yeah, very interesting 

Dr. Stenhouse: When I went to school, we would see planes from Germany and planes from England and Scotland, fighting each other as we were going to school… 

Len: Wow. 

Dr. Stenhouse: …Over the waters of the west coast of Scotland. And so, it was quite interesting, and not very nice to see. 

Len: Right. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Ships being bombed and planes falling into the water. And at the time we—it was difficult for me to understand what was going on, in a way. But I was very close to the Lord. He was very close to me, and it was just a joy to do anything in regard to serving Him or in any way pleasing Him. And during this time, we were offered the opportunity to win a Bible by memorizing Psalm 1 and Psalm 145; and a wonderful Jewish gentleman said he would give us a Bible when we were able to do this. And so anyway, being a bit of a bad guy, in a way—no, not a bad guy, but  a guy that wants to do things in a hurry, I went into the bathroom for the Sunday school class and started to learn Psalm 1. So, I can really remember Psalm 1 well. And so, Psalm 145 was a little more difficult and took me several weeks to learn that. And as a result of that, my mother got my Bible. I got a Bible and I gave it to her, and she used it as her favorite Bible for the rest of her life.  

Len: Wow! 

Can you share about how you came to know the Lord?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I’d like to share that. To me, it was a very special thing when I came to know the Lord. It was really earlier in my life that I had a love for Him and a trust in Him and a faith in Him that couldn’t be explained on a natural means. And so, when I came to know the Lord, I didn't get baptized until I was a little later, but then I realized the importance of being baptized, and that was what I did. And, it was such—I can still remember the details of my baptism. It seems to me that a baptism for some is a most important part of their salvation. 

Len: Definitely. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Not that you won't be saved if you don't get baptized, but if you are disobedient to the Lord about baptism, it seems to hold back your religion or relationship with the Father. 

Len: Yeah, it does. So, was it like a baptismal fount or outside in like a lake or river that you were baptized?

Dr. Stenhouse: I was baptized in the church. 

Len: Inside the church?

Dr. Stenhouse: And it was not outside. And I was totally immersed in the water, and came up and felt quite different. It was something very special. 

Len: Yeah, and like you said, there's nothing more important than an individual having a relationship with the Lord. And so…

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: So, I really wanted to hear more about that part of your life. Now, you wanted to contrast this with how things are in the world today. Can you say a little bit about that-- about the contrast between having a relationship with the Lord and the way things are in the world and how it's at enmity with the Lord? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, you know, today as you look around the world, the world is not in any way relating itself to the Heavenly Father or to our Creator or our Redeemer or the Holy Spirit. 

Len: Right. 

Dr. Stenhouse: And this is different than it was even fifty, sixty years ago when I was baptized. And my concern today is for everybody to have a relationship, not with religion, but with the Heavenly Father and with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ

Len: Yes. 

Dr. Stenhouse: …And to come into a knowledge of the Holy Spirit through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Len: Excellent. 

Dr. Stenhouse: So this is the reason really why I would like to just explain a little bit about my life and about the way the Father takes care of us, Jesus takes care of us, and the Holy Spirit takes care of us all through our lives, no matter what we do. We’re not perfect, but if we have a desire to please Him, then that’s what He wants. 

Len: That's right. And I want to ask you about that--if you have a favorite hymn, and that story about your favorite hymn in Sunday school. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, yes, I was asked during a Sunday school class that we had by a visiting preacher. And he said, "Any of you kids got a favorite hymn?" And of course, I put up my hand and said, "Yes, sir! Yes, sir, I do! ‘There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel's veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.’” And so, we were able to sing that hymn; and I just felt so lovely about the Father and about Jesus shedding His blood for us all.

Len: Hallelujah. Well, that is excellent, and that's going to conclude our second segment on your later childhood, and I want to thank you for sharing these things with me tonight and with our audience, and I look forward to our next talk together, when we talk about your teen years. So until then, thank you very much. And, have a good night, Andrew. 

Dr. Stenhouse: You too, Len. Thank you. I hope it was okay.   

Author's Note: The next post in this series is Teen Years. You may find the other posts in this series on the Home page. You can find my most popular blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe. 

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Teen Years

In my previous post, we covered Dr. Andrew Stenhouse's Later Childhood. Now in this segment, we'll cover his teen years, when he moved from Scotland to New Zealand and chose a career path.

Audio

Download the podcast

Len: Welcome! This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight, joined by my guest, Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, and we have been talking about his life story. The first two segments, we covered his early childhood and later childhood. And if you haven't listened to those already, let me encourage you to go back and listen to them, because they are very interesting, and I think they'll really be a blessing to you. 

But tonight we're going to be talking about his teen years, and so you're in for a real treat tonight, as we talk about that segment of his life. So, Andrew, I want to welcome you back to the program.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len. It is so lovely to be back with you this evening, again, and to bring the next introduction of what's been happening in my life. This covers the years from when I was thirteen through seventeen. 

And, during this time, we made a transition as a family from Scotland to New Zealand. And the decisions I had to make--or challenges, really, that I had to make regarding my further schooling and further choice of a ministry, or rather a choice of what I would like to do for the rest of my life…

Len: Why don't we start with some experiences that you'd like to share that happened during that period, before we go into your move from Scotland to New Zealand. Are there any experiences that you remember from that period that you want to talk about that happened before the move?

Dr. Stenhouse: I think the main thing that happened was my father was exhausted from his continual work for many years during World War II. And he had his mother living in New Zealand, and he was from New Zealand, and my mother also had a mother in New Zealand, so it was a natural thing for them to consider going over there and to get some peace from the terrible time during World War II.

Len: Ok, I thought that your parents were from Scotland, so I didn't know they were originally from New Zealand.

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh no, they had...Oh, I'm sorry! They had relatives in New Zealand, I should say.

Len: Ok. So thank you for clarifying that. And so your father had been--was he in charge of all the steel for the war in England?

Dr. Stenhouse: The war effort. 

Len: So they had called him over from the US to England, because he had been working for General Motors, and then they called him over there. And that's what you were talking about, couple of programs ago, about how he had to go to England to help with the war effort. He was in charge of all the steel there, and then that really exhausted him. 

So then you all moved from England to--or from Scotland, rather, I'm sorry, to New Zealand. Right?

[Note: His father initially moved from Detroit, Michigan, USA to England to work for General Motors (GM) in London. However, when the war began, he was put in charge of the steel for all of Great Britain for the war effort. That included springs, planes, tanks, and everything else made of steel. That required him to travel to all the steel plants in the countryside and to London every day, which was exhausting.]

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, we went from Scotland -- from England to Scotland, and from Scotland to New Zealand. And my father had relatives over there, which made it quite smooth to make that trip.

Len: Yeah, sure. Is there anything you want to talk about with respect to the actual move that you made?

Dr. Stenhouse: No, not really, except that it was a bit traumatic for me going from one college to another college with different programs and different outlines for students and, of course, different times. 

(Flashback to Scotland): When we arrived in Scotland, where there were a lot of things going on over the water, there were planes crashing into each other--pushing and getting things taken care of in the air. Because across from where we were staying in New Zealand...in Scotland, excuse me, there was a loch (lake) called the Holy Loch, The Holy Loch. And the submarines were being produced in the Holy Loch, and Germany was anxious to get rid of them, and so that was a trauma for us. 

But our trip from Scotland to New Zealand was very interesting. I did well in the Scotland school and actually got a medal in mathematics, which surprised everybody. And then we were moving over to New Zealand. 

During the trip to New Zealand, the interesting thing on that trip was going through the Suez Canal. And going through Suez Canal, my father had written a thesis for a master’s degree at the University of London on “The Source of Water for Israel”. 

And so he had written this, and I had helped him with the mapping, and so on, of the charts. And he felt that I would be a natural to do this sort of thing in New Zealand. So this is what I started off on. I went to school there for a year or so and then went into university, in Wellington, in New Zealand…

Len: (cross talk) Now, when you went to the university....

Dr. Stenhouse: ...and started in geological survey as a follow-up to my father's master's degree from University of London 

Len: Ok, so when you went to the university, how old were you? Were you younger than, normally, children would be going into the university?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I was sixteen. I couldn't go earlier than sixteen. I was sixteen when I went to university, and you were able to go there, then. 

Len: Wow! That’s pretty young to be going into university! Was that unusual, in that era? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, it was a little unusual. And it allowed me to go during the day and work after hours as a helper in a restaurant. So that was what I did to help make some money for us all.

Len: Ok. Now did you say that you did any--because of the help you gave your dad on the map work for his thesis--did you spend any time working on mapping, as like any kind of studies in that area, at all, or any work in that area? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, when I was fifteen, I worked in a mapping department and lands and survey department and took exams on my mapping there and passed those. And then I moved over from the mapping section to the geology section.

Len: Ok. So, when you were on your trip through the Suez Canal, how did that tie in with his thesis--his master's thesis on water supply for Israel?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, my father did that for a master's degree in University of London and forwarded it over to there. But I told him, when we were on the trip to New Zealand, I said, "Dad, you need to get off this boat and go to Israel and see where these things are-- we mapped out are." 

And he said--Dad said to me, "No, I'm so sorry, I'm not able to do that. I'm not able to do that." 

Len: Yeah. So now talk to me a little bit about the decision that he wanted you to make on deciding about which career you would pursue. So take it from the beginning where--what you started off thinking you were going to do, or what he was recommending.

Dr. Stenhouse: I went home one holiday, when--just before I was sixteen, to northern New Zealand where my father was working (at this time, he was working as a teacher). And we spent about two weeks going through all of the various things I thought I could work in, and we never reached anything other than the possibility of being a geologist. And that was why I came back and entered geological survey, as a cartographer, and took it up as a career at the university by taking on geology as a major. 

Len: I see. Because there was one point at which your father—you had said that he had artistic skills and thought that you would do well in art--in the art field.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, well the reason for that was that I helped him out with his mapping, very well, and he thought it was a natural thing for me to do. 

Len: And so, before, when you had told me about the geological studies, I never really thought of the cartography aspect--the mapping aspect of geological studies; I more or less thought of the study of the rocks themselves, you know. 

Dr. Stenhouse: No. I got that from being in the classes.

Len: Yeah! So you entered into geological studies at what school in New Zealand?

Dr. Stenhouse: At the Wellington University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Len: Is that in the southern part or the northern part of New Zealand?

Dr. Stenhouse: That's in the middle of the southern part of the North Island. So that's where I was. 

Len: Yeah, interesting! Well, that kind of brings us to the conclusion of this podcast, talking about your teen years. And it's very interesting to see how you made that decision on which career path to pursue. And it's also easy to see why you’d pick that, because of the natural talent that you had with the mapping--or cartography, as you called it.

But what we're going to see in the next segment is how God redirected you into the career path that He wanted you in. And it's going to be very interesting for our listeners to tune in for that one, because--or listen to that one, I should say--because it really shows how, you know, in Proverbs 16:9, it tells us that, "In a man's heart he plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." And so you had planned your course, but we're going to find out in the next segment how God redirected your steps. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Ok, Len. That sounds good!

Len: So I want to thank you very much for sharing that today and for being on the program, and I look forward to our next chat together, Andrew.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len! Thank you so much!

Len: You're welcome.

Author's Note: The next post in this series is Called to Be a Doctor. You can find the Home page of this blog at this link. You can find my most popular blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe. 

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.  

Monday, March 15, 2021

Called to Be a Doctor

This is an interview with Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, former president of Doulos Missions International, as he tells how he heard the audible voice of the Lord calling him to be a medical doctor at the age of 17. (Note: This was originally recorded in August 2016).

Audio




Len: I wanted to ask you, Andrew, if you could please tell me that part about -- go back to the beginning where you first received your call. You had been a geology student, but then a female friend invited you to church, and while you were sitting there in church with her, you told me one time that you heard God speak to you in an audible voice and called you to be a doctor. So pick it up with the friend inviting you and go from there with that piece where you were in the church and how you heard from God.

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, this was a worship service. And I loved that and loved to go. And then during the preaching part, I heard the audible voice of God speak to me on the right side of my body. And I said to the young lady Ruth, “Did you hear somebody talk?”

She said, “Shush, Andrew. You don’t talk in church.”

I said, “I know.”

And then the next thing that happened was, it was the audible voice of God telling me I was going to be a doctor. And then nothing happened for a few minutes, and then suddenly, my whole body started to shake like a rag doll and it interfered with the service. And I suddenly said, “This is my Creator doing this,” and I started talking to God and telling Him how I hated the war in London during World War II and the bombs and blood and guts and people not coming back to school. And the one thing I didn’t want to do was be a doctor. So I kept on talking and the shaking got worse and worse. So I had to stop, thinking I might physically die. And so the next thing that happened was that I stopped talking, the shaking stopped, and then the voice spoke to me, not from my right side, but from the lower left side of my body.

And it’s as though the Holy Spirit or God was surrounding me, and said, “You will be a doctor.” It was a command.

And I said, “Yes, Lord, I will be a doctor.”

And that was how I got in, and from then on nothing else mattered in my life. My interests -- I immediately resigned from geology courses and also the Geological Survey where I was working. I was about seventeen at that time.

Len: Wow!

Dr. Stenhouse: And I changed islands, went to the south island, and took up pre-med at that time. None of the courses had I taken in the past. I had taken languages and geology mainly, and mathematics. And here I was doing courses that people have been trained for all their lives.

Len: Wow! Now you said the south island…what country was that?

Dr. Stenhouse: That’s New Zealand.

Len: Okay, so this all happened in New Zealand. And it was a lady named Ruth, a sister in Christ named Ruth that invited you to church.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: Now when you were in that service, two things I want to know about it, if you can tell me. Do you remember what the -- when God first told you to be a doctor, how He said it to you? Not that it really matters, but do you remember what words He used when He said it the first time on your right side?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, as far as I remember, “You are to be a doctor.” “You are going to be a doctor,” or something like that.

Len: Yeah. Now the other thing I wanted to know was, when you say it disrupted the service, did you have pretty much a lot of people now with their attention focused on you?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, and everybody was moving away, as far as I know. And I left the service at that point after the whole thing was over. I didn’t stay in the service, because I couldn’t focus on anything else.

Len: Yeah, so people probably thought you were kind of strange.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, very strange. And I had actually been brought up very strictly and didn’t realize that God would do that.

Len: Yeah, I mean, you would never have done anything like that on your own.

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh, no! Absolutely not! And everybody that I would tell it to thought I was nuts, you know.

Editor's Comments
This is truly an amazing testimony of how God called a man to serve Him as a medical doctor. One thing you need to learn from this is that you need to listen to the Lord's voice. It's extremely important. The voice of the Lord changes your outlook, especially when He shakes you like a rag doll like He did with Dr. Stenhouse. In order to hear the Lord's voice, you need to be less involved in distractions. You need to remove them from your life, such as texting.

Only eternity will tell all that the Lord actually did through this humble servant of His during those fifty-five years of medical practice. I know that there were miraculous healings that took place, the gospel was proclaimed to the sick and dying, and people were introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Stenhouse served in many different capacities over those five decades. That included working for the US Navy in a medical school that he helped to establish in Afghanistan. It also included having his own Family Medical practice in Texas in the United States for a number of years, later serving as a Professor of Medicine for Texas Tech in Amarillo, Texas, as well as working at the Veterans' Administration Hospital there. Toward the end of his career, he spent a great deal of time working in a hospice caring for those who were dying, which was something he thoroughly enjoyed.

He is a model for other Christians who practice medicine, demonstrating how to serve patients not only from a physical and medical perspective, but also from a supernatural and spiritual one, so that their bodies might be healed and their souls saved.

Andrew loves the Lord with all His heart, and I have always known him to be a kind, loving, compassionate, generous person, who cares about people. When I asked him around 2007 to serve as the president for our ministry, Doulos Missions International, he humbly accepted it, feeling he was unworthy for such a task. Yet he served in that role for seven years, until he officially resigned in August 2014. He had actually tried to resign one year before that, due to his health, but agreed at my request to serve longer to help fulfill the need we had at that time. That was after he had retired from medicine, which he would not have done if it had not been for his health issues. He loved his profession, and put his heart into it. His resignation from our ministry's board of directors occurred one year after we had returned from the mission field of Eastern Europe to the United States.

During the time that he served as our ministry's president and chairman of the board, he was a tremendous blessing to us. Countless times he has been for us a source of godly counsel and wisdom from the Lord. He has upheld us in prayer, too. He always has and still does maintain his practice of asking the Father and hearing the Lord's voice, even though it may be the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in his heart, and not the audible voice of God like he heard so long ago in that church. Now in his 80's, he still continues to have two-way conversations with the Father.

If you are a Christian medical doctor, I hope that this testimony has encouraged you, as well as edified and guided you to serve the Lord with such honor, integrity, love, and compassion for people. I hope it has encouraged you to be bold and pray for the sick, trusting the Lord to heal them, as well as share the gospel with your patients and lead them to the Savior. You have a tremendous platform and a position of influence, so use it for the Lord.

If you are a Christian medical student or someone who is considering the medical profession, may this testimony be an encouragement to you, too, to hear the Lord's voice, whether audible or in your heart. Being a medical doctor is a calling, so you need to be sure it is your calling from God before you proceed down that path. Seek Him diligently in prayer and He will direct you. As the proverbs say:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Pr 3:5-6, NASB).

"In a man's heart he plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Pr 16:9).

God has had a plan for everyone since before the foundation of the world. Your life is foreordained. God has included you in His wonderful unfolding plan, but He will not violate your own free will. You can either choose to partner with Him by doing His will, as brother Stenhouse did, and experience the joy and excitement of doing so, or you can do your own will and forfeit all that, as well as eternal life. It's your choice.

Author's note: See the Home page of this blog for more podcasts on the life of Dr. Stenhouse. A more complete interview about his calling into medicine can be found here at The Voice That Changed Everything and the podcast at this link. The next post is about his Medical Studies. You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master. Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Medical Studies

In my previous post, we covered how Dr. Andrew Stenhouse was Called to Be a Doctor by God in a very supernatural way. Now in this segment, we'll cover his medical studies, when he resigned from the his geological studies and began his studies to become a medical doctor in obedience to God's call on his life.

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Len: Welcome! This is Len Lacroix, and I'm back again with Dr. Andrew Stenhouse. And we're talking today about the next segment of his life, following his call to be a doctor that he received and that was covered in our last segment. So if you didn't listen to that, I really want to encourage you to go back and listen to the segment called “Called to Be a Doctor".

And tonight we're going to move on to the next period in his life. So, Andrew, I want to welcome you back to the program.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len, I love being with you all.

Len: Yeah! It's great to have you! And I'm looking forward to our talk tonight. I want to start by picking it up right where we left off, where you had received that call to be a doctor, and after you had been already in college studying to be a cartographer in the geology school. Then you entered into the study of medicine.

So can you talk to us about that step that you took to change your course of study and go into the study of medicine?

Dr. Stenhouse: Right, Len. It was—when you get a call from the Lord, it's like that. It’s something that takes over your whole life. And I had never had really anything like that before, but my whole life changed instantly. And I immediately went in on Monday after the Saturday when I received the call to be a doctor and heard the Lord’s voice.

And I found that when I went in there, it was very easy for me to change from geology to medicine, because I found that I had done a very good map for the geology people. But they tore it up—

Len: Wow!

Dr. Stenhouse: --and told me I did it too quickly! So that was another confirmation from the Lord. And so I told them that I would be resigning and moving immediately to the South Island, to Dunedin where the medical school is--in New Zealand, at that time. And so that was the change that came quickly, and I did everything that I needed to do to get down there and to get started.

And one of the interesting things that happened down there that was kind of a confirmation to me was there were two of us left with the professor to be partners,  because we didn't know anybody else--he didn't know anybody else, and I didn't know anybody else. So anyway the lady who was in charge of a physics department said to the other man, "What is your name?” 

And he said, “David Stenhouse.” 

And I said, “What?!” 

And she said, “What is your name?” 

And I said, “Andrew Stenhouse.” 

And here we were the only two people with Stenhouse's name that we knew in New Zealand was right next to us each there, so that was another confirmation from the Lord.

Len: Yeah!

Dr. Stenhouse: And from then on, we went into medical school and, really, everything was stable from year to year, and it was getting easier and easier for me to do well in my studies, because the Lord was with me at every stage.

And, in addition to that, Len, I was very good about going to church on Sunday and not studying on Sunday. And I think the Lord honored that by what happens after all this.

Len: I would agree.

Dr. Stenhouse: So that's the next stage of my thing -- was going through the next four years of medical school. And at the end of the fourth year, I was given a research year grant in experimental virology. I chose that because we had a new professor just come over from Cambridge who brought some cultures of different things with him--different plants and things. And we were able to start doing research on a project that he had in his mind. So that was the change that occurred at the end of the fourth year. And my fifth year was the research year.

So that's where we are at the moment--doing a research degree, which I did and got an extra degree from it--a Bachelor of Medical Science, which was a separate thing from the medical exams at the end of the sixth year.

Len: I see. Yeah. Now at some point, after that, you went to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific--to an island called Rarotonga. 

[NOTE: This was a public health investigation he conducted on the island as part of his fifth year of medical studies.]

And I just want to let our listeners know a little bit about that place. First of all, you want to picture a place where it's clear aqua-blue water, white sand beaches, palm trees and coconut trees, huts and grass roofs, right? And it's hundreds of miles away from where you had been in New Zealand. So this is a little, tiny dot out in the South Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from New Zealand. Is that correct?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, that's correct. And, it was interesting--I was--of course with my research knowledge that I had obtained in New Zealand--I was able to go with two professors (and be their go-to guy, I think) to do research with them in Rarotonga.

Len: I see. 

Dr. Stenhouse: And so that was a very exciting time in my life. And when I went on a pier at the place I was to get on a ship, I couldn't see any ship there until I looked over the edge, and there was a tiny ship at the bottom of the pier. And I had to go down onto the ship, not up into it! And so, anyway, that was the beginning of my trip to Rarotonga 

Len: That little ship had what kind of engine?

Dr. Stenhouse: It seemed almost like an outboard engine and went at about six knots or seven knots across the Pacific.

Len: Amazing!

Dr. Stenhouse: And we were in a mini typhoon, also, with huge waves coming on board the ship. But we managed to get from Auckland, New Zealand to Rarotonga. So…

Len: It’s amazing that you made it on that little thing! 

Dr. Stenhouse: Ha, ha, ha!

Len: So then, you spent how long in Rarotonga?

Dr. Stenhouse: Five months I was there--four or five months.

Len: And you were doing other things like…

Dr. Stenhouse: I did deliver babies, and I did do suturing. And I learned a lot of the island's habits. And one of the islands called Mangia was a different type of island; it was kind of wild. And I would be sewing up people's ears, because the men would come in with their ears chewed off by the ladies in Mangia. So it was quite interesting doing surgical repairs on men who had their ears nearly taken off. 

Len:  Yeah, I’ve heard of that before.

Dr. Stenhouse: Then I did the deliveries, as well, in the hospital. And it helped the surgeon out. There was a surgeon there who was a very nice man, and I felt good about helping him. 

I did do work on diphtheria, because there was no evidence of diphtheria in Rarotonga, which is unusual for children not to have it. And we found out, that there, on the reefs, there were diphtheria organisms, which they got resistance to when they would go swimming and rubbing against the reefs in Rarotonga. So that was one of the things that we found out there.

Len: Yeah. So, while you were there did you have to learn some of the language they spoke there?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I learned to speak Rarotongan on a small scale, but enough to get by, you know, talking to people. It was quite a different language than I'd ever seen in my life before.

Len: Interesting. Now, when it came time for you to finish your work there and leave--tell me about your departure from Rarotonga.

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh, the departure from Rarotonga was most interesting. The people that were there in the hospital put on a meal for us--for the two professors and myself. And we had three nurses assigned to each one of us. And what they would do is they would keep our orange juice filled on the table, and then the other one would make sure we had enough to eat, and the third one would fan us with a big, huge fan to keep us cool, because there was a lot of warm air coming in from the ocean, so.

Len: That was quite a sending-away party!

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes! It was really interesting!

Len: And then you returned from Rarotonga. And, at that point, when you returned, where did you return to? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, I returned initially from Rarotonga back to Hamilton, because I was assigned to Hamilton as the place where I would be doing my sixth year—fifth year, excuse me-- fifth year, and a later year after I graduated one of my first house surgeon's years. 

[NOTE: He later completed his sixth year of medical studies in Christchurch, NZ, followed by his first resident house surgeon's year back in Hamilton, and his second resident house surgeon's year in Murupara, NZ.] 

Len: Ok.

Dr. Stenhouse: But it was very interesting getting to Hamilton, because I was assigned to this surgeon—it was quite interesting--the surgeon himself was a very interesting type of person. He had been in World War II during the bombing in London. So we got to know each other quite well. 

But the interesting thing was—and the thing that the Lord used to encourage me in what we were doing—because the first patient we saw in the surgical ward was one that they couldn’t make a diagnosis on--and I had seen in Rarotonga, and you don't see it very often anywhere else--and that was a huge mass in one of the groins down between the abdominal wall and the upper leg. And there was a huge mass there, and they couldn't work out the diagnosis. 

And I spoke to the guy in Rarotongan, which blew them away. And he answered me in Rarotongan. So I told the surgeon what was wrong with him, because I'd seen a case of this while I was in Rarotonga, and it was a diagnosis of a huge lymph node mass due to an organism that was floating around at that time. 

And so anyway, I told him what the diagnosis was and what the treatment was. And so he was literally upset that I knew---a student knew more than what he did. So, anyway, he didn't talk to me again until Monday afternoon. And we were operating together, Monday morning, and eventually he calmed down.

And we went into the afternoon after we'd had lunch, and the first patient that we saw was a lady. And I didn't say anything, of course, but he was talking to her. And then he said something to me, and I answered him the question. And she--the lady--said, “Andrew!”

And I looked at her, and I said, “Ruth!”

And here was Ruth, the lady that had taken me to the church that night--on Saturday night that we did—she did that--invited me to the church where I got the talk from the Lord.

[NOTE: This lady named Ruth, whom Dr. Stenhouse saw as a patient when he was a resident doctor in Hamilton, NZ, was the sister in Christ who had invited him to the student service at Church in Wellington, NZ, hundreds of miles away a few years earlier, when he had been a Geology student. That was the service in which he had heard the audible call of God to be a doctor, which changed his whole life.]

Len: Yeah. 

Dr. Stenhouse: And so, anyway we got to know each other. And, knowing her, I stepped out of the room, because I didn't want to be involved in any medical stuff with her. 

And she took me home to where she was living with her husband, and they had two children. And the husband and the two children were real nervous around me, and didn't come near me, because of what she had told them, and about the past.

So that was the Lord’s really confirming to me. It’s amazing, when you do what the Lord says, He confirms things all along the way that may not mean to anybody else anything, but to me they were very important things that we were on the right track.

Len: Yeah. God revealed His faithfulness to you, didn’t He? Well, praise God! That brings us to the end of our segment for today. So thank you very much for sharing that! And we're going to close here, and we'll pick it up next time with the next phase that comes after that. So thanks a lot, Andrew.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, all!

Len: You're welcome! Have a good night! 

Dr. Stenhouse: Blessings!

Len: God bless you too.

Author's note: The next chapter in this story is called Residency. See the Home page of this blog for more podcasts on the life of Dr. Stenhouse. You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master. Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________


Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. 

Residency

In my previous post, we covered the Lord's faithfulness that was evident in Dr. Andrew Stenhouse's Medical Studies. Now in this segment, we'll cover the residency that he did after returning from his special assignment to Roratonga in the Cook Islands.

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Len: Welcome to A Willing Heart to Please the Father. This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight with my guest, Dr. Andrew Stenhouse. And we are here for another chapter of his life. And, Andrew, I want to welcome you back to the program.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len, I appreciate it. And I enjoy these sessions, because they, I hope, glorify the Lord and don't in any way glorify me, because without the Lord I would have been down a hole.

Len: Yes. Well they have. And I think it's going to bless a lot of people.

And we finished the last chapter talking about your medical studies and your return from Rarotonga to Hamilton, which is on the North Island of New Zealand. 

And, tonight, we're going to pick it up right there, where we ended the last one, and we're going to talk about your residency. So this would be when you moved from Hamilton to--take it from there, where you moved to for your second year. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, I'd like to first make a few clarifications. 

After a person graduates from medical school, you get a cap and a gown, and you go through a formal session of being capped as a doctor-- an M.D.

And so, the first two years after that are called a “doctor’s residency”. We are doctors, but we are in a resident for two years--the first two years after graduation. And then, the third and fourth years after graduation, we are in a registrar position, which is a supervisory plus medical treatments assessment, where we take care, not only of patients, but we supervise the residents who are on the team that we are working with.

Len: Right.

Dr. Stenhouse: So I hope that that may clarify, because it is difficult to understand.

Len: Yeah, so thank you for clarifying that. So, when we talk about your residency, at this point, you had actually already done your first year of residency in Hamilton, after you finished that several months in Rarotonga, where you did a special assignment. Now you were moving to where, for your second-year residency?

[Correction: Dr. Stenhouse completed his fifth year of medical studies in Hamilton after returning from his research in Raratonga, then he completed his sixth year of medical studies in Christchurch, NZ, followed by his first house surgeon's year back in Hamilton, NZ, and his second house surgeon's year in Murupura, NZ.] 

Dr. Stenhouse: To Murupara. 

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, in the second-year residency, I felt called, because they didn't have a doctor associated with it; they have a medical hospital there strictly for obstetrics. 

I needed to go there--I felt the Lord was calling me there to help them out, with regard to having a doctor and, at the same time, fulfilling my second year as a resident.

Len: So was this like you had a choice, where you could have taken the assignment or chosen not to go to Murupara? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I had a choice whether to stay in Hamilton or to go to Murupara…

Len: Okay. So you accepted that. 

Dr. Stenhouse: …for the second year of being a resident.

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: And there was one of us that went, and that was me. And so, anyway, it was a very interesting year. And a lot of things occurred during that year that were very interesting. 

For example, I was the dentist in the area, as well. Although I’d never taken a tooth out, I had to take care of bad teeth. And they did, indeed, in spite of my not knowing it, have one set of pliers for extracting teeth. Because that’s what they are—they’re sort of super pliers. But this one was found in the doctor's office there and apparently came from Germany; it was left there by a German missionary. And so I was glad to have that!

Len: Yeah! What era were they from?

Dr. Stenhouse: They were from the late 1800s—this one pair of pliers.

Len: Wow! One old pair of pliers, from a missionary, from way back in the 1800s. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: And you were using that to pull teeth out. Now that wasn’t even something that was part of your medical training; so you kind of got thrown into that, right?

Dr. Stenhouse: I had never taken a tooth out, except my own. No. That was one of the things that was interesting.

The other thing was being by myself, delivering babies--the nearest obstetrical hospital is fifty-five miles away. 

And most of the patients were Maoris, because they were the group of people that lived out in the bush in Murupara.

Len: Okay. I see.

Dr. Stenhouse: And I always had people in the delivery room that I had never seen before, come in, ready to deliver. So this could happen day or night.

Len: Wow! Think about that! That's pretty serious, because, normally, a doctor would have been seeing an obstetrics patient during her pregnancy, but these people would just show up when they're ready to deliver. So you had no history on them; you don't know anything about the risk factors involved or anything like that, or even the patient. They're just presenting to you—they need you to deliver their baby.

Dr. Stenhouse: That's correct, yes.

Len: Were they coming from places that were farther away, or mainly right there?

Dr. Stenhouse: They were from the area. It was called a bush area in medical terminology; and they were really from within, say, twenty miles of the hospital. 

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: So anyway—thank you, Lord, for taking care of me during that time, because he was the one that did all of the work. I listened, and I did what I heard to do. And one of the easiest ways I found to get a tooth out that’s bad is to find the thinnest side of the bone and to make a little crack, or fracture, in that inside part of the jaw; and the tooth falls out when you try and help it. Otherwise, you're in quite a mess. 

Len: Yeah.

Dr. Stenhouse: So, the Lord showed me to do that.

Len: Wow! But with the pregnancies—with the deliveries—did you have much training in that type of thing? Because you weren’t an obstetrician—or an OBGYN. So did you really have very much training in delivering babies?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, we all had to do about ten to twelve deliveries on our own—supervised, of course; and we did that as part of our training. But if there had been any complications that were severe, I would not have seen them before, you know. 

Len: Did you have any that got complicated?

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh, yes. I had some complicated patients. But the Lord showed me what to do and guided me; and we got through everything. I didn't lose any babies. 

Len: Wow! Praise God!

Dr. Stenhouse: And the mothers were pleased. And I gave them lots of anesthetic, as I did with the dentist part—gave them lots of anesthetic. They called me the painless doctor. So, anyway, I gave the ladies the local anesthetic, and we got every baby out healthy.

Len: Wow!

Dr. Stenhouse: And I’ll give you a story about one of the babies that came out—a beautiful child—and the mother started to cry.  And I said, “What's wrong, dear?” 

And she said, “Oh, he's done it again!” 

And I said, “What did he do again?”

And she said, “He's given my baby away.”

Len: What?!

Dr. Stenhouse: And the husband would be betting on his child. 

Len: Oh, no.

Dr. Stenhouse: Because the hospitals and government gave them about seven dollars or ten dollars a month for every child they have. And he was using the future child's money for betting. 

Len: Wow! 

Dr. Stenhouse: So, she was crying because of that—I mean, he cried because of it, too. But I didn’t say anything to him because they were bigger than me.

Len: Yeah. So when you did these deliveries, did they have at least a nurse there to assist you?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, they had a nurse, a nurse who specialized in it. And they were very helpful, and they knew what to do. I’d tell them what the next thing to do was, and they would do it. And they were very helpful.

Len: Yeah. So, you did these deliveries, and by the grace of God you didn't lose a single baby. That's amazing! 

Dr. Stenhouse: No, no.

Len: Did you ever have a patient name the child after you?

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh yes! They would say, “Doctor, can we call this patient 'Andrew'?” 

And I would say, “Because you asked, you can.” 

Len: So now, if you go back to Murupara, there’s probably these babies from that era, a bunch of Andrews living around there.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, there will be a bunch of Andrews running around over there.

Len: So, any other experiences that you want to tell us about in Murupara?

Dr. Stenhouse: Not really. It was a most exciting time for me because I also had to do surgical work—sewing up everything.  And then, I was also the doctor for another little town called Kaingaroa and would have a practice there. Every week I’d have to go up. And the only other interesting thing was that great lorries filled with trees would follow me down the road and try and run me off the road at night when I’d go home. 

Len: Wow! 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, they would follow me at great speeds down the road. 

Len: Wow! These big trucks carrying trees—like logging trucks, right?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, logging trucks. And I’d ask the Lord, “Lord, you got me here. Get me out of this.”

Len: Now, how did you get to that other location that you had to go to once a week? Did you use public transportation, or did you have a vehicle?

Dr. Stenhouse: No, I had a car. 

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: I would drive my car up there and drive back. 

Len: So, when you finished your time there—your residency in Murupara, out in the bush—then, where did you return to afterwards?

Dr. Stenhouse: After Murupara in the bush, was my second year of residency. And the next thing we had was first year of registrar. In addition to two years of residency, after you graduate from medical school, you have two years of residency, and then two years as a registrar.

[NOTE: He completed both registrar years in Dunedin, NZ. The first year he worked for the Professor of Medicine, and the second year was for the Dean of the Medical School.]

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: And I was about to start my registrar period of time.

Len: Okay. Where did you go for that?

Dr. Stenhouse: I went back to Dunedin. 

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: I got called back there—asked if I would come there, and I said, “Yes, I'd love to come back to Dunedin." So, that's sort of another chapter in my life—the beginning of the registrar period of time.

Len: Yeah. So, the place you went to in Dunedin was a hospital that was a teaching hospital. Correct?

Dr. Stenhouse: Correct. Yes.

Len: What position did you get assigned to there?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, it was really interesting. I applied for a position in the Department of Medicine, and also that came with the position as a registrar at the hospital. And the Lord arranged things. 

It's really funny, Len, when you be obedient, the Lord arranges everything; and if you don't struggle over everything, Father takes care of everything and takes care of you. 

But what happened was that I applied for a position as a registrar. And usually in the first year you were a junior registrar, and in the second year, you were a senior registrar. But when I got down there, they had positioned me as the senior registrar doing the second year work for the professor of medicine, who was also a doctor at the hospital.

Len: He was the chief professor of medicine, right?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: In New Zealand?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: So that was quite amazing there. You skipped over being a junior registrar and went right, straight to being a senior registrar. That was unusual. But I think that when you stand back and look at it, you know, the Bible says, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up in due time.” And you took that humble position out in the bush, which was not typical for someone to do that, and God gave you this senior registrar position. 

And also there's another verse in Psalm 75 that says, “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man, but it is God who judges.”

Dr. Stenhouse: That’s right.

Len: “He brings one down; he exalts another.” So he gave you this position that you weren't really even seeking after, right—the senior registrar position. 

Dr. Stenhouse: No, it surprised me.

Len: So, was there any push-back from anybody there about you getting that position?

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh, yes. There was a lot of talk about my getting the position that people had been waiting for two or three years to get this position. And they were very upset with me. And in their own way they tried to take it out of me; but it didn't bother me much, because I knew it wasn't me that did it, but the Lord did it for me.

Len: What kinds of things did they do to kind of try to get you?

 Dr. Stenhouse: Well, what they would do is they would call in sick--when they weren’t sick--when they were on call. And so this was the main thing, where they would increase my load of work by calling in sick that day.

Or a lady doctor had rheumatoid arthritis, and she'd always get a flare up, she said, when she was on-call. So she could never be on-call. 

Len: Wow!

Dr. Stenhouse: There were lots of instances like that.

Len: Yeah.

Dr. Stenhouse: But, you know, you just take them, and the Lord goes before you. And you just smile and go on.

Len: Now, tell me, just briefly, a little bit about the role of a registrar; and then after that, tell me the role of a senior registrar, because most of us lay people are not really familiar with this term, except maybe in an academic institution. But in a medical hospital—teaching hospital—what role does a registrar play?

Dr. Stenhouse: A registrar is above both of the residents. And so, first of all, he takes care of the residents and makes sure that what they do is appropriate. And then the junior registrar is being checked by the senior registrar and has to go over all of the work that he has done on the admissions that were admitted. 

And then, in addition to that, the senior registrar is in charge of all of the doctors that send patients to the emergency room. So you have to go and check all of the patients in the emergency room to make sure that they are appropriate admissions and make sure that the medicines they were given were correct and the treatments and so on. 

Len: Right.

Dr. Stenhouse: And in addition to that, in the teaching hospital, the senior registrar was responsible for teaching not only the residents, which are the junior doctors, but also the medical students, when it’s a teaching hospital.

So the work was quite exhausting, in a way, because I would work many times through the night and then have to just keep going the next day.

Len: Wow! So a registrar—they have to practice medicine on their floor—

Dr. Stenhouse: Yeah.

Len: —in their department. Plus, in addition to seeing patients, they're also overseeing junior doctors--the residents on their floor. 

So, for example, when a resident goes to see a patient that has been admitted onto the floor, the registrar follows up, right, to go and see that patient? And then they talk with the resident to see what his plan is for caring for that patient?

Dr. Stenhouse: That's correct, Len. And then in a teaching hospital, when you’ve got over you a professor, you teach the doctors coming in—both the residents and the junior registrars. So I was responsible for teaching people that actually had been doctors longer than myself.

Len: Ok. So these registrars—you would have one on each floor, right? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, at least one.

Len: Yeah, at least one per floor—they were overseeing the residents on their floor. and then you, as the senior registrar, had your responsibilities with patients, plus the emergency room; and you also had your oversight, as a supervisory role over the other registrars.

Dr. Stenhouse: Right. And then I had to do the majority of the teaching to the students.

Len: Ok. Very interesting. Well, that was a lot of responsibility that you were given; and you skipped over some things that other people had to go through. But, you can definitely see the Lord's hand in that. And, despite the fact that people were jealous and tried to get that from you, what ended up happening? I mean, with the chief professor, did he just change his mind after all the push-back he got from other doctors?

Dr. Stenhouse: No. No, they never changed their mind, and they were very grateful for what I did.

Len: Yeah, that's wonderful! 

Now, what influenced the chief professor’s decision when you came in from Hamilton to Dunedin—actually, you didn't come from Hamilton; you came from Murupara, but you had previously been in Hamilton. And when you came to do Dunedin, what was it that influenced?—basically your past reputation with the other doctors in Hamilton?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, that was the reason that I got the position. Unbeknownst to me, the chief of the hospital, who was different from the chief of medicine, had called the chief doctor at Hamilton and found out about me and was told, “Don’t put anyone else but Stenhouse in that position.”

Len: Wow! Praise God! Well, the Lord is good. And that's a wonderful testimony about the faithfulness of God again, and your willingness to serve him in the bush, you know, which is all part of the theme of A Willing Heart to Please the Father.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: So, Andrew, I want to thank you very much for being with us tonight and sharing your life experiences with us back there during your residency. And thank you very much. And we're going to close this out and finish our chapter for tonight. And I look forward to our next talk together.

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, I look forward to it, too, but I just wanted to make sure that everybody listening realized that it wasn’t Andrew that was doing all this; it was my Heavenly Father.

Len: Absolutely. Thank you.

Dr. Stenhouse: And all I had to do was be obedient to Him...

Len: That's right.

Dr. Stenhouse: ...in every instance.

Len: That's right! Well thank you, Andrew; and God bless you.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len.

Len: Have a good night.

Dr. Stenhouse:  You too; good night.

Len: Good night.

Author's note: The next chapter in this series is Post Graduate Experiences of God's Faithfulness. See the Home page of this blog for more podcasts on the life of Dr. Stenhouse. You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master. Now I'd like to ask a very important question.


Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________


Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Post Graduate Experiences

In my previous post, we covered the Lord's faithfulness that was evident in Dr. Andrew Stenhouse's Residency. Now in this segment, we'll cover his post graduate experiences of God's faithfulness.

Audio


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Len: Welcome to A Willing Heart to Please the Father! This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight on the program with my guest, Dr Andrew Stenhouse, and we're continuing to talk about his life story.

Tonight we're discussing his post-graduate experiences of God's faithfulness. So, Andrew, I want to welcome you to the program, once again.

Dr. Stenhouse: Len, thank you for introducing me! And I would just like to thank everybody that’s listening and bring glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Len: So beginning with the [post-graduate] exam, can you talk about that?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I can. The final year after graduation from medical school is the senior registrar year. And during this, you’re able to take an exam in the Royal College of Australasian Physicians. And this is a prestigious exam and only has a very few people that ever graduate from this.

When I took it at the beginning of that year, I was the senior registrar to the dean of the medical school. And, as part of my duty, I took this exam at that time.

The exam itself consisted of several portions of exam papers, followed by a long patient case and then multiple small, short, questions, and substances that we had to discuss. 

In this exam, twenty people were being examined from both New Zealand and Australia. And at the end of the sessions, only two of us passed out of the twenty. So it only had a ten-percent pass rate. So you could see that it was very, severely judged, and persons had to make no mistakes at all! But then you had to go over and above that, with what you said.

I was the only one from New Zealand to pass, but there was a doctor from Australia that had come over to take the exam, because it was from the Australasian College of Physicians, which is both Australia and New Zealand.

During the exam, the long patient that I had was a patient of some rarity. The Lord had me, during the year, take and read and put into my memory the new, long, difficult cases that were coming up across the world (e.g., in the New England Journal of Medicine).

And it so happened that the patient I had was one of those cases; he was about number fourteen out of twenty cases that I had memorized and taken into account.

The doctor that examined me did not believe that I had not seen the patient before, and he asked me, several hours later, I must have seen the patient before. 

I said, “No, sir, I haven't.”

Then he went, saw the patient; the patient said, “No,” he hadn’t seen me before, although he indicated to the examiner he wished he had.

And it turned out to be an obedience that I had on going through these long cases; one of them was this very patient that I diagnosed correctly. And I give all glory to the Lord…

Len: Wow! That’s amazing!

Dr. Stenhouse: ...because if He had not given me that instruction, then I would never have done that on my own accord.

Len: Yeah! So the exam, now—just so that I understand it--was mainly written, right? So you had the written account of this patient’s long case. Is that correct so far?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, we had a series of different things. We had long cases that we had to see and examine and short cases that we had to see and examine. And then we had papers to write on subjects we didn't know ahead of time what they were to be.

Len: Okay.

Dr. Stenhouse: And then we had pathological specimens that we had to identify correctly. It was a long and involved examination over several days.

Len: So this patient that had the long case, which was already written up in one of the medical journals that you had been reading each month, they had that person there at the hospital for you to see? I mean, I don't understand that part. Did you actually, at some point, see them or not?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, that was my long-case exam that I had to go in the room with--he and I only--, and I had to examine him, and so forth, and then look at the x-rays that were provided for me.

Len: Okay. And, with the case that was written up in the medical journals, had they yet figured out in the medical journals what the diagnosis was?

Dr. Stenhouse: In the diagnosis part, this had been diagnosed correctly by the doctor that wrote up the patient.

Len: In the journal.

Dr. Stenhouse: That’s right.

Len: So you had read that story, and then when you got this case--you said that the doctor that was overseeing the exam asked the patient if they had seen you before, and they said, “No;” and you hadn’t seen them. But then you did eventually have to see them for the exam piece, right?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes. They asked me to see him, and I correctly made the diagnosis, because it fit exactly the patient that I had seen in the medical journal, several months previously.

Len: Was it actually the same person or just the same kind of case?

Dr. Stenhouse: The same case, not the same person.

Len: Okay, that helps, because I thought it was the same person. So thanks for clarifying that. So that's amazing!

Well the next thing I would like to ask you to talk about--because a moment ago you mentioned being the senior registrar to the dean, but actually I think that was the title when you were at the teaching hospital--you were the senior registrar to the chief professor of medicine.

But this next piece here, you became the chief resident of the dean of the medical school; that was something different, right, from the senior registrar?

Dr. Stenhouse: Being the senior registrar to the dean of the medical school was even higher than being registrar of the chief of medicine. And so it was a promotion, as well, for my final registrar year.

Len: Okay. Was it chief resident or senior resident? What did they call it?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, chief resident or senior resident would be fine—either way.

Len: Yeah, so are there any experiences that you had in that role that you wanted to share?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well one of the things that came up was that the dean's daughter was sick, and I was asked to see her. And I made up a diagnosis, and the dean did not agree with me that this was the correct diagnosis of his daughter.

So we got the professor of surgery to come in, because I said the patient required surgery. And the chief of surgery, who was an older doctor, agreed with me and agreed with the findings on x-ray, that surgery was needed. And so that the dean agreed that we should go ahead with the surgery, and the surgery proved us to be correct.

Really, it points out the fact that the doctor shouldn’t really examine or take a history of his children.

Len: Yeah.

Dr. Stenhouse: Get them to a doctor a doctor that does that.

Len: Yeah. Now what about the Wellcome Research scholarship that you ended up receiving? Do you want to tell us about that?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, one of the things that I was approached to do was to apply for the first New Zealand recipient of a Wellcome Research Fellowship and to do it in experimental virology with the professor in Sheffield, England--the professor of medicine at Sheffield England who was a virologist also.

So this was what we applied for, and what we, by God’s sovereignty, went into. And so this was an interesting time, as well, to do post-graduate degree, to do post-graduate research and to also take the London School of Medicine exam, similar to the Australasian one, only it’s a little more difficult.

Len: Okay, so tell us about the sea voyage to England to go to Sheffield for that work--that research fellowship.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, well it was very interesting on the sea voyage going to England. I was able to go there for two shillings and six pennies if I would be acting as the doctor onboard for the seamen, you know the—

Len: Oh, the crew?

Dr. Stenhouse: The crew.

Len: Not the passengers?

Dr. Stenhouse: They had ten passengers, as well.

Len: Okay. So you were agreeing to be the doctor for everyone on the ship.

Dr. Stenhouse: That’s right.

Len: Okay. And so that's pretty interesting! And was the trip kind of uneventful, or did you have any interesting experiences?

Dr. Stenhouse: No, it wasn't uneventful. Every day I would have an appointment with patients that needed to see me. And this particular day, what happened was that one of the sailors went to work. And when he was at work, they emptied the swimming pool, and he didn't know that. And so, when he got off work, he got his swim-gear on and then dived into the pool that was empty and broke his neck and injured his spinal cord. So I had to manage him medically with a fractured neck and pressure on his spinal cord, which was kind of tricky and difficult. 

And then I had a patient with acute appendicitis, that I had to manage medically, and another patient with a fracture.

And the man who was the captain of the ship told me that he didn't think he could wait for me in Curaçao, which is a port where we stopped to fill up the ship with whatever we used to go across.

Len: The fuel.

Dr. Stenhouse: And I said, “Well we've got to get these in the hospital.” I said, “They can’t wait.”

So we got ambulances lined up, and I took them to the hospital at Curaçao, where they had--this was a Dutch island—a resort thing in the northern part of the South America Peninsula.

Len: Oh!

Dr. Stenhouse: So I got them all safely tucked to in over there and then just got in time back to the ship, where they were filling the ship up with the gasoline. And we took off within the hour of my getting back…

Len: That’s cutting it close.

Dr. Stenhouse: …, because he was wanting to break the record of the time to get half-a-million sheep from New Zealand to England.

Len: So the ship was carrying sheep?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: Half-a-million sheep?! 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, dead sheep.

Len: Oh. Okay. Wow, that's quite a load--quite a bit of cargo there! So how many--do you know how long it took to get there--from New Zealand to England?

Dr. Stenhouse: About thirty days.

Len: Okay. That is pretty fast to go from that part of the world all the way around to England.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes.

Len: So did you end up arriving on time?--or early?

Dr. Stenhouse: No, we arrived on time, and he was quite happy about it. 

And there were one or two days I would be seasick and having to see somebody; and I would be lying down, and the patient would be standing up. So…

Len: Interesting!

Dr. Stenhouse: You just have to run with whatever comes.

Len: Yeah. So when you got to England did you make that phone call to--tell us about the phone call that you made to whoever your contact was over there for the fellowship.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I made contact with them, and the doctor--that was the manager of that particular job he had, which was identifying people for jobs in London or near London from people who came from overseas -- he called me, and he said, “Dr. Stenhouse, I know you have a fellowship to do two years with the professor in Sheffield,” but he says, “I've got a letter here that I've never seen so much good things said about one person. And I could get you any job in London you wanted to have.”

Len: That’s amazing!

Dr. Stenhouse: So I said, “Well I’d love to meet you.” And so I went and met him, and I told him I wasn’t going to change what had been arranged.

Len: Good.

Dr. Stenhouse: And so that was the end of that; I didn't see him again.

Len: So did you publish any papers for any journals during that time?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, yes, at the end of the time I was working there, I did patient studies, I did lab studies, and I did isolation studies on new organ cultures of different animals.

And so I isolated different viruses and was able to publish two papers by myself, which is very unusual to do that. 

Len: Which journal was that, Andrew?

Dr. Stenhouse: This was in the British Medical Journal—two separate papers. And, as a result of this, things opened up all over the place if I had wanted them, but I didn't pursue them.

I would just like to reiterate that this may sound like me, but it really is the Father and the Son being so faithful to me and faithful to everybody that opens up their hearts to Him. 

Len: Yeah. Amen.

Well that's a great testimony, Andrew. I think we're going to conclude there for tonight, with your post-graduate experiences. And we can definitely see the hand of the Lord--how he got you through your post-graduate exam and all the way through to the point where you had written those two papers by yourself there in the British Medical Journal.

[Note: See articles 1 and 2 in Medical Articles Published by Dr. Stenhouse.]

So thank you very much for sharing all that on tonight's program!

Dr. Stenhouse: You're so welcome! And I'll pick up there with the post-graduate exam of studies and results at the beginning of the next program.

Len: All right. Until then, thanks very much, and have a good night!

Dr. Stenhouse: You too, Len! Thank you so much!

Author's note: The next chapter in this story is Experiences with the Lord in England. See the Home page of this blog for more podcasts on the life of Dr. Stenhouse. You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master. Now I'd like to ask a very important question.


Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________


Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.