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).


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. The next post is about his Medical Studies.

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. 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.

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