Back on July 30th, my 20 year old brother-in-law posted this as his facebook update:
Thus began his 9 day journey as a medical-missionary to Bolivia. It was an amazing trip that brought more opportunities than he could have imagined. He has started to chronicle the trip here: Stephen in College
Stephen’s aspiration to become a Doctor comes from a desire to use his skills and credentials as an avenue to minister to hurting people, offering them hope and healing both physical and spiritual. I don’t think the trappings of this world – the big house and nice car and right neighborhood – play a big role in his desire to have the letters M.D. following his name. (Although come on, “Dr. Stephen Cliff” does have a nice ring to it, am I right?)
I personally hope he someday has all those things – the big house, nice car, and beautiful neighborhood – because I know he’ll use those things to bless others and reflect God’s goodness. But I’m glad he took this trip to solidify that those things, all that “stuff”, aren’t the real reason God has called him on this journey. I’m going to pray that the purpose and calling he felt while in Bolivia remain the compelling force to make it through medical school! I know he can do it.
(Have I mentioned he earned, like, the highest grade EVER on his Chemistry final at Oklahoma State University? I didn’t? Oh. I was sure I had mentioned it….)
Stephen, I’m not sure when you morphed from the cute little boy who amused and entertained me, to the young man who inspires me. It happened fast. I’m proud of you.