Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lay Missionary Profile: Dr. William Stallings

This is Dr. William Stallings first mission trip to Africa. In the United States he works as a physician in a hospital in Virginia and is a committed member of the Missioners of Christ lay community. He has previously been on mission twice to Peru twice and three times in Honduras. His spiritual journey has been touched and moved by my experiences in foreign missions. Dr. Will’s first trip to Honduras took place while he was a fourth year medical student; he spent one month experiencing the culture, language, and beauty of the Honduran people. His sister, Virginia, was at that time a long term missionary, which enabled him to spend the time with her and not as part of a larger group. That individualized experience was beneficial in that Will was forced to engage the culture both linguistically and humanly in ways he would not have done if he had not been alone.

Will states that, “mission forced me out of my comfort zone and caused me to stretch. Being without many modern conveniences, particularly television, my soul slowed down and prayer became easier. My ‘flesh’ died a bit and my spirit lived more freely. Upon returning to the United States I was struck by the excesses of our culture and could feel the talons of materialism grabbing back at my soul.” Subsequent mission trips have been short term medical brigades with similar spiritual experiences, although unique in the individual moments of service and love that are the gifts of the medical profession. After his last medical brigade, Will left wanting to do more, perhaps to transition to either a longer experience where disease could be more effectively fought, or to lead medical brigades with students to help share the things that have touched him personally.

Currently Will is hoping to organize a short term medical brigade that would be more fully Eucharistic and evangelical in nature, perhaps fusing what he has seen on medical brigades with what he has seen on evangelization experiences into a single mission experience. He shares: “Mission has helped me to learn to ‘dance’ more freely with the Lord. Through the experience of service we ourselves are drawn more deeply into the life of the Trinity. We are freed from the chains that cause us to fear our dance with the Lord, and by the very action of service we are following the steps of our Lord, and thus dancing with Him.”

No comments:

Post a Comment