Not long ago my brother-in-law Joel received an e-mail from a medical doctor who had somehow found his contact information. This man was a graduate from the University of Oklahoma in 1966, in the graduating class of my father-in-law (and Joel's father) Tom Sloan. Both men are pictured below, with my father-in-law's picture circled towards the bottom.
I have chosen to leave the name of the man who wrote anonymous as this is his story to tell, not mine; therefore, his picture is not circled.
However, I was so encouraged by his words that I wanted to share them here with you today.
"Your father was a classmate in medical school. When I read your mom's book I may learn more. He brought the gospel to school everyday. Despite cruel treatment from many faculty and classmates he was faithful to God. We usually would arrive for an 8AM class to find on the blackboard----GOD LOVES YOU. If it was Biochemistry that morning the Prof would quickly erase with something like "I HATE COMMERCIALISM" but Tommy was never deterred from his goal to spread the Gospel. I wasn't receptive at that time in life but made an intellectual decision about 15 years later and faith followed. But I think your dad was the boldest Christian I've known. I hope to be more like him."
Wow. That was just powerful on so many levels. Both men went on to become professionals in the medical field. My father-in-law graduated a pediatric surgeon and was well on his way to a prestigious, wealthy lifestyle as director of pediatrics in a Louisiana hospital when he decided to instead pursue living out his life as a missionary in the poorest region of Mexico. He used his knowledge, gifts, and brilliant mind to help people not only physically but spiritually as well. He never charged people for his medical services, but instead lovingly shared his talents, his passion for God, and the hope he had of eternal life in Heaven to all who would listen.
That bold college student, my father-in-law, lived out the rest of his life with the people he loved - his wife and eight children - amongst the people he loved, the Mexican Indians in the southernmost state of Chiapas. He delivered scores of babies and performed countless surgeries often without the luxury of state-of-the-art equipment, but he enjoyed a high medical success rate because of a quick, brilliant mind. However, I believe that he would have told you the greatest accomplishments of his life were those times he was able to point souls to a Redeeming Savior and see their lives changed because of spiritual healing.
Dr. Tom Sloan graduated from the University of Oklahoma 50 years ago this coming May. I wonder how many university students in the class of 2016 will leave a legacy of bold faith in Jesus Christ in their classroom and on the blackboard like he did? When I think of what Dr. Tom Sloan accomplished for Christ, I sometimes forget that his bold witness didn't begin once he reached the mission field. He didn't need a title like "doctor" or "missionary" to start making a difference.
Yep, Doctor. I hope to be more like "Tommy" too.