Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Global Health Adventures: Chris Eller

I want to introduce my readership to a good friend.

Chris Eller was a young high school student when I was called to be youth pastor at Conowingo Baptist Church in 1998. Chris stood out immediately to us as a young man who loved God, loved God's word, and had a unique blend of personality, intellect, and giftedness. As a sophomore in High School, he asserted with confidence, "I want to be a pediatric neurosurgeon." We used to joke with him -- "Come on slacker -- have some ambition!"

Chris attended University of Delaware and was a standout student in biochemistry. But, even with the heavy load of his studies, he remained a vital part of the Conowingo Baptist Church family, where by that time I was serving as Pastor. In fact, Chris will have to correct me if I am wrong, I believe he was on the search committee that asked me to transition from Associate Pastor to Pastor.

Chris and I spent many Sunday evenings together eating pizza, watching ballgames and "Alias." In 2002, he took his first trip abroad with me and 5 others from CBC to Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. He got the bug -- no I don't mean the stomach bug (though he got that too!). He got the missions bug! Immediately upon returning home, he applied to the IMB to be a summer collegiate volunteer in Zambia. He spent the summer of 2003 mountain biking through the wilds of Southern Africa mapping out the locations of unreached peoples. In the summer of 2004, he did the same sort of project in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

Meanwhile, Chris enrolled at UVA Medical School. Today, Chris is in Brazil doing a clinical study on childhood diarrhea (and frequenting beaches and soccer games on the frequent national holiday weekends). He refreshed my heart yesterday with an unexpected phone call to check in and check up. I introduce you to him because he is someone God is going to use greatly. While not in Brazil as a "missionary," Chris has a missions-heart, so whereever he is, he is on mission for the King. And, I believe that God is weaving these experiences together in his life to prepare him for a great work in international medical missions -- but we will leave that to him and God to determine with certainty.

If you have never clicked to it from my links on the margin of my blog, check out Chris Eller's blog soon. His most recent post concerns the nature of his work, and can be found at ...
Global Health Adventures: Work: Diarrhea, DNA, Documents

By the way... in the picture above, Chris is wearing a shirt that says "Crossroads University." This was a shirt we had made in 1998 for a summer student discipleship week that featured teaching on apologetics and worldviews. I am the founder, president, academic dean, and registrar of that school, and Chris has been voted Alumnus of the Year for the last 8 years running! Everyone else has probably long since forgotten that week of study, but Chris still proudly sports his C.U. T-shirt.

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