Luke Herrin, AIM’s International Director, served with his family in several locations in East Africa for 20 years, among Muslim people groups. He shares, “The Lord has always led and been faithful to us, and we trust this will continue as we lead AIM.”
Though I grew up in the church, I did not care at all for spiritual things until the Lord changed my heart when I was 19, and I began to follow Jesus. I love being a doctor, and using medicine to demonstrate the love and compassion of our Saviour, especially in places where he is not known. The Lord gave us (me, my wife Jennifer, and our two daughters) a desire to reach Muslims with the saving love of Jesus.
In 1993, my family and I moved to an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The whole population was Muslim, but we were welcomed as doctor and nurse. We were overwhelmed by the needs. We battled pneumonia, high blood pressure, strokes, and that great killer, malaria, with minimal resources. The Island people loved us, so much so that they would come to our home at all hours asking for treatment! My 8-year-old daughter bandaged leg sores in our garden, and called herself ‘ulcer girl’. We got to know and love local healthcare workers, who asked about our faith. A number studied the Bible and believed in Jesus. 26 years later, they are still serving Jesus. I go back every year and visit them. I loved being a doctor, showing the compassion of Jesus, and sharing my faith in the Islands.
“The Lord used our clinic and HIV medications to give them time, space, and a gospel witness so they could enter his kingdom. Now, 14 years later, virtually all are dead. But some are alive forever.”
Medicine and Jesus
In 2005, I worked at a clinic in a slum in the Horn of Africa, and was trained to treat HIV/Aids patients. There were many. With few exceptions, all were Muslims. Some of my patients were too unstable to take HIV medications, and died quickly. Some took them inconsistently, and improved for a while, eventually relapsing. Some took them faithfully, and lived for years. We loved these patients, invited them home, served them, shared Jesus with them. Many came to faith. The Lord used our clinic and HIV medications to give them time, space, and a gospel witness so they could enter his kingdom. Now, 14 years later, virtually all are dead. But some are alive forever. I loved treating HIV patients in the Horn of Africa.
In 2010, we moved to another, more restrictive country that we called ‘Alcatraz’. We tried to be cautious about sharing our faith, but my patients were dying without Jesus. So we gave them free medicines and told them it was a gift from Jesus. We invited them to our house and taught them the Bible. We gave them food and milk and love. Several came to faith. But after three years, the government kicked us out.
I loved being a doctor and witness to the Muslims in Alcatraz and teaching the Word of God in their own language. We were sorry to go. We cannot return, but the kingdom keeps growing.
All of this was possible because we are medical people. Entering restricted countries, immediate access into people’s lives and easy opportunities to share the love and compassion of Jesus, a respected and understandable place in society… all this flowed out of our medical professions.
Best. Job. Ever.