Season 3 | EPISODE 2

Using Your Gifts for God’s Glory

49:43 · February 27, 2024

In this episode, join medical missionaries Paul and Lynn Opare-Addo as they share their journey of faith and service in Chogoria, Kenya. Discover how embracing the gospel of grace has transformed their lives and shaped their approach to using their medical gifts to love and serve others. Their experiences of training doctors and fostering a gospel-centered approach to medicine offer a glimpse into the profound ways that God’s grace frees and empowers all of us to use our unique gifts with purpose and compassion, and for His glory.

In this episode, join medical missionaries Paul and Lynn Opare-Addo as they share their journey of faith and service in Chogoria, Kenya. Discover how embracing the gospel of grace has transformed their lives and shaped their approach to using their medical gifts to love and serve others. Their experiences of training doctors and fostering a gospel-centered approach to medicine offer a glimpse into the profound ways that God’s grace frees and empowers all of us to use our unique gifts with purpose and compassion, and for His glory.

In this episode, they discuss...

  • A new way to consider our gifts and the impact of this framework (7:43)
  • How to transform the “mundane” of life with the power of grace (19:11)
  • What it looks like when “God is good” as a concept becomes an applied belief in daily life (30:30)
  • How repentance becomes more than “I’m sorry” (35:15)
  • What makes their hospital in Chogoria a greenhouse for growing in faith (41:18)
  • A word of thanks for the faithful power of prayer (47:17)

Thank you for listening! If you found this conversation encouraging or helpful, please share this episode with your friends and loved ones. Or please leave us a review—it really helps! 

We invite you to subscribe to Stories of Grace, the monthly newsletter of Serge delivered to your inbox once a month. It includes inspiring stories just like the ones shared today. Visit serge.org to subscribe today.

Referenced in the episode...



Our guests for this episode were Paul and Lynn Opare-Addo, Serge missionaries in Chogoria, Kenya. This episode was hosted by Jim Lovelady. Production by Anna Madsen, Aaron Gray, and Sunny Chi. Music by Tommy Leahy

𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒚 𝑷𝒐𝒅𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒕 is produced by SERGE, an international missions agency that sends and cares for missionaries and develops gospel-centered programs and resources for ongoing spiritual renewal. Learn more and get involved at serge.org.

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Questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to Serge’s Renewal Team anytime at podcast@serge.org



Welcome to the Grace at the Fray—a podcast that explores the many dimensions of God’s grace that we find at the frayed edges of life. Come explore how God’s grace works to renew your life and send you on mission in His Kingdom.


0:00:23.5 Jim Lovelady: Hello, beloved. Welcome to another episode of Grace at the Fray. Here’s a wonderful thought. God has made us all in such a way, gifted us all in such a way that enables us to love and serve others with our gifts. There’s something about the way God uniquely made you that uniquely enables you to love others with a Christlike love. So here’s my question for you today. What are your gifts? And don’t be bashful; that’s just false humility. He made you and empowered you with gifts and abilities and passions and concerns and predispositions all designed to build His Kingdom. So what are your gifts? Well, recently, I hung out with a couple who are using their medical gifts as a gospel-spreading tool in their community in Chogoria, Kenya. And if you’ve been listening to the podcast, the name Chogoria might ring a bell from the episode where I interviewed Derek and Lauren Webber, Serge missionaries who also serve in Chogoria.

And you should keep listening to more episodes of Grace at the Fray, because I have lots of stories from my recent trip to Kenya, including my visit to Chogoria. It’s so amazing how God works things out in his providence, and I can’t wait to show you all those stories. But in today’s episode, Paul and Lynn Opare-Addo, who’ve been serving in Chogoria for a while now though, have recently joined up with the Serge team there. They share their hopes and dreams for how the gospel can go forth in this little village hospital that is all about training doctors to practice gospel-centered medicine all over Africa. They are a great example of how God has gifted them and the gospel has renewed them, and now they go, and from where they’ve gone, Chogoria, they’re discipling and then sending others out to be a blessing. And the gospel is spreading.

0:02:20.8 Jim Lovelady: Well, welcome to Grace at the Fray. How’s it going Paul? Lynn? Welcome. 

0:02:25.5 Paul Opare-Addo: Thank you.

0:02:26.6 Lynn Opare-Addo: Thank you.

0:02:27.8 Paul Opare-Addo: Finally, we are here…

0:02:30.5 Jim Lovelady: Finally. It is funny. It’s funny because y’all are my first guests on the podcast that we’re also, that we’ve also done Sonship together. [laughter] So, but I know, and it’s not because of me, but I know that Sonship has been impactful for you, and I know that that’s a significant part of your story. And I’m also excited that you are coming on with Serge in Chogoria. And so I just wanna hear all of these things, kind of thinking about it in terms of this is a little time capsule that as you’re about to join or as you are joining the organization going back to a place that you’ve been serving, but you’re now gonna be serving, through Serge, on the team with the Webbers. I just think of this as a time capsule where, hey, let’s take a snapshot of what life is like now and then in a couple years I’m gonna call up and I’m gonna be like, Hey, how’s it going? Talk to me about what it’s been like. And so this is kind of like the first half of maybe a sequel episode in a couple years. So, yeah. So, what’s your story?

0:03:43.0 Paul Opare-Addo: Well, like you mentioned, Sonship has been really instrumental. Like many times that I… I’ve had to ask myself, how in the world is it that I’ve been a Christian for this long and didn’t understand this concept or didn’t see things this way? And why is it that I have so many rough edges? [laughter] But Sonship has been quite the eye-opener and just recently, I think yesterday or so during one of our classes for…

0:04:20.9 Jim Lovelady: Because you’re here in the office for Launch Week.

0:04:25.0 Paul Opare-Addo: Launch Week. Yeah. We were giving like 15 minutes of reflection time and I was praying over things. And I felt that the Lord said to me, even being aware of, becoming aware of these areas of your life where I want to take you deeper or I wanna take you from one point to another. It’s my grace. It’s my sign of grace to you. And you did not orchestrate this. And so, stop worrying about it. So, as a doctor, you always think about healing, right? Like, when is this knee gonna feel completely well? He said, don’t worry about that. It will happen gradually. And just like you didn’t orchestrate it, you don’t have to be in charge of this one. But I think that’s the beauty of what Sonship has been for me. And I like the fact that I can think about it as an ongoing process where a seed has been sown through Sonship, and over time, Lord willing, with him watering things, I get to grow and see what that ends up looking like. Yeah.

0:05:42.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. I like your analogy because you are a doctor and you work in Chogoria, as a doctor. And how long have you lived in Chogoria when your kids came over for dinner when y’all, [laughter] with y’all, and they said, I don’t remember who it was, said, so where are you… Where all have y’all lived? And Nana was like, she just backed it up and from the present, Chogoria, Chogoria, Connecticut. Connecticut, California. California, Kentucky? No, not Kentucky.

0:06:21.3 Lynn Opare-Addo: New York.

0:06:22.7 Jim Lovelady: New York.

0:06:23.6 Paul Opare-Addo: New York.

0:06:24.5 Jim Lovelady: Kentucky. I don’t know where that… Where’d that come from? Yeah. And she just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom boom. So it is, y’all have had a pretty nomadic life for a long time, but you’ve been in Chogoria for how long?

0:06:38.4 Paul Opare-Addo: Two and a half years.

0:06:43.6 Jim Lovelady: Two and half years. So now you’re going back with Serge for, forever.

0:06:49.9 Paul Opare-Addo: Amen.

0:06:50.7 Jim Lovelady: So, yeah. So how did you come to to Chogoria? How did you come to joining up with Serge?

0:06:55.3 Lynn Opare-Addo: I guess it was a little bit of a story, but God kind of orchestrated one step at a time. So when we met, we were both interested in missions, and so I guess I should back up. We were interested in being able to live with purpose wherever we went, and we were thinking of that cross-culturally. So, you know, we are cross-culturally married. I think we both had a bent towards understanding other cultures and liking other cultures. And you, specifically, having grown up in Ghana, wanted to be able to invest in raising up young people, mentoring people, investing in raising up young people, and hopefully in medicine.

0:07:43.8 Jim Lovelady: So it wasn’t just doing medicine. It was helping teach medicine.

0:07:48.7 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah. No, not just doing medicine, it’s not just teaching medicine also, but being able to plant a sense of the fact that it is a gift to be in medicine, and your gift is not yours. Your gift, just like all the gifts, is supposed to be used to bless your community. And having grown up in Ghana, Africa becomes like the soil of my focus. And so, being able to go back there and use that gift as a blessing to the community there, but then also be able to multiply that gift in one way or the other. We’ve always thought about how do you multiply a church, and we’ve thought about that model a lot, and how can that concept be used in medicine.

0:08:40.5 Paul Opare-Addo: And so residency, which is like the hub of training of doctors, became like that house that can be used to multiply. And how do you multiply yourself? Well, you can’t multiply yourself per se, but the principles and values and things that you’ve learned can be imparted into other people by doing life with them. And so, through training and mentorship, we’re hoping that some individuals will catch a little bit of a glimpse of what it is like to sacrifice that gift to other people, and then also be able to take that and build hospitals, clinics, go into poor places in their own communities and take care of their needy.

0:09:33.8 Jim Lovelady: And what does that look like in Chogoria? You were talking about the education piece. What does that look like for you? And then what has, for you and the family, what does life in Cho-glorious look like?

0:09:47.8 Paul Opare-Addo: I can probably talk about the education piece, and Lynn can take the family piece. I think I have to take a step back and say that regardless of what we have in mind or planned in terms of the logistics of seeing this vision come to pass, we really trust in God. Because I think one of the best testimonies we’ve heard is to hear one of our trainees say they’ve never really seen a black, African missionary before.

0:10:15.8 Jim Lovelady: Oh, interesting.

0:10:16.6 Paul Opare-Addo: And so, to see an African come back to Africa has sort of given them permission, like this guy is going to go into neurosurgery, and he wants to finish his training and do something similar to what we are doing. So we trust in God that he’s going to take all of this, and he’s going to plant the seeds and water them. But currently, as human beings and planners, what that looks like for us is a lot of teaching. And we do have a family medicine residency that is from Kabarak University. Kabarak University has partnered with a few hospitals, and Chogoria is one of the sites.

0:11:08.1 Paul Opare-Addo: And so, every year, one or two residents are sent to each site, depending on how many people apply, and how many people have made it through the interview and application process. So we have about four residents currently and expecting two more to join us. It’s a four-year residency program. And it’s a, the director of the program at our site is Eli Horn, Dr. Eli Horn, another family medicine physician, a wonderful, wonderful, brilliant gentleman.

0:11:43.1 Paul Opare-Addo: Very nice to have him on our team, and also to have him mentor me and teach me the ropes. And I am his deputy, so I’m assisting him in the work. So we are running that program in Chogoria until we receive residents from… We have people apply from all over East Africa because family medicine is still a new field of medicine in Eastern Africa. So we have residents currently from DRC. We have also from Kenya, and then we have a Ugandan just about to graduate.

0:12:24.5 Jim Lovelady: So the idea is, when they graduate, they will go back to their country and do family medicine there.

0:12:31.8 Paul Opare-Addo: That is always the hope. Now, what happens after residency is different. Life happens, people become very comfortable in the system in which they trained and might choose to stay. And then also, you don’t really become “a consultant” until you’ve worked for two years post-residency. And so all of these individuals, before they are given the recognition that they’ll need to have the powers and the permission to go and do that kind of work in their homelands, will need a consultant status. So that means that they will have to work for two years in Kenya and be able to get to that point and then move on to their home countries.

0:13:15.6 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:13:16.9 Paul Opare-Addo: But that’s always the hope, that the fire and the burning within them to take care of their people will not be lost during the time of residency. And so that becomes one of our responsibilities, to nurture that.

0:13:29.3 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. That’s fascinating because you, y’all have a cross-cultural marriage. And you, for any American audience member listening to the podcast, they’re like, Oh yeah, Lynn’s doing Cross-Cultural Ministry. But you’re not from Kenya, bro. You’re doing Cross-Cultural Ministry too. And I think it’s fascinating that a man from Ghana is serving in Kenya as a missionary. And what I think is fascinating about that is that’s becoming more and more common to have left some whatever foreign country. I know a lot of Korean missionaries, I know a lot of Brazilian missionaries that are leaving their country. I know some Brazilian church planters who left Brazil to come be missionaries in the US to plant churches among the Brazilian population in the US. So I think it’s fascinating that you’re doing work for Africa, but a Ghanaian man going into Kenya.

0:14:40.0 Paul Opare-Addo: Many people have asked me, why not Ghana? Why haven’t you been… Why not serving back in Ghana? And I don’t think I really know the answer to that question, except I don’t feel the pull there. It feels like at some point in our journey, Ghana will be there. But I currently don’t feel the pull. But I really appreciate what Josiah said this afternoon about leaving, that God…

0:15:08.0 Jim Lovelady: Josiah gave his send-off blessing devotional.

0:15:13.3 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah. The charge. And one of the things he said was, it is very intentional when God takes you out of a culture that you know and puts you in a different culture. Because one of the advantages of that is you learn less of the cultures that you’re familiar with and you learn more of the Kingdom culture. And that makes a lot of sense to me. So why not Ghana? Maybe I’m learning a lot more about the Kingdom of God’s culture. And maybe one day we’ll end up in Ghana, we hope.

0:15:57.8 Jim Lovelady: Oh, that’s so good.

0:16:00.0 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah. On a more day-to-day note, everybody will rattle off to him. Like if we go, if we’re driving somewhere or we have to stop and talk something, they’ll rattle off to him in Swahili. And he’ll be like, I’m not quite there yet with my Swahili. Like you’re assuming that I’m the one like that I know what’s going on. But we kind of miss it. So I have the advantage of they don’t, people, they might not assume I know Swahili. But he… On a funny note.

0:16:31.3 Paul Opare-Addo: I come off as the the rude guy.

0:16:34.8 Jim Lovelady: Oh, because you don’t speak as much Swahili as you should.

0:16:39.5 Lynn Opare-Addo: As they’re expecting.


0:16:41.3 Paul Opare-Addo: As I should. And maybe they are wondering, “why is he not responding?” I’m like, I didn’t understand at all.

[overlapping conversation]

0:16:51.3 Lynn Opare-Addo: Didn’t know you’re talking to me.

0:16:51.4 Jim Lovelady: I don’t mean to be mean. I’m not being mean. [laughter] Oh, that’s so funny.

0:16:56.0 Paul Opare-Addo: But coming back to the teaching that we are doing, also we, the Kenyan medical system has medical students spend a year at the end of their medical didactics in medical school. They spend a year in a hospital doing five rotations, used to be four, but just recently it’s been changed to five. So pediatrics, general surgery, internal medicine, and OB-GYN, as well as community health. And so we do have about we get to have about 12-15 of these medical students come in. So they come in as interns for a year and we get to teach them through these rotations.

0:17:51.2 Paul Opare-Addo: And that provides a lot of opportunity as well to teach them medicine, but then also to bring God into what medicine looks like. And maybe at some point we’re going to come back to that a little bit because that’s something we’re still trying to figure out. Because we’ve been through training ourselves and so we’ve experienced what medical training looks like. But as missionaries, we want to add a different flavor to what medical training looks like. And that’s something that I initially I thought I had a very fair idea of what that looked like. But now we have coined an adjective in our home.

0:18:33.0 Jim Lovelady: Oh yeah?

0:18:33.1 Paul Opare-Addo: The adjective is Serge-y.

0:18:35.2 Jim Lovelady: Serge-y.

0:18:36.0 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:18:36.4 Jim Lovelady: Oh okay. What’s something that’s Serge-y?

0:18:38.8 Paul Opare-Addo: Well, something that Serge does. So we, like Sonship is very Serge-y.


0:18:47.0 Paul Opare-Addo: So how can we make it Serge-y?

0:18:49.9 Jim Lovelady: Oh, interesting.

0:18:51.5 Paul Opare-Addo: So that’s a new avenue I’m thinking about really exploring very well. Yeah.

0:18:56.3 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah. And I was going to say in some sense, that’s very gospel oriented, like gospel applicable to life.

0:19:00.7 Paul Opare-Addo: It is.

0:19:04.9 Lynn Opare-Addo: But Serge does that very well. And I think we experience that through Sonship.

0:19:07.5 Jim Lovelady: Give me an example of something that’s Serge-y.

0:19:09.6 Lynn Opare-Addo: Something that’s Serge-y?

0:19:11.9 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah, just something like in life that you’ve experienced that just like… Maybe the way that you handled something differently than before because there’s a different way of articulating and understanding the gospel now in the way that it’s working out here. I don’t know. What’s something that’s Serge-y?

0:19:31.5 Lynn Opare-Addo: Well, I could think of like, even when we were in there, we had a situation come up. I don’t even remember the details of the situation, but I had kind of built up my case, all the things that I had to say or had to communicate. And I think I was prepared for the way that he might respond or address it. And then he just responded in such a humble quiet way of, oh, I’m sorry about that or something like that. And I thought there would have been many things he could have brought up that was a good case that I would have to explain myself some more. But I just felt like, oh, just that recognition of where you’re coming from in an immediate sense.

0:20:11.7 Lynn Opare-Addo: I guess that would be like a Serge-y example, which, kind of like dialed down the situation. Although I was like, oh, I don’t have to say like, all the things that I was thinking or feeling, kind of just dialed down so much based on his response. So that would be one example of something that would…

0:20:26.5 Paul Opare-Addo: So I didn’t go into defensive mode. I chose to be more vulnerable.

0:20:30.3 Jim Lovelady: Right.

0:20:30.7 Paul Opare-Addo: [0:20:31.1] That’s Serge-y.

0:20:33.6 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. Okay.

0:20:33.7 Lynn Opare-Addo: Okay. But I was even talking… We’ve talked, so you mentioned it a little bit, what does that look like in the context of medical education? Because you realize how much the culture, like even like the western culture of training and you’re thinking it is good because you’re very much trying to make sure the patients have good outcomes with things, but sometimes that’s at the detriment of you ream out the learners, right? And it’s a very different culture I think in the learning environment in Kenya. And so I think, and in many places, but I think the culture in general I think is more indirect. People are more nuanced how they do things. And that’s very kind of counter the American system. And so it’s one way where you’re looking kind of how did my own culture influence things and what does it look like in a gospel culture? How can I teach what is important here? Communicate the message of like the important things of getting the medicine right, doing medicine well, but do that in a way that is like really honoring to the learners. And I don’t know, I think that’s something we’ve explored.

0:21:41.9 Jim Lovelady: Oh yeah, that’s brilliant because the medical system that you trained under goes, Hey, this is how you teach American medicine. Or this is how you teach medicine and it’s American-y. But if you want to… And so it almost seems natural to bring that American-y culture into the way that you’re doing… You’re teaching the way that you’re walking down the hallway, you know, the way that the hierarchies get formed in a community like that. And then the gospel goes, well, we can jettison the American-y culture because the victory of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection has changed everything. So now I’m free to be gospel-y in this situation. When people would expect me to be impatient, I’m gonna show patience. When people would expect me to be cynical, I’m actually gonna have the fruit of the Spirit and joy. And when you talk about Serge-y, it’s like, okay, well let’s see if we can bring some Surgey-ness.

0:22:58.7 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah. Because here is one, right. So it’s always been a firm belief of mine that the medicine that we practice should not be a hindrance to people coming to Christ. So at the very least, we should be competent, like the minimum bar for Christian physicians and clinicians that we should be competent in work.

0:23:18.9 Jim Lovelady: You should be a good doctor.

0:23:20.0 Paul Opare-Addo: You should be a good doctor.

0:23:20.7 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. I appreciate that.


0:23:25.0 Paul Opare-Addo: But I had an epiphany yesterday that as good as that sounds and as good as that is, what’s the use if that just leads to a lot of pressure on my learners? That they’re driven just by the sort of performance, that they lose themselves in the process.

0:23:45.3 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:23:46.7 Paul Opare-Addo: And yesterday I was thinking, I don’t remember what the context was before we actually got to that point, but I left… I think one of those classes we had yesterday, I left the place feeling like this is just like one of those, it’s not circumcision that is important or…

0:24:06.2 Jim Lovelady: Uncircumcision.

0:24:07.3 Paul Opare-Addo: Uncircumcision, but…

0:24:08.6 Jim Lovelady: Faith working itself out in love.

0:24:11.2 Paul Opare-Addo: Just out of love.

0:24:12.0 Jim Lovelady: Yes.

0:24:12.1 Paul Opare-Addo: There, that.

0:24:12.5 Jim Lovelady: My favorite verse.

0:24:13.1 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah, yeah. We learned that from you. [laughter]

0:24:17.1 Lynn Opare-Addo: It’s our most quoted verse over the last months, let me tell you. [laughter]

0:24:18.2 Jim Lovelady: It’s the most awkward verse.


0:24:22.6 Paul Opare-Addo: So, how can you do things in such that they’re steeped so much in God and in the blood, like, so that it’s not being driven by, you know, this is my own… Your self savior. Like, or this is where my security is. But how do you peel things off and layer them so differently that the gospel is lifted. And that’s why, what I mean by we… It’s a new thing to think about. How do we think about that in medical education and what sort of fruit could that bear in let’s say five years or 10 years in a new generation of doctors who practice medicine differently than we are used to.

0:25:14.4 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. I said this is a time capsule, so that strikes me as something that three or so years from now, I’m gonna ask you what is that looking like now? What does it mean to bring the gospel to bear so that a doctor who is training to be a doctor doesn’t find their primary identity in being a doctor, but they can do that job in a freedom that is kind of astounding to people?

0:25:44.9 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:25:46.4 Jim Lovelady: Because they’re doing it in the freedom of Christ, in faith. You know, neither this nor that but faith working itself out in love.

0:25:53.5 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:25:54.3 Jim Lovelady: So, alright. So talk to me about what that has looked like with the kids and in Chogoria and in the broader culture of living in this town, on the compound, being neighbors with…

0:26:08.6 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:26:08.6 Jim Lovelady: These folks.

0:26:11.7 Lynn Opare-Addo: Well, I guess I should go back to some initial observations, I think. I realized when… I remember when the first couple of weeks we were there and we were in the Webbers’ backyard, we were talking with them, and I was kind of scratching my head, like I just observed some of these things that play in their lives and I was like wondering like, you know, what is their church background? What is… And I was just scratching my head ’cause it didn’t quite… I don’t know, it didn’t quite like, I didn’t know, like…

0:26:37.8 Lynn Opare-Addo: I feel like I had a few of these principles in some of my church backgrounds, but it didn’t seem that their experience was the same as that. And I was like, oh, they just, I don’t know. But fast forward to doing Sonship. I’m like, oh, this is exactly, these principles come to play in their lives. I just see that, I see that in how they interact, and I was like, oh, I guess that’s… I guess it’s like a Serge thing. So I’ve come to realize that it’s a Serge thing. And that’s, I think one thing I’ve really enjoyed about Serge is that I feel like that core gospel, how do I react in a way that is really in keeping with the gospel…

0:27:17.9 Lynn Opare-Addo: As something that permeates every part… It’s really put into the culture of the place. And I think it’s especially exciting for me because I feel like walking through life, I feel like the Holy Spirit has walked me through some of these things. I feel like these are certain principles, but I didn’t know how to organize that or put words on it. And when I wanted to introduce it to people, I feel like I don’t know how to do that. And I feel like Sonship was a kind of more organized way of how do you walk through, like walk through thinking about this and thinking about it in a gospel context. So I feel like it really organized things for me in a way that feels exciting, to be a part of a body of people who are encompassing these values and knowing how to pass them on. Because it’s one thing to own a value and it’s another thing to be able to cast vision for that for other people.

0:28:20.0 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. The Webber’s were putting down a vibe.


0:28:23.3 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah. They were, totally. And I didn’t realize that was throughout their organization, but I’ve come to realize that. Yeah.

0:28:30.5 Jim Lovelady: I use that word just all the time because it’s kind of hard to articulate. Especially describing a culture, and I already used the word multicultural. Multicultural marriage, multicultural ministry, but there is a gospel culture that’s got this vibe that I love how you’re talking about this, this winsome thing going on. [laughter]

0:28:52.6 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:28:52.9 Jim Lovelady: I saw how they reacted in humility when I would’ve expected defensiveness. Like what you described where you were ready for him to respond to whatever it was with defensiveness, and he’d responded with humility and you were taken aback. Like, oh, and that was where like, the fruit of that was, the fruit of a faith working itself out in love was a freedom where you go, oh, I guess we can have a good, honest, thoughtful conversation about this without it turning into a fight. Okay.

0:29:31.5 Paul Opare-Addo: See what Sonship has done to our marriage?


0:29:35.6 Jim Lovelady: Amen. Praise the Lord. And so the way that I just try to describe the vibe is things like, well, I wanna take these gospel truths that are in your head and I wanna let them actually work themselves out at the gut level. Because we live at the gut level, our gut level responses. I don’t remember the last time I had a head level response to anything. It’s like and that’s just… Part of it is my personality that I’m just always going from the gut, but yeah, that’s one of the things I’ll say. What are some other things that… There’s the way that I talk about my need for Jesus is the same as that’s the way I evangelize. I don’t know. So what are some of the things that you would add to that?

0:30:30.2 Lynn Opare-Addo: So I think one of the things that comes to mind that I really like is, and I think this has come out in like different things, but really grasping that God is good. I don’t know how much of… All the church would say, oh, God is good, God is good. But what our hearts do to kind of protect ourselves is not really trusting that God is good. And I feel like that’s a whole, that’s like kind of a process to what does it look like? Because you behave very differently if you really are trusting that what God’s good for you is actually good for you. You’re like, oh, what he thinks is good, I actually think is good. Like it will be okay, he will sustain me through it, that will be good. And that changes, I think so much about your response. So that’s one thing that comes to mind. Like just different ways that we believe lies about who God is and what His Kingdom is like.

0:31:25.4 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. That’s definitely part of the Serge-y vibe.

0:31:30.4 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah.

0:31:30.5 Jim Lovelady: Isn’t it?

0:31:30.6 Paul Opare-Addo: The Serge-y.

0:31:30.4 Jim Lovelady: The Serge-y vibe. [laughter] What are some other things? I mean, that’s a huge one that you have a Father in Heaven who loves you. And like, really.

0:31:40.0 Lynn Opare-Addo: Yeah. And the other thing that also comes to mind, which is something I have really deeply appreciated and probably stems from watching you do this all the time in Sonship, and I feel like the culture of saying, ah, in a situation where you don’t know what to do, Holy Spirit, what would you do? Oh, Holy Spirit, what would you have me do now? That constant, just little turning to the Holy Spirit to say what is the heart of God right now? What is God doing? And I think that’s also a part of the Serge-y vibe. That is… It’s kind of everything, right? Jesus said it’s good that I’m going to the Father because I will… I’m sending the Holy Spirit. He’ll remind you of the things I have said. He’s a comforter, he’s a counselor. We often think, oh, it’ll be great to have Jesus around. But really he said, oh, it’s good that I’m going because the Holy Spirit is gonna come and he will remind you of all these things. So just kind of walking out that…

0:32:38.5 Jim Lovelady: I love that.

0:32:39.1 Lynn Opare-Addo: Daily Relationship.

0:32:39.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you and you have His Spirit that is with you. It’s hard to describe. You just gotta start telling stories. That’s what it ends up being. I was like this and my wife was like, no, you can’t be like that. And I was like, oh, yeah? And the Spirit kind of invaded and stopped me dead in my tracks and reminded me that I don’t have to defend myself. Jesus is alive. I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to generate some sort of feeling of being right in the world if Jesus is my rightness. Jesus is my righteousness.

0:33:22.1 Paul Opare-Addo: The vibe is going after the person’s heart versus being right. Yeah.

0:33:29.2 Jim Lovelady: Say more about that.

0:33:30.6 Paul Opare-Addo: Well, in many situations, especially in an argument or a conflict or a misunderstanding, you want to be heard. And a lot of the times you did something because you thought it was right. So you definitely wanna defend that and prove why that is right. But a lot of the times, the way it’s done, in the process, you just lose the person and lose their heart. And we don’t really care about that, all we care about the fact that, yeah, I won that argument. Yeah, show them. But I think through Sonship, I think my eyes been opened a lot more to how often I am in that space, how a lot of what drives me has a lot… What drove me had been projecting this image of being right or knowing something, right? And that image comes from a place of… That this is my identity. But I feel so free, that’s no longer what really drives me, that now I can leave that behind and go after someone’s heart in the process. And I think that is a better testimony of what the gospel is. I did not have an eye for that before, so that’s one of the things I… So I think it’s gospel. But it’s Serge-y.


0:35:06.5 Jim Lovelady: I love it. You had one?

0:35:09.5 Lynn Opare-Addo: I think I forgot what I was gonna say, [laughter] but that was a good one. That was a good one. That was another good one.

0:35:15.2 Paul Opare-Addo: I think, while you think about another one. I thought I understood what repentance was, and I think in a lot of ways I equated that to just asking for forgiveness. And I think I had been in a place of just saying, I’m really sorry about that and just moving on. But I think through Sonship, one of the tools I now have is that no, no, repentance is way deeper than that, that even if it’s five seconds, a minute, I can take that time and say, Jesus, what’s going on for me? Not about them, but like, what’s really truly going on? And inviting him into that space to have that addressed. And so having that sort of tool and practicing that in your day-to-day life, being Serge-y.

0:36:09.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. [laughter] Yeah. That’s really good.

0:36:14.2 Lynn Opare-Addo: I’m gonna say, one of the things that kind of really hit me, even just probably through the process also of Sonship, but was… Is thinking a lot of how I think as a church we are so receptive to grace, like when we are “saved” when you first come to know Jesus, and you’re oh, He wipes away the sins. But then I feel like people try to do things on their own effort. Then it’s like your own strength to make progress or grow and things like that. And so often that we attribute that grace just to that first part. And we forget that this is actually like God is God. Like this is a constant process that he is working on through us. He doesn’t just leave us there.

0:37:00.2 Lynn Opare-Addo: And looking more like yielding ourselves to God, submitting ourselves to God than striving. And just when you need to repent, you repent. But even just bringing yourself to God, I don’t know what’s going on for me. I don’t know how to dress. Okay. I know I’m believing this lie, but I don’t know how to fix it. I can go quote to myself a lot of scriptures. And that’s important too. It’s good to look at what the scriptures say, but sometimes they can’t always take root in your heart without saying, okay, God, can you help this take root in my heart? And then the scripture can take a deeper meaning or do a work and he will start to show you things in the scripture that you didn’t know before or analogies in life. Different things like that. So I think that’s another thing that I think Serge encompasses well.

0:37:42.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. These are the things that I love. One of the reasons why I love taking people through Sonship is because I need to remind myself of these things all the time. And sitting with people and in sharing stories is where we start to contend with these things, is like, is it really true that there is, that grace is sufficient for even this? Is it? I believe that I have my union with Christ because I died in him and rise in him. And I believe that. But how does that have anything to do with this situation that makes me so mad? Or this situation it makes me so sad? Or this situation that makes me so scared, or this situation that makes me so ashamed or so guilty? What does Jesus’ death and resurrection have to do with this? And it’s like, let’s figure that out. ‘Cause it does. If the gospel is real, and it is, if the gospel is real, it’s real for those things. So take all of these vibes, these Serge-y vibes, take all of these. And so what does that look like, life in general in Chogoria?

0:38:51.2 Lynn Opare-Addo: It’s a good question. I think it looks like many different things at many different times. But I think part of it, I mean, it helps you to have authentic community when you are willing to be vulnerable or like, you don’t have to be right. You’re willing to be vulnerable with things. And everybody likes that. I mean, who doesn’t wanna be in community with people who are vulnerable when things are tough or doesn’t have to have it all together who can say, Hey, I messed up here, I’m sorry about this. And so when your identity is not tapped into those things and you are more free to be able to do that, I think that just helps foster intimacy in community. And granted, that’s a journey, right? That’s a journey everywhere. ‘Cause you do it better some times than other times. But I think community in that case, looks deeper. Like you can be more real with each other when that’s true.

0:39:52.4 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah. And I think it’s also important to mention that we are really, really privileged to be in Chogoria. ‘Cause we’ve been, we’ve seen a lot of communities that… Let me put it this way. There’s a lot of healthy vibe on the Chogoria compound. It’s very eclectic. We see Christians doing life together. ‘Cause we do have people from all over Kenya. And then we also have people from different parts of the world all living together. And there are community activities that really fosters friendship, fellowship and true community living. There’s bible study on Thursdays, there’s game night on Fridays, birthdays are celebrated. There’s good roasting that is done and there is a lot of intentionality also. And these things predates, it looks like it predated a lot of the people who are currently there because folks from years ago still come back and say, this was a wonderful community that nurtured me.

0:41:18.4 Jim Lovelady: That aspect is what I think is wonderful. You’re describing something that the Webbers described in some really, they had some really great stories to describe that. But what I think is interesting with what you’re talking about is the people that come through there and then they go somewhere else, you said ideally these folks who are doing the residency here, they will go back to their country or they will go somewhere else to be a blessing, but they will go through here so that they will be blessed so that when they leave, they can go be a blessing. So it’s, well, it’s literally a hospital, but it’s also a hospital for the soul. It’s also a greenhouse for growing in grace. And then you just, once a person’s ready, I guess you send them off, blessed to be a blessing in wherever, whatever country they end up going to, whatever other part of Kenya they end up going to.

0:42:19.0 Jim Lovelady: And I think that that’s, there’s something wonderful about how it’s not just a teaching hospital, it’s a teaching community. It’s a gospel haven, a greenhouse. I love to… My wife is a gardener, so it’s a greenhouse so that people can learn how to thrive in grace. So you just, come hang out, be in the Serge-y vibe, and then go and hopefully we be a blessing to you and show you how to have conflict with one another and how to forgive and how to do life together. And then you go off and do that same thing in whatever community you’re forming wherever you go.

0:43:00.0 Paul Opare-Addo: Yeah. And I think I have to give a lot of credit to those who have come before us. And then also our Kenyan counterparts. Like, they have helped build an environment that is conducive to this sort of living, to foster this sort of living together. So, they’re very kind. They’ve been extremely kind in the sense that they’ve accepted us in all of our full paths as people who don’t know the culture very well, who don’t know the language very well and availed themselves by just their friendship, giving us, answering to questions, pointing things out to us and making our life on the compound a lot, lot easier than it otherwise would’ve been.

0:44:00.4 Lynn Opare-Addo: It’s a reflection of the Kingdom of God. I feel like all the things we were talking about, those are the things that God is growing and doing. Like when you are walking with God, that’s the work that, He’s about those reconciliation things, He’s about community, just all the gospel things.

0:44:17.2 Jim Lovelady: No, this is so good. Alright, well, this is what I wanna do. Three years from now, either you come back here or I’ll go there and I wanna see what it looks like, that the Serge-y vibe has been cultivating that place where the vocation of teaching people medicine is also a calling to teach people grace.

0:44:45.1 Paul Opare-Addo: Amen.

0:44:45.4 Lynn Opare-Addo: It reminds me of the verse in John, I think in John where it talks about, abide in me and you’ll bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing. I think that’s like the underlying principle to all of it. Like, as we are abiding in Him, we are just reflecting, we reflect His, we reflect who He is. I think our compound, I think there’s a lot of that on our compound. I mean, everything’s always in progress, but we’ve been really blessed to be a part of a community that’s really abiding, trying to abide.

0:45:17.0 Paul Opare-Addo: And to whoever who listens to this, especially Chogoria people, if they ever listen to this, like, you know the way sometimes you can go into a home and you know there’s prayer in this home. It’s like you go into a place and you’re like, nobody lives here because there is no human warmth in this place. You go to abandoned buildings, you know. And you go to a home where people really inhabit, there is a feeling there. And then when you go to a home where you feel the presence of God, because there’s some grandmother who is always on their knees praying. There’s a mom who’s praying, a father who’s praying.

0:45:52.7 Paul Opare-Addo: I just want to say thank you to whoever started prayer on Chogoria campus, because it really makes a huge difference. And I think we are benefiting from years and years of people pouring out their hearts and lifting up the community to God. And hopefully this current generation doesn’t drop the ball and that we can continue to let that, see that grow for progeny. 

0:46:19.6 Jim Lovelady: Oh, man, that makes me want to go so badly. And I am!


0:46:25.2 Jim Lovelady: Well, thank you so much for hanging out. Yeah, you guys are awesome.

0:46:31.4 Lynn Opare-Addo: Thanks for having us. Thanks for spending this time with us. It’s been really good.

0:46:35.6 Paul Opare-Addo: And thanks for being part of the journey, like…

0:46:38.3 Jim Lovelady: It’s my honor.

0:46:39.7 Paul Opare-Addo: I mean, Sonship is like the thing that really opened all these things up, so…

0:46:44.6 Jim Lovelady: I’m glad.


0:46:51.3 Jim Lovelady: I know Paul and Lynn call it a Serge-y vibe, but it’s really just a gospel vibe. And it’s a demonstration of what Serge means by its value of gospel-centeredness and how we need the gospel just as much as the people that we’re trying to share and reach with the gospel. And that’s what Mentored Sonship is all about. It’s helping you move from living as if you’re an orphan with no Heavenly Father to care for you to living in the experience of the reality that to all who receive Him, to all who believe in Christ, He has given the right to be children of God. When you get a renewed understanding of the fact that you are a child of God, it moves you to actions of Christ-exalting, self-sacrificial love.

Over and over again, I’ve seen this life-changing course reframe people’s calling and giftedness so that they become a blessing wherever they go on mission and for whomever they disciple and then send on mission. So for more information on how you can take the Mentored Sonship course, go to serge.org/renewal. And I want to give another example that’s a very concrete opportunity here at serge. We’re always looking for missionary kid teachers. A big reason workers have to leave the field is a lack of good teachers for their children. If that is your gift, go to serge.org and search missionary kid teachers.

And while you’re there, you’ll also find other opportunities for artists and business for transformation, church planting and pastoral ministry, community development, counseling, youth ministry, discipleship and training. The harvest is plentiful. So go check that out. And we’re both goers and senders, right? The Lord has called you to use your gifts to love others wherever you go and to help send others to places that you can’t go.

The first immediate step obviously is to pray, to ask Jesus for wisdom and grace, to know how to use your gifts in the going and in the sending. But in all of that, remember that you already have the Lord’s favor. So as you go and as you practice discipleship that sends people out, receive the Lord’s blessing. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to smile down on you. May the Lord be gracious to you and turn His bright eyes to you and give you His peace. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God, life everlasting. Amen.


Paul and Lynn Opare-Addo

Paul and Lynn have relished more than 16 years of cross-cultural marriage, including raising three children and navigating the joys and challenges of ministry and medical training, including a highly-transitory global health fellowship.  Currently serving with Serge at the P.C.E.A. Chogoria Hospital in Kenya, Paul enjoys investing in the abundance of medical learners, Lynn works with the home-school co-op, and together with their teammates they work to build-up the community, especially supporting the robust chaplaincy program.  Their family is glad to call Chogoria home.


Jim Lovelady

Jim Lovelady is a Texas-born pastor, musician, and liturgist, doing ministry in Philadelphia with his wife, Lori, and 3 kids, Lucia, Ephram, and Talitha. He is passionate about the ministry of liberating religious people from the anxieties of religion and liberating secular people from the anxieties of secularism through the story of the gospel.

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