Posted by: Kerry Spencer | August 9, 2009

What’s next?

I’m 31. If I were born in sub-saharan Africa I’d be well past my mid-life crisis. Fortunately, here in America I’m still considered relatively young by most. However, by HOPE team standards, I’m ancient. I’m a whole decade older than about half our team. I’m half a decade older than our next oldest team member. Heck, I’m older than my HOPE director, who graciously broke his own requirements by allowing me to do the program. Hopies are supposed to be between ages 18 and 29. I’m glad to be the exception.

The majority of my teammates have known from the beginning that they would go back to college after the summer. A few of have had to make more difficult decisions about what’s next. That’s probably been the most frequently asked (and most dreaded) question directed toward me in recent days: “What’s next?” That’s to be expected as I am 31 and have been zigzagging across a peculiar career path for the past decade.

Well, I’d tossed around a lot of ideas: going back overseas, staying on at Jeff. St., getting a “real job” for a while, pursuing that career as a circus performer that so many have suggested. But all these ideas lost out, for the present time anyway. So, to answer the question, I’m going back to school. On August 18th, I’ll start taking some prerequisites at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) here in Louisville. Eventually I hope to get into nursing or some other medical profession. I can visualize many of you with your jaws on the ground at this point.

Well this is not as out of nowhere as it may seem. Way back during my most recent term in West Africa (2006-2008), I began to notice and respect the medical professionals who would come to use their healing and caring skills to serve others and serve the Lord. I visited our Baptist hospital in Nalerigu, Ghana and was overwhelmed with admiration for the services and ministries they provided there. I recall having the “crazy thought” of going back to school to acquire some of those medical skills. Since then that has been a recurring idea of mine. The main thing that has held me back is the idea of having to give up at least two or three years to get the necessary training. That’s not a big deal when you’re 21. But 31? Well, General Douglas MacArthur said, “Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort.” I love that. I want to live it.

So now is the time. I’m going back to school. Whatever degree I wind up with, I know I want to use those skills to care for people’s bodies and share with them the Remedy for their soul’s sickness as well.


  1. i have to admit that i was one of those with my jaw on the floor when i heard about you going to nursing school….but it quickly turned into a smile and i must say (although im somewhat biased) that I think it’s awesome. And now i even imagine the chance that we’ll be working side by side in some remote african hospital bringing physical and spiritual hope to those who haven’t yet heard the Good news of Jesus Christ. How cool is that-

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