September 13, 2016
You don’t have to tell David and Bethany Goodman how important impressions are.
While serving on the First Impressions team at the Summit in 2007, David must have made a good first impression on his future wife, Bethany. When their paths crossed again two years later, they discovered a mutual desire to serve God by ministering to the health needs of the poor. Through a medical mission to India early in their relationship, their desire to be engaged in global health together was solidified.
Bethany studied at UNC and became a pediatric nurse practitioner while David finished a combined degree in medicine and public health. After getting married and during the many years spent in medical training, they experienced God’s provision as they waited to act on the desires God had placed in their hearts 10 years earlier.
“We walked with God through serious health concerns for Bethany that made us question whether we could safely live overseas,” David said. “In God’s timing, he healed Bethany of epilepsy and left us with an unshakable sense that God is simultaneously sovereign and good, and because of that we had nothing else to fear.
“It may be that during the decade of waiting God has things he wants to do in you before you can do anything for other people. That time is not wasted.”
As David completed his OB/GYN residency, God impressed him and Bethany with the idea of using their God-given talents to address Fall-driven problems. They were compelled by the fact that 5.9 million children in developing countries do not live to see their 5th birthday, and 1.3 million children die during labor due to lack of access to things we consider commonplace like fetal monitoring and cesarean sections.
Armed with this knowledge, a love for adventure, and their talent in medicine, David and Bethany moved their family to Tanzania in 2016 to serve at a teaching hospital, where they do research and education and work with local medical providers to improve the care of women and children.
God began making his impression on David and Bethany’s hearts long before they met, and he continues his work in them as they trust him for their future and use their career skills to work for a secular organization for a godly purpose.
“For the Christian, there is no ‘secular’ work if the Spirit embodies and empowers your actions,” David said. “We would encourage you to spend time thinking about what talents God has given you and what effects of the Fall he has burdened you to push against. Exploring those things will help you, as Pastor J.D. says, do what you do well for the glory of God and do it somewhere that is strategic for the mission of God.”