I remember walking out of that room and starting to walk down the walkway, and I did a video with my nieces, and I said, I can't remember what I used to complain about in America.
Any fear, anxiety that I had seemed ridiculous. Just in that moment, I thought, this is a place where Jesus is tangible. I can see him. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. As I think back as a dad, one of the best things that we did was take our boys on mission trips. I agree. I feel like it was life-changing for us, and it was also life-changing for them because it gave them a global perspective of what God was doing.
Yeah, that was our hope. It's like, man, we got to get our kids and ourselves to see the world. And when you come back, I'm not kidding. I'm never going to the bush in Africa.
It was scary, very scary in Kenya. And then coming home and sitting in my master bedroom, and then remember looking over at my master bath and going, I used to complain that the master bath that's a few feet from my bed is not big enough. When I spent the week with people in a hut, whose kitchen, bathroom, everything's within three feet, and I'm like— I remember when we took another son to South Africa. Why are you laughing? You're laughing. No, I'm laughing because remember when we took him to South Africa, and then we're in this, like, mountain shell, this little chalet with these animals on this prairie, and we're standing on this balcony, and our 11-year-old says, we don't have TV this week?
What are we going to do about video games? And it was the best week of his life. Yeah, so the reason we brought that up was we've got Bran Hansen and Sherri Lynn in the studio with us. And we want to talk about a mission trip that you guys had an experience on. Welcome back to Family Life Today. Thank you. I don't know all the details of your trip, but you guys host a radio show that's syndicated all around the country called the Bran Hansen Show, which is really the Sherri Lynn Show.
Cheers to the producer. Yeah. How many years have you been doing this, by the way? Uh, 10. 10 years?
With Sherri, yeah. Yeah, 10 years. Oh, I didn't know it was 10 years. Isn't that crazy? You got 10 more in you?
I think maybe just squeeze out 10 more. And then that's it, buddy. I'm out of here. And I'll be like, you know what? I need to just be quiet. Words. What do you always say?
Words, words, words, words, words, words, words. You guys probably feel that way, too. Yeah. And then you do a podcast together called Bran and Sherri Podcast. Yeah. It is great.
We've loved listening to it. But one of the things we haven't talked about even this week with Bran and Sherri was here just yesterday is CURE International. Yeah.
And that's a big part of your heart. It is. Well, so what happened? I was emceeing a concert, which is, I'm the worst emcee of all time. Oh, no. I am so bad.
I bet you're way better than I am. Uh-huh. No.
Do you have a moment to tell a story, to tell her just how horrible you are? Yes. Tell me.
It'll make me feel better. Of course it wasn't. Of course. I was an emcee for a Toby Max show in Miami.
Oh, that's big time. Well, yeah, it's outside amphitheater, like the grass. We've been to those. Thousands of people. You don't want me to get the guitar and do some Toby dance.
No, don't do it right now. But there's a lot of energy going on. But there's a lot of energy. And then there's parking lots behind the band shell, right?
Okay. Well, I get up there to introduce everybody. They're like, go ahead and introduce him. I'm like, okay, everybody, please give a big Miami welcome to Toby Max. And the crowd goes wild.
He did not come out. Oh, no. And I was backstage. I'm like, what's going on? They're like, well, we have miscommunication. We're sorry.
They're on these radios. Like, okay, Toby. Okay.
He's just getting another donut. Okay. Well, let's go.
He's going to go. Go ahead. Go ahead. So I go back out a second time. I feel sheepish. And I'm like, hey, I don't know what happened, but let's do it real this time. You know, here he is.
Toby Max. He did not come out again. No. It wasn't his fault. But it's not your fault either.
It wasn't my fault either. But the crowd doesn't know that. They're blaming you.
I'm sheepish like back in backstage. Did they boo you the third time? Well, no, they were just silent. And they were like, no, seriously, we're sorry.
The promoter. So he sent me out a third time. And I was like, I'm really sorry. The crowd was not responding.
I was like, give it up for Toby Mac. He did not come out again. What? So what the crowd saw was me walk off that stage, grab my keys, and they saw me walking in the parking lot. And I drove off. And they could see it all because I'm not I'm not doing this again.
There goes our emcee. You better get somebody else. So I still it still makes me hurt. That doesn't mean you're bad at it. No, that wasn't my fault. But anyway. Did he ever show up? Do you ever know?
I presume he did. But you were scarred. You're scarred. Well, that really hurts.
There's really a safe place to talk about all this. That has something to do with Cure International. So I was sitting in another show and they said, hey, can you say something about Cure International? Like what's Cure?
Like they wanted me to give an announcement off the stage and text to give or something. And they said, well, you know how kids have disabilities they can be born with or they they have something happen to them in this country is just taken care of. Well, there's millions of kids that have correctable disabilities around the world. So we just decided we're going to heal them in the name of Jesus and tell them and their families about Jesus. So we started these hospitals. It was an orthopedic surgeon that did it. And I was like, really?
How come I've never heard about this before? And they said, well, we're kind of busy. We don't have a big PR department or doctors. We're doing surgeries.
Yeah. So I said, can I visit? They said, sure. We're planning to build a hospital in the Holy Land here pretty soon. You can come to the, thought that was cool.
Then they changed it up. Like that hospital didn't happen. Would you come to our hospital in Afghanistan? Wow. And my wife and I had to sort through that.
But eventually I did, and I went back three times to this hospital and it's remarkable. So what CURE does is orthopedic surgery. So kids can walk like they're 15 years old, they can't walk.
Now they can, thanks to Jesus, they get up and walk. They're told they're cursed and that's why they have a disability. And the mom is always blamed.
This is worldwide. Mom is blamed. You must have done something immoral and that's why your daughter can't walk. And then family members won't even want to marry into that family because of the curse.
Usually dad walks off because he just, he's like, I didn't do this. You're cursed. This kid's cursed.
I'm not going to be saddled with this. So the child thinks they're a curse. Well, they walk through the door at CURE. People have been running away screaming. They don't want to get the curse on them. Again, this is a worldwide phenomenon. I had no idea. When they walk through the door at CURE, the staff is instructed to run towards them.
Grab that baby and say, oh, what a beautiful girl. They've never heard that before. Never.
We do these surgeries for free. They can't believe that. They will come from hundreds of miles around.
People don't talk about it, but I was so drawn to it because I was like, that sounds like Jesus to me. It's just one CURE hospital. There's a waiting list. This is the one in Ethiopia. We have a waiting list of 5,000 families with kids with disabilities just waiting to get surgeries.
That's at one. It's just a matter of funding it. So, what I try to do is I use my radio platform and my books and whatnot to tell people about CURE, and we've seen some surgeons come on board who've learned about it from the show or people that go be nurses or to train people, but it's really, I've been to a lot of the hospitals now, but Sherry just took her first trip to Niger, which is a very tough West African nation to be in for your first foray. It's 99% Muslim, and we're there healing their kids in the name of Jesus and telling people about the gospel, and they let us do it because we're healing their kids. Yeah. Brent, is it dangerous for you guys to travel into these? I mean, Afghanistan.
It can be, yeah. In fact, Afghanistan, yeah. The guy I stayed with, Dr. Jerry Umanos out of Chicago, hilarious.
He would love this guy. After I'd left one year, he was shot and killed in the parking lot at CURE by one of the guys who was supposed to be doing security, and he killed another doctor. Yeah, in Afghanistan. Yeah, so it is dangerous.
Yeah, so Sherry. Brent's like, hey, you should come. Well, it's a different environment. Yeah, but he still was like, just go, and I was always fearful of international travel. And so in our job, people will say, hey, come see this mission, come see that mission. And one time someone said that to us, I don't know what mission it was, and they said, it's Peru, we're going to go, and you have to go. And I said, I don't have a passport. And they were like, oh, okay, well, we'll get so-and-so to go.
And that became my thing. That was your excuse kind of? I don't have a passport.
I just don't have a passport. So I actually didn't. Yeah. And for this trip, Brent was like, just go, it's life-changing, just go. But the fear was the anxiety. I mean, if you travel, like you guys have, Brent has, he was so sweet towards me because, and he said to me, I don't quite get what you're going through, but just keep taking each step because the fear was debilitating to me. But I was determined to do it because we had raised money for CURE for how long?
Yeah, a long time. And I wanted her to see, like, it's an embassy of the kingdom of God. I can't describe it, and I know her passion for the kingdom of God, but actually seeing this place of healing and joy, where people who feel cursed are told, you're not cursed. God loves you. He draws close to the brokenhearted. He knows your tears, Mom. He sees your daughter, and now she's going to dance. I wanted Sheri to say, I want everybody to see that, but especially somebody I'm working with every day, and we're talking about this.
I'm like, this is the best expression of Jesus I've ever seen in my life. Sheri, what were you afraid of? I don't know. It was the unknown. It was the unknown, and I didn't know what to expect, and it just continued to overtake me. But when I got there, and I felt the joy of that place, the kids dancing, and there's a story we told about three sisters who had brittle bone disease, and so they were constantly breaking their bones and couldn't walk. And we had told that story for so long, we had made a video about it, I had talked about it on the radio and everything, not really putting together that it was this hospital. So the one day, I'm in the ward, and we're praying for the kids who are going to get surgery, and they said, hey, on the other side is where rehab happens and all that. And as I walk around the corner, I see one of the sisters walking towards me. They couldn't walk before, and I was like, is that one of the sisters?
And they said, yeah, and then the other one came around walking. And to me, it was such like a Jesus biblical moment, like we had talked about these sisters, we had talked about healing. That's what that trip meant to me, is that I believe so much in the mission, but when I felt it and saw these little girls, and I didn't want to be the big blubbering lady from America, I just felt like I was crying all the time.
I'm not a crier. I felt like I was crying all the time. That's what happens. The tears of joy? It was tears of joy. It was tears of God. It was tears of God, I can't believe you let me intersect with this. God, these lives are changing.
Healing is forever. They're learning about Jesus too. So their lives are changing in that way. It's everything I talk about, but I saw it, and it's real. It's tangible here now. It's like, we use this language to describe it, it's an advanced trailer of heaven. Wow, what a great phrase.
It is. That's what healing is. So this is why when Jesus is doing these miracles, he's not doing random stuff.
And like 77% are healing. Like he's showing us the kingdom is here, where the lame will leap like deer, and the deaf will hear, and eyes will be open. Like this is an advanced, that's what healing is showing us, right? So we get to see a glimpse of it. But I think when we see the kingdom of God in action, even people who aren't believers, the reaction to it is goosebumps or crying. Because you recognize something's deeply right. Almost you're nostalgic for heaven, even though you haven't been there yet. But you recognize, that's my home. So when you see these, and it happens every day.
They did, CURE did like 20 some thousand surgeries last year. Tell them you cry too. I cry.
Who wouldn't? I don't, because I'm a total rock. But I could see where a weaker person could. No, just being in the OR. Oh, you've been in the OR. Oh yeah, you stand there and they pray over the kids. It's just you got a child who's been nothing but mocked.
Maybe eight years old, maybe four, maybe 14, maybe 18, lying on the table asleep. And their life is about to be changed. You're going to finally have their legs straightened or something. And the surgeons pray over them with the text.
And so you're all praying for this child. And then they go about their medical business of healing. And oftentimes they'll listen to worship music in there. I was in there for one neurosurgery on a baby in Uganda.
You know, this was in Zambia at the time. And the surgeon's singing along with worship music as he's finishing up brain surgery. That's the best worship service I've ever been to. If people associated the church with that, they'd have a pretty good idea what Jesus is like. It'd be pretty tough to walk away from that. So that's when people are writing their manifesto is about why I'm leaving the faith or something.
And I'm like, yeah, but you should come to cure. You should see that. We had one of our sons, I think he's in his 20s. He went to Egypt with a ministry over there. And the same thing was happening where he met this family. They would have a party for the disabled.
Perfect. He was sharing about a mom talking about, it makes me teary, it makes me teary. The dad left and they had a son that had downs. And they kept him in the backyard with a leash on his neck like a dog.
And he was chained in his backyard. The mom was ostracized. No one came to, no one talked to them because they were cursed. And so she heard about the party. She didn't know it was a Christian. She didn't know. She just thought, they want to have a party for my child?
So she's all alone. And so she takes her son and the same thing, they run, they laugh. They're like, this is your son. What a joy and a delight to meet him.
Like, oh, it's such a privilege to get to meet you. And the mom is like, where am I right now? They put hands on him. They pray, they delight in him. They help meet needs. Our son came back like, what just happened? Saw the kingdom in actions, what happened?
We're the first or last and the last or first. And these people become VIPs. And you can also find out too, which is striking in Niger, wherever. I mean, people will come from a thousand miles away. They will spend their life savings on a one-way bus ticket to get their kid to that hospital. And then you can think that's just like how they got to Jesus. They would come from everywhere.
They'd open a hole in the ceiling. Right. And he honored that desperation. But to me, it's like healing's not just another thing. Like we have all these things and, oh, there's some good stuff here. And some, yeah, it's another good thing.
No, no, no. This is Jesus sent out his disciples to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom. In Luke 9, 2 is what it says. Like the idea to me is really encouraging a cure as a believer, because it's not just the surgeries where you kind of hope that they know that God loves them.
Maybe they'll ask. No, it's intentionally telling them and their families about the kingdom of God and explaining the gospel to the kids and the parents. So every buddy who comes through cures doors gets to hear about a God who loves them, gets to hear about Jesus and gets healed. They don't have to become Christians, but something like 20-some thousand did last year in the cure hospitals. Really? Because we explained the gospel and we're healing their kids.
Yeah. They're told by faith healers in their communities, like you did something wrong. Your ancestors are upset at you. And then they'll have to give them all their money and it doesn't work. And then they come to these strange Jesus people and they're loved like never before. It's not your fault.
It costs zero. And now look, your boy can run. To me, there's nothing else like that. Like your story from Egypt, there's one boy, just very common. He's running on all fours, 15 years old. And he called him the baboon in his own family because of his own bone issues. And he had someone find him on a mobile clinic from cure in this remote village. Well, they brought him in with a distant relative. He could not understand why people were talking to him. People are joyful and happy with me. Like they're smiling at him. He didn't know how to relate to that. Well, he's now upright.
And I saw the video not that long ago. He's on the therapy bars. He's standing up beaming.
Beaming. It's like, not only like, it's one thing to heal somebody, but to also say your name, his name's Adam, like, you're not the baboon. God knows who you are.
Like you have a name. Seeing that and coming from a background of religious stuff where I'm like, what in the world's going on here? Like I needed to see Jesus at work.
And this is the best example I've ever seen. Sherry, you've got some nieces that you're really close to. Did that make you want to allow those people that you love in your family to even see these kind of things?
I did. I made videos for them every day and I sent it back to them and so they would watch them and then they would respond and then I would do another video and I'd just go around. Like they had this beautiful mural of animals painted for the playground, but all the animals have like a little disability. So like the little giraffe has a little crutch or something and I thought, yeah, I want them to see this.
Like I want them to understand it. So I did do videos for them and it's so funny because someone at CURE was doing a story and was asking me about what I went through and everything and they were going to do a story about it and they said, do you have any pictures of you with the kids and everything? And I said, sure, let me get back.
And I have so many pictures, so many videos, none of me. And the lady said, you were so caught up with, and I was, with everything I was seeing, all the kids, I just have pictures of kids and kids dancing. At one point there was a little party there, you know, some of them weren't, hadn't had their surgery yet, so they're in their wheelchair dancing and everything. And it was such a joyful party. I remember walking out of that room and starting to walk down the walkway and I did a video with my nieces and I said, I can't remember what I did. I used to complain about in America.
I don't know what I was complaining about, whatever that was, that was those kids. And the reason why that joy is there because this place has given them a place of beauty that looks like Jesus. And yes, hope and joy. And it was breathtaking, any fear, anxiety that I had seemed ridiculous. It just, in that moment, I thought, this is a place where joy is there. But this is a place where Jesus is tangible.
I can see Him in their faces. Now, when they get healed, is there community after? Is there moms coming together? I mean, what happens after? Well, yeah, CURE tries to do an outreach with local churches and communities they're in. Sometimes it's really far away or something, but they still have developed networks for that. So each hospital has pastoral staff for that purpose so that they can integrate it. They also get sent home with materials about Jesus, coloring books and things for the kids, Bibles and whatnot to continue that relationship. The impact though, there's been situations, not exaggerating here, this will remind you like the New Testament, but somebody comes back into a village that they were like, your kid's cursed because you did something wrong. The faith healer here that said that's the case, couldn't heal you, kid comes walking back in.
And people are like, who did this? Well, this Jesus loves us. They told us there's a God who loves us and so we became Christians and we've had entire villages get baptized as a result. Because their thing didn't work. But then they found healing through this.
Well, what's real? To me, it's the sweetest thing and I even can understand Scripture better now because like when they brought that blind guy to Jesus, they're like, is it his father or his parents? Because that's still going on. It's like somebody did something wrong.
That's why this happened. And then his response was that this happens so that God could be glorified. So at these hospitals or being able to be involved with it, helping fund it or whatever, like I get to be a part of glorifying God by taking these kids that couldn't walk and now can run and dance and play. That's pretty cool. That's really cool. Now, is there something our listeners could do?
Oh yeah. If you're a brain surgeon, please apply. Like cure.org. You can actually see the kids that are in the hospital, see their back story.
You're going to be blown away. But you can give to cover surgery. You can give on a monthly basis. It's a matter of funding. So I'm happy to tell people that, again, like having 5,000 people in the waiting list, it's just a matter of funding it. Now, can an average person do what Sherry did? Can they go and see?
Oh yeah. If you go to cure.org, you'll see, you can go. When people say, like when stuff happens, tragedy happens, people are like, well, where's your God now? I have an answer. Follow me in one of these hospitals, I'll show you where it is. I will show you, because these are people that are the rejected of their own, like not just poverty stricken, rejected by their own families and communities locked away, finding new life and hope and joy and it's brightly lit and it's beautiful colors and the people are wonderful and people don't want to leave.
I wish you guys were excited about this a little bit. Any way that goes becomes a raving lunatic. Yeah, definitely. Well, I was just thinking, you know, where we started is I would say to a mom or dad, take your son, take your daughter, who's a teenager, and change their perspective on all of life to one of these, have the trip Sherry just had. And also, family life has started. We're starting to do family mission trips. And so I know that Shelby will be telling you how you can do this and where you can go to find out the mission trips that family life is doing as well.
Hi, I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Brant Hansen and Sherry Lynn on family life today. Such an incredible story of how God is working all over the world. And yes, we want to encourage you to take your family on a life changing mission. There are so many great opportunities with family life mission trips. You can take your family on mission together, mom, dad, and the kids. Now our goal with this is to help families grow in oneness, grow in their ability and grow in God's kingdom.
We all know that the old adage is true. More is caught than taught and what better way to disciple our children and fill them with a lifelong vision for walking with and serving Christ than by doing ministry together. So not only that, but families will minister alongside other families and you'll get to see kids influencing other kids to walk with Christ. So our hope is to impact families who join us on mission to experience Jesus more deeply for themselves and for them to have greater impact in the kingdom wherever God has placed them. So if you want to learn more, you can go to familylifetoday.com. You can check out the opportunities within family life to take your family on a missions trip. Now, next week, we hope you'll join us when Dave and Anne Wilson are joined by Nana Dulce. She's written a book called The Seed of the Woman, which is going to talk about exploring God's character through women in the Bible, discussing how women were tempted, how they went through suffering, and how God remembers us and sympathizes with us. That's next week. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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