THE WATERMELON MAN

Dear CERT Family,
August 25, 2012

This summer has been crazy … fast. In my nine and one half years with CERT, I have never seen the likes. We have already led six teams abroad; four this summer, and have two more teams departing within four weeks. In just a few short months of 2012, thousands of lives have already been touched by Christ through your partnership with CERT. LIVES TOUCHED BY CHRIST, THIS IS WHY WE GO … As I reflect over the last 10 years, I recall countless stories of lives forever changed through CERT’s ministry. By His grace we get to go and personally witness the life changing stories and bring them home to you. The New Testament LIVES . . . “you will be my witnesses“, Acts 1:8. We recently returned from leading a 23 member medical team in Romania. There are more stories than space or time allows, just as John said of Jesus in John 21:25, but I do want to share two special ones. Our second day of clinic found us in the Gypsy village of Hetiur. Mid morning, the Lord led me into the area where team member Peg Waller, a family nurse practitioner, was seeing patients. Peg and her husband John, have been longtime CERT supporters and team members. Immediately I sensed the power of our Lord’s presence. Peg introduced me to Atila and Deli Gerebenes, a couple she was treating who traveled two hours to get to the clinic. Peg had already been sharing the redemption of Jesus Christ as she discussed lifestyle changes for better health. Atila, the husband, was gripped by our Lord’s presence as he heard more and more about God’s loving Grace. As we often hear, Atila thought he had to be “better first” before Jesus would accept him. For Atila, he thought that meant he had to quit smoking. Tears streamed down Atila’s face as the “Good News of Grace” took hold in his heart. After discussing “lifestyle changes” for better health, Peg introduced the Gerebenes to her husband John, a licensed Christian Counselor and mighty man of valor. Referencing many scriptures, John explained Christ’s sacrificial gift of grace. The couple repented, asked Jesus for His forgiveness and to lead their lives. The Gerebenes are produce farmers. After receiving the gift of Jesus Christ, they shared there gift of watermelons with everyone. As this transpired, the clinic had slowed considerably so myself and a few others took a brief village hike … unaware that “THE WATERMELON MAN had received salvation. As we were returning to the clinic, a van stopped as it approached us. It was Atila and Delin … holding up their Bibles with the joy of Jesus in their eyes. Atila insisted on a time of fellowship and pulled his van off the dusty road. The presence of Jesus’ “new residence” was exhilarating. Atila went into his van and returned with a watermelon, desiring to share his joy with us too. He carefully sliced the melon on a plastic bag he had laid on the ground. As we partook in the fruit, that moment became known as “WATERMELON COMMUNION”, a divine moment we will never forget. Thank you Jesus!

THE WATERMELON MAN, Atila and wife Delin

WATERMELON COMMUNION

LIVES TOUCHED BY CHRIST, THIS IS WHY WE GO . . . We go with hopes of introducing nationals like The Watermelon Man to Jesus. Yet there is also the hope of team members lives being transformed too. This is the second year we have partnered with Pittsburg State University (PSU), providing an opportunity for pre-med students to shadow health care professionals who “truly care”. We have shared a little about this partnership in the past, but I have not shared the whisper of discernment that started it all. Fall 2010, I got a call from the PSU professor, inquiring about taking 15 pre-med students to Peru’s Andes. “My” initial thought was, this is not what we do, and I remember how I was in college. But that very night laying in bed, the Lord made it very clear when he whispered in my heart, “if one of those kids comes to know Me and goes on to be a doctor … how many lives will he/she touch for MY Kingdom?” The rest is His – story! May 2011 we took 15 students on a 34 member team to Cusco, Peru, quite the experience. This year we took 13 students on this Romania trip. Both trips were powerful! Following are personal testimonies from two of this years students. The first is a Facebook post and the second an email I received just the other day. Every time I read them, it takes me back to that whisper two years ago… He is Faithful !!! “It's crazy how much you can grow in 11 days. To assist extremely talented and inspirational medical providers was enough in itself. But on top of that I made great friends, helped over 500 patients, and got to experience a new (beautiful) place and culture. God has sure blessed me in many ways and I am so thankful.” Courtney Lynn
Courtney Lynn with a new friend

Dear Bruce, Hello! Now that I’ve been home for a while I wanted to take a second to send you a quick note. I just wanted to thank you again for everything. This trip was life changing for me and it wouldn’t have happened without all of your hard work. It is amazing to me that you not only got a medical team together to go to Romania, but you also took along a group of students so that they might learn while serving those in need as well. I personally learned so much, not only just information about the medical field itself, but also about people. I learned how to show people that you care without saying a word to them, how a gentle touch can set someone at ease, and how a smile can make someone feel the love that we have for them despite the distance between us. Learning medicine can be done almost anywhere, learning the things that I did can only be done when you’re surrounded by people who genuinely care about others, and thanks to CERT, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by those people. I know that we went on this trip to serve others and to hopefully impact their lives, but in the end my life was changed as well and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ann Hutchison
LIVES TOUCHED BY CHRIST, THIS IS WHY WE GO . . . In two weeks we have another team departing for western Romania. In four weeks a team departs to serve in Peru’s Andes Mountains and it’s Amazon Jungle. November 2nd a team is scheduled to leave for Thailand. Your continued support will touch lives for Christ here too. Please send your best gift today and together we will continue to write His - Story in the hearts of His children. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You are an important and vital member of every team.

Bru

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Bruce Rainwater CERT Staff PS … Please send your best gift today, our teams, international partners and 3.5 million lost need us today.
P.O. Box 763 - Crossville, TN – Ph. 931.707.9328 – Fax 931.707.9406 E-mail: cert@certinternational.org – Web: www.certinternational.org