Dr. Sproul's dreams realized

Friday, May 9, 2003

Last of 4 parts

The years of manic-depression and alcoholism have taken their toll on Dr. Kennard Sproul. He has gone through two divorces, had his medical license suspended for a year, was forced into a rehabilitation program for medical professionals and lost a law-suit by a former patient which cost him his medical liability insurance and his job. He had even come close to attempting suicide. He had reached the bottom.

Sproul had developed a relationship with God while in a rehabilitation program in Mississippi. But he could not give his life fully to Christ. He felt he needed some control.

One night in Myrtle Beach in 1999, Sproul was literally pulled into a Saturday night prayer group at a church near where he was staying. The participants could see that he'd been crying and was upset.

"God was working through these people," Sproul said. "They asked me to give my testimony and I decided I would. Then I totally fell apart and just sobbed and sobbed.

"Everyone of those people, 12 to 14 total strangers came to me. They laid their hands on me and prayed for me and with me.

"And Christ was there amongst them, with them, in them. In that moment, March, 1999, at Myrtle Beach, the Holy Spirit filled up that empty hole that I'd had all my life. I didn't understand what I'd been seeking all those years. The Holy Spirit filled me up and I became truly reborn at that moment.

"My home church in Brazil is Christ Community Church. I have a lot of friends there who were very supportive when I returned from Mississippi.

I also have a good friend from another church, Pastor Jim Evans, of North Terre Haute. Months after my Myrtle Beach experience Jim invited me to go to Haiti with him and his church group. We were there just a week but I really liked it."

Since he couldn't get a medical job in Indiana, Sproul worked nearly a year at the Rose Bud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Then he taught high school math at Bull Head City, Ariz.

A few months ago, Pastor Evans told Sproul that the ministry group he'd gone to Haiti with before, now needed a full time medical missionary.

"I immediately felt the calling, that that should be me," Sproul said. "The calling was so strong I resigned at the school and moved back to Indiana to make the arrangements. I'm living with Pastor Evans and his wife."

Sproul went to Haiti in Feb. for a five-week ministry and started the process for his return. He spent the whole month of March with the Lumiere Medical Missionary in Les Cayes.

"I need to get back to Haiti and learn the culture, get back up to speed practicing medicine, and get more experience in tropical diseases," Sproul said. "Common diseases in Haiti are TB, malaria, typhoid fever, HIV, malnutrition, intestinal parasites. A mild gastrointestinal virus can kill a little child. One of every ten children in Haiti dies before the age of one."

Sproul plans to take a two week intensive training program for medical missionaries in London in July. It's offered by the Christian Medical Fellowship of Great Britain.

Then he has to follow up immediately with a three week training program in Colorado Springs, Colo. It's on being a missionary in a third world country, how to adapt to a new culture and be a long term missionary. After that he'll spend a month in an intensive language program to learn Haitian Creole.

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