Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lenten Prayer from Bear Creek Bible Church

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Senior Pastor John Salvesen of Bear Creek Bible Church in Keller, prays the following prayer on behalf of LEAP:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for being a perfect Father who is gracious and kind and full of mercy. We pray for the fathers and mothers of these little children who need reconstructive surgeries. We pray that their sadness would be replaced with joy for their children’s conditions as LEAP doctors apply their craft. We thank you that LEAP exists and has helped so many in disadvantaged nations. Their work is praise to you, the Great Physician and Healer. They are revealing your attributes of mercy, grace and healing to the world in a tangible way. We pray that the message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone would accompany the work of LEAP, so that the beneficiaries of LEAP’s work would not only be relieved of pain in this life, but will also be freed from their sin and know You in all eternity.

We pray that the staff, volunteers of LEAP would be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. That they would be safe and healthy in all their travels, and they would be given the necessary resources so that their work can continue and even expand. We pray for continued unity and effectiveness for them as well. We ask you to bless the children in spiritual and physical ways so that more praise and thanksgiving can be offered to You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

As this church family prays for us, we ask that our LEAP family also pray for Pastor John, his church family at Bear Creek Bible Church, and our LEAP family members, Monty and Melisa Wolfe and George and Alexandra Goode. We are blessed!

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
– John 10:10

Lenten Prayer from The Church at Lake Travis

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Pastor Jeremy Self of The Church at Lake Travis in Austin prays the following prayer on behalf of LEAP:

Heavenly Father, during this Lenten season, we turn away from ourselves and our desires and turn to you. We repent. And, as we repent, we remember that you have called us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow you. When I think about the LEAP Foundation, it brings great joy to my heart because they embody your call to deny themselves, pick up the cross of Christ and follow you into some of the hardest places in the world. My prayer for LEAP is that they would not grow weary in their work. I pray you would strengthen with the power of the Holy Spirit the administrators, the doctors, the intercessors, and everyone who makes LEAP the redeeming, reconciling ministry that it is for your glory. Thank you that LEAP is in the business of making you look good to the nations. May you be faithful to your Word in supplying every need they have as they seek to do your work. And, may the teams that go to serve with LEAP be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they may share Jesus verbally with those met along the way. We remember this Lenten season that you came to seek and save the lost. And, we thank you that you sought us out and saved us through dying on a cross and being raised from the dead. In Jesus Name, Amen.As this church family prays for us, we ask that our LEAP family also pray for The Church at Lake Travis and this pastor and his family. Pastor Self and his lovely wife have recently adopted a beautiful daughter, Ella, from Haiti, a child who received surgical care while the LEAP team was in Haiti early last year. This family has since connected with the LEAP family in a deep and meaningful way. We are doubly blessed.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
– John 10:10

Lenten Prayer from 121 Community Church

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The second week of Lent will be led by Pastor Rodney Howell, Mission & Equipping Pastor for 121 Community Church, who offers the following prayer on behalf of the LEAP Foundation:


Father in Heaven,
You deserve all praise as the one, sovereign God over all the universe.
You are a Father to the Fatherless and the defender of widows, and the rescuer of all who are oppressed and broken.
You are the one who heals and gives life, and You have shown your love to those who have been cast aside or ignored by the world.
Thank you for the work of the LEAP Foundation to reflect Your love in very tangible ways. We ask that doors would be open to share the good news about Your Son, even as LEAP staff and volunteers serve in selfless ways that reflect Jesus as the one who came to both serve and give His life as a ransom for many.
Bring hope, we ask You Lord, to those who are hopeless. Give life to those who feel their life is not worth living. Change individual lives and change whole communities by physical healing and restoring broken souls, transforming individual hearts and entire communities.
Thank You for the stewardship of time, abilities, and finances for those who serve through LEAP, and we ask for You to multiply the effectiveness of this foundation beyond what could ever be possible without Your sovereign hand.
As we move through the Lent period toward a great celebration at Easter, we ask that You would make it possible for us to join thousands in some of the most remote places of the world in praise of You for sending Your Son. We pray for more and stronger local churches to be birthed in those areas, and for more and more to know and experience the good news of Your Kingdom through knowing Jesus Christ.
In His Name alone we come to you with these requests, Amen

But For the Grace of God

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screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-3-12-29-pmPrisha’s story is as unforgettable as her infectious smile. Her life began precariously. Prisha’s mother was severely abused by her father, even during her pregnancy. When Prisha was born with a cleft lip and palate, her father’s anger was so great that her mother feared for Prisha’s safety and fled with her to her parents’ village.

When Prisha was two years old, her father asked her mother for forgiveness. With the promise of change and a new life, they returned home. Yet nothing had changed.

One day, Prisha’s mother returned home from work, and her two-year-old was nowhere to be found. Searching frantically, her attempts to find her daughter enraged her husband. Terrified for her baby girl yet unable to find Prisha, she felt hopeless and once again took refuge with her parents. She soon learned that Prisha’s father had sold the toddler to a gang in Delhi for $60, where she was put on the streets to beg. Her mother rushed to Delhi, and through nothing short of a miracle, she found Prisha. She managed to purchase her sweet girl back from the gang for $30. With Prisha tucked safely in her arms, her mother took refuge in her parents’ home.

That same year, Prisha’s grandfather found a flyer for the CICM-LEAP cleft palate camp in Damoh. In February 2009, after a long journey, the family finally found hope when they met the LEAP team. LEAP surgeons determined that her health was too poor for surgery. She was given a plan to improve her health and was strong enough the following year for the first of two procedures on her cleft. The second surgery was performed two years later.

Prisha returned to school and now lives with her mother and her grandparents. Her father is not allowed to visit her or to travel to the region. Through the grace of God, Prisha is safe, and her life is finally normal.

[For her protection, ‘Prisha’ is a pseudonym, meaning “beloved, God’s gift”. For the same reason, she is not in the above photograph.]

Lenten Prayer from Hope Fellowship

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As we prepare for the season of lent, the LEAP Foundation has been blessed to have key partnerships with local churches that support us with their prayers, financial gifts, and their services to help support our mission of enhancing and enriching the lives of people around the world by providing specialized medical and surgical services inspired by the love of Christ.

For each week in the lenten season, we will have one of our church partners pray for the LEAP Foundation; specifically, we will be uplifted in prayer for those patients still in need, for those patients and families with whom we have already served, for all of our wonderful, tireless volunteers, our supporters within our host countries, those countries that have a need with whom we hope to serve in the future, our dedicated staff, and the heart and vision of Craig and Robin Hobar.

The first week of lent will be led by Pastor John McKinzie of Hope Fellowship, who offers the following prayer:

Lord, thank you for your continued guidance and direction as you lead this ministry. We pray for your strength for the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and all the support staff who give so much of their time, talent and resources. Thank you for their commitment and we pray that you continue to send others who are willing to give and serve alongside of them. We pray for the children and adults they are traveling to serve – those that need your grace as they struggle with the afflictions of this world. We pray for your financial provision to be beyond what the needs are so that these people can receive the help they need and deserve. May the impossible become possible through you. We thank you for the LEAP foundation and their love for those who are hurting. May they continue to be your hands, feet and heart to this world.

As this church family prays for us, we ask that our LEAP family also pray for Hope Fellowship Church.

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

International Disaster Relief Update: Jordan

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In response to the Syrian refugee crisis . . . 

ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams missions are currently underway.

Jordan_2.2014Since the beginning of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, millions of civilians have fled toward safety in neighboring and regional countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt. As of February 16, 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that there are approximately 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.

In October 2013, we sent our first surgical team to Jordan for a week-long mission to work with the Treating the Wounded Syrian Program. Subsequent teams were sent in January and February 2014. Presently, the fourth volunteer team has embarked from Saudi Arabia. Over the next six months, we will send an additional nine plastic and reconstructive surgical teams from around the world to treat wounded Syrians.

Recently treated patients have required care across the full surgical spectrum, including traumatic blast and gunshot wounds to upper and lower extremities, hands, and face. During our last surgical mission trip (February 7-14, 2014), ISAPS member Dr. Gary Jacobs (USA), Mrs. Rosemary Jacobs, CST (USA), and Dr. Burt Faibisoff (USA) operated alongside their Syrian and Jordanian colleagues, completing more than 30 procedures on 22 patients. In total, the first three surgical teams have evaluated over 150 patients, selecting more than 45 for surgery.

To offset expenses related to leasing patient care and operating rooms in Jordan, LEAP Foundation donated $10,000 to the Treating the Wounded Syrian Program. This gift will help fund outpatient screening and rehabilitation programs that are essential to identifying patients for surgery as well as assisting with care for the patients recently discharged from the hospital.

To volunteer for a mission:

ISAPS members:

Non-ISAPS members:


For more information about the ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams, you can reach Ryan Snyder Thompson by email at




Beauty from Ashes by Cheryl Shell

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DepakDepak was an eight year-old boy from India who I met during the 2013 LEAP trip to Damoh. He had extensive burn scars from an accident, which left him without both of his hands. His right elbow had so much scarring that he was unable to fully extend his right arm. This was preventing him from progressing in school. Despite these extensive injuries, he delighted the LEAP team by showing us that he was able to write the entire English alphabet in capital letters. His penmanship was remarkable, better than most physicians can write! He is a very bright and engaging boy and soon had a crowd gathered to watch him. Depak was always polite and respectful. He was a very serious fellow, focused on his task at hand. But when asked to smile, his whole face lit up. What a charmer. He just wanted to be able to go to school and learn.

Depak and his father had arrived at camp after the initial assessment day, so they did not have the opportunity to get on the surgical schedule. Depak’s father implored us daily, and waited for us outside of the surgical center. As I was frequently in the tents checking on post-op patients, I saw him many times. The hope in the eyes of these parents touches your heart; they are diligent in advocating for their children.

LEAP surgeons had done a contracture release for a burn scar in the prior year, and word had begun to spread that there was hope for these children. Open fires and oil candles are common in this region, and many children suffer injury from accidental burns. There were several burn patients throughout the week, and the surgeons were able to work some of them at the end of long surgical days. You can imagine that it is very hard to turn these children away.

Finally, after several days of waiting, Dr. Matthew Trovato performed a contracture release on Depak. When I went to see him in the post-op ward, his father came to me, put his hands together as in prayer, and bowed to me in thanks, weeping. It humbles all of us, how thankful and grateful these families are that we are there. It is a privilege and an honor to serve them, and I am thankful that there are so many generous people who support this good work. As a nurse practitioner, I can’t think of any better way to give back; I feel like I have been so fortunate to be a part of LEAP.

Cheryl Shell






Cheryl D. Shell, RN, CPNP

Damoh, India Mission Team Member 2012 & 2013

Reflections on India by Mission Coordinator Kristin Pesola

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screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-3-14-32-pmThe India mission trip was both my first mission trip with LEAP as well as my first experience in India. After months of planning and preparation and several days of travel, we were all finally in Damoh and ready to try to meet the needs of those awaiting our arrival. For all of us, doctors, nurses and support volunteers, those needs became overwhelming at times. There was simply no way to treat every patient. After a very full day of evaluations, I found myself feeling a little frustrated. I thought of my own children, and what it would be like to wait for days, hoping a doctor might be able to help one of them with a physical limitation or life threatening deformity. How would I feel if the answer I heard was “not this year” or “your child is on the waiting list”?

But as evaluation day ended and surgeries began, my frustration began to ebb. I started to realize that the predominant emotion I was feeling and seeing displayed around me was one of gratitude: gratitude from the families with loved ones who were undergoing life- changing surgeries; gratitude from the hospital staff and nursing students who received valuable training from the LEAP team throughout the week and who saw many of their own people being blessed through healing surgeries and procedures; gratitude from the Central India Christian Mission staff for the impact that the LEAP Foundation has had over the years in the Damoh area, touching the lives of the people to which the CICM team ministers and witnesses daily; and gratitude from our LEAP team members for the opportunity to be there serving, meeting needs, and appreciating the many blessings of their personal lives.

By the grace of God, there were

478 pre-evaluations
287 evaluations
112 surgeries
58 orthodontic patients
15 speech pathology patients

“I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service.” 1 Timothy 1:12