A California doctor who gave up his private practice to devote himself to full-time medical relief work is encouraging Christians to serve God wherever they are

In his new book, "Make a Difference: Responding to God's Call to Love the World" (W Publishing Group, 2004), Dr. Melvin Cheatham shares testimonies of others who have abandoned their security in order to live out their faith in radical ways.

Cheatham says too many believers have the misconception that they can only serve God far from home.  "So often people feel that if they don't go off to Africa or India or someplace to be a missionary, they're really not making a difference," he observes.

However, his book highlights the lives of numerous believers who are making a difference for Christ in some of the most dangerous places in the world today. But the author wants Christians to know they can came a difference wherever they are. "The book has stories of people who are rich and poor, people who are highly educated and with no education at all, people with good health and bad, who are making a difference – most of them right at home, right where they live," he says.

Cheatham, a neurosurgeon, gave up his private practice after hearing Franklin Graham discuss the need for overseas mission doctors and began working to aid people in Third World and war-torn nations.

The doctor, missionary, and author says reading and studying about Christ's earthly ministry reveals that the Lord often healed and helped people one at a time. "Just to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ and a helping hand and then earn the right to share the gospel is what each one of us is called to do," Cheatham says, "and our mission field starts right at home, right where we live."


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