One Foot in Ministry, the Other in Medicine

TGCvocations with Lina Abujamra

Lina Abujamra is a pediatric emergency room (ER) doctor, founder of Living with Power Ministries, and host of the Living with Power podcast and Today’s Single Christian radio show. She is also the author of three books: Thrive, Stripped, and Resolved. Although Lina was born in Beirut, Lebanon, she now calls Chicago her home.


What do you do every day?

I’m a doctor, and I work in ministry. My specialty is pediatric emergency medicine, and I work both in a pediatric ER and as a telemedicine healthcare provider. The ER is fast-paced and high-stress, which doesn’t afford much flexibility—something I’m craving since I want to do more ministry work. This is why I got into telemedicine; I can practice wherever I am.

My ministry work is varied. I spend some time abroad, doing mission work in the Middle East—particularly Lebanon, my home country. I also focus some of my work on encouraging single Christians—from writing a book calledThrive: The Single Life as God Intended to hosting a Moody Radio show called Today’s Single Christian.

How do you see these various projects intersecting?

Everything I do is focused on people—helping them, serving them, seeking their trust, and loving them. My tent-making work as a doctor has never been purely a money-making job; it’s always been a way to serve people. All of it—from practicing medicine to speaking and writing—is a means of embodying the effects of the gospel.

In what ways does your sin affect your work, and how do you face it?

I struggle with fearing man. At my hospital, we have a new system of feedback, where patients are able to speak candidly about their interactions with us. It’s a performance-based environment increasingly focused on tracking and measuring data.

But in Christ, my identity is based on God’s grace, not my performance. Although I strive to work with excellence as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23) and have rarely received negative patient feedback, I know my value as a human being ultimately rests on God’s opinion of me. I exist to glorify him.

Is it challenging to live in the tension of your medical and ministry work?

As someone who has a foot in both worlds and wishes she could be working in ministry full-time, it’s hard to see people attending Christian conferences during the week, when I have 10 patients waiting to be seen. But I know God has me here because someone needs the light of Christ. In the emergency room, it’s hard to listen and be compassionate since those things take time. So I try to be present, aware, and prayerful, recognizing that Jesus had compassion on the crowds (Matt. 9:36).

Where do you think you’ll be in two years?

I know one thing—I want to be in God’s will. I’m not sure whether that will be as a doctor or as a woman working in ministry, but I want to be wherever he calls me. As much as I hope that’s in full-time ministry, I’m willing to crucify those desires if they’re not what he wants. My hands are open, and I have a confidence he knows what I need. Contentment is not the resignation of the hopeless, but the bold affirmation that “my Father knows best.” I trust him.


Editors’ note: TGCvocations is a weekly column that asks practitioners how they integrate their faith and their work. Interviews are condensed and edited.

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