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Road Trip: Taking Jesus to the World

CVB: You went on a road trip, which is the name of this book.

Dr. James Ingvoldstad: It was a major road trip and it’s still going on.

CVB: How did it begin? Tell me how it evolved?

James: As a basis, I had medicine and ministry as major interests. I was accepted to divinity school and medical school on the same day.

CVB: Oh really? Okay.

James: I had to make a choice and I chose medicine thinking I could always go to divinity school. I’m not sure that’s true, but I thought so at the time. I thought I would never have another chance to go to medical school. So after 20 years of practice, we were operating one day and a friend of mine said, “What’d you think about the Haiti trip?” I said, “What are you talking about?” He said this woman from an international children’s organization had come to our grand rounds and had been to Haiti. She asked if any of us would be interested to come down to look at setting up some OB GYN clinics.

I said, “Oh, that’s interesting. I missed the grand rounds. Maybe I can plan for something ahead and see what I could fit into the schedule. When are they leaving?” He said in about three days. I said, “Okay.”

Then I had this rumbling in the back of my mind, like in my fraternity days, somebody walking in and yelling “Road trip!”

CVB: Was this before the earthquake?

James: This was in 2001, before the earthquake. So, I went down there and found that Haiti is kind of pass/fail. If you get overwhelmed by the poverty and the hopelessness in your eyes, then you don’t go back. Or you may get there and say, “Okay, I’m hooked,” because you made some connections with the people there and the things they did.

That’s what the book is about, how they minister to us more than us taking good works to them. They integrate and we do some good things, but obviously they have a gift of giving from the heart when they have nothing. There are a lot of religious experiences that you have while you’re there.

I got hooked, so I’d been going down once, twice, maybe three times a year with various groups, our church included. I was actually there during the earthquake, so some of this book is about that. I’m trying to present how the Haitian people in their circumstances were revolutionary to me, rather than me just being there and doing stuff.

CVB: So it all began for you in 2001, but it evolved over time. Why did you keep going back?

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