It is my privilege today to introduce you to one of the “Healthcare Heroes” of the COVID-19 pandemic — Lina Abujamra. She is a Pediatric ER doctor and the founder of Living With Power Ministries, a ministry dedicated to bringing hope to the world by connecting biblical answers to everyday life. She has authored several books and is currently hosting Today’s Single Christian on Moody Radio and The Hope Podcast among other social media and speaking endeavors.
Though currently residing in Chicago, her ministry is also making an impact in her birth country, Lebanon, where she is running several projects (medical-dental clinics, educational and training programs, etc.) to give hope and healing to Syrian refugees.
In addition to her full-time medical career and busy ministry schedule, she’s been diligent to provide informative and encouraging COVID-19 updates from the frontlines of health care. You can check out these updates and learn more about Lina on her website at livingwithpower.org. As always, before you go, please leave a comment of encouragement for Lina below!
Be inspired, sis!
- If you could describe this season of your life in one word, what word would it be? Why?
Fruitful. When I was in my fellowship in Pediatric ER, God called me to full-time ministry, but did not release me from medicine. That was in 2001. For the last almost 20 years, I’ve navigated the ministry waters while trying to balance medicine, often frustrated and aware that I didn’t quite fit in anywhere. Since the COVID-19 crisis, God has integrated all aspects of my life together and brought me into a new season of fruitfulness. For 20 years, I’ve felt so much disappointment and confusion about God’s call on my life. It took a pandemic the size of COVID-19 to propel me into what God has been preparing me for. My ability to lead as a doctor in ministry has offered a unique perspective and hope for so many. I am deeply grateful.
- In terms of your career, before you knew you would be _______________, you almost . . .
Before I knew I would be a Pediatric ER doctor, I almost became a CIA agent. It was my dream. I applied to the FBI after 9/11 to be an Arabic interpreter, but then found out field agents sometimes have to shoot people. I got nervous and went back to the ER!
- Fill in the blank. I am not a very _____________ person.
I am not a very patient person.
Ha. Anyone who knows me knows I can barely wait. Yet, God has chosen delays and waiting as his love language for me! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life trying to rush God to get me where He has called me to be, but if you know anything about God, you know that He is unmovable and constant! God has given me an immense amount of intense energy and the upshot is that he has used this waiting to deepen my roots in Him and my love for Him, and to broaden the work I’ve been able to accomplish for Him. In every season of waiting, God has born a unique work for His glory. For example, the work my ministry, Living With Power, does with Syrian refugees in the Middle East grew out of a season of waiting. We now serve thousands of Syrian refugees in the Middle East through medical clinics, as well as a number of humanitarian efforts. We even created a brand called She Gives Hope to support the work we’re doing and have seen God literally move in miraculous ways. These miracles would never have happened outside of the waiting.
- Name your biggest strength and your biggest weakness? How has each served you as you’ve fulfilled your purpose?
My biggest strength is my ability to process quickly and remain calm in crisis. I am able to simplify difficult situations for others, which gives them the confidence they need to make it through their own crisis. Much of my leadership has grown out of crisis. The louder the chaos around me the more focused I feel.
My greatest weakness is my desire to see results now. This weakness has been something that I have needed to surrender to the Lord as it threatened my calling. I can’t tell you how many times I almost quit because I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything for God, or looked at other peoples’ fruit and deemed mine insufficient. By God’s grace, I have learned to rely on God’s strength in my weakness.
- In what ways do you ensure that your career path serves the purposes of God and encourages His people?
My whole life has been focused on a burning desire to love God more deeply and serve him more faithfully. I have never seen my life as a separation between sacred and secular. I come in one big messy package, but the upshot is that people trust me because they see the real me. There are no facades and no images to maintain. I recently started these COVID-19 updates, and I joke that my most watched ones are the ones where I just finished working out. I’m sweaty with bad hair and no make-up on. But God has used this authentic version of me to encourage people with the truth.
- When is the last time you laughed so hard that it hurt?
Anytime I hang out with my friend Tina would qualify. She needs to move back to Chicago!
- What has been the most difficult season in your life? How did you get through it?
The most difficult season . . . I’ve had many to be honest. They all have one theme in mind: I felt like I had pulled my part with God, and that he had failed me. After I ended my first engagement, my heart was broken by another relationship I thought God was going to work out for me. God did not. I couldn’t understand how He would let me down like that. A decade and a half later, I had a church heart break and again felt like God had somehow overlooked my needs. Ironically, each of these two deserts in my life were the catalysts to launch me into my life calling. My broken heart led to my call to ministry, and my wounded church chapter led to our work with Syrian refugees. I now try to see the wilderness as a chance for God to show off – after all, he did drop manna from heaven in the wilderness and turn stone into water!
- If this were your last year on earth, what would you want to spend your time doing?
If it was my last year on earth: I would spend it traveling around the world preaching the gospel. It is still my dream to hold revival meetings all over the world. I would also eat more ice cream. Someday!
- If you could make three wishes and there were no limitations on what you could request, what would you wish for?
It’s hard not to be sarcastic, but if I’m going to be vulnerable I would say that I would fall in love with the man of my dreams, that I would see God do things in my life that I can’t do on my own or even imagine, and for three more wishes!
- If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to just chill. Be patient. God has not forgotten you, and he hasn’t changed his mind about his plans for you. I would tell my younger self to, as my 6th grade teacher once wrote in my report card, slow down and smell the roses. I would also tell my younger self I should have practiced piano more and listened when my mom told me about that guy she thought might be the one for me (please don’t let my mom read this!). I would mostly tell my younger self not to take everything so stinking seriously. Laugh more. Hold to God tightly and to everything else more loosely. Oh, and expect people to disappoint you. That’s ok. They’re just human. Love them anyway.
*These blog interviews are designed only to be fun, informative and introductory. GB Ministries has varying levels of familiarity with each participant so their presence here does not equal our endorsement of or full alignment with theological doctrine or political perspective.