My Friend, Dr. Awad

dr-awad

I was recently reflecting with my friend Dr. Fayez Awad about his 80 years of life. Dr. Awad grew up in a culture that at times discriminated against him because of his Christian faith. However the favor of the Lord was upon him and like Moses he was trained in the wisdom of Egypt and rose in honor to where as a highly skilled veterinarian he was selected to care for the pets of the Prime Minister of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

As a young man Dr. Awad was called by God out of Egypt to live in the the United States. Here he established a successful veterinary practice in Elizabethtown, Pa where he and his wife Minerva raised their two children, John and Mary. Dr. Awad was sought after for his veterinary expertise by big city zoos because of his special knowledge in camel diseases. At the same time his clients in Elizabethtown and surrounding areas came to know him as a highly skilled diagnostician of small animal diseases and as being very effective in the medical and surgical care of their pets.

Dr Awad always proclaimed the goodness of God to his friends and clients. He would pray before performing surgery on the pets of his clients and commit the outcome into the hands of God.

As he and I shared together I suddenly had the thought,which I believe came from God, “Let us have a party to celebrate all that has God has done through your life and your ministry to people through your practice of veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Awad was a bit taken back by my suggestion but after some time to digest this thought he and his family came into agreement and began to plan for the party.

So on Saturday evening June 25, 2016 at 5pm, we had a party (one week after his birthday) at LifeGate Church, Elizabethtown, celebrating the 81 years of his life. Approximately 100 of Dr. Awads clients, family and friends gathered for the joyful celebration. The evening was filled with joy and laughter as we partook of Egyptian/American food and shared favorite stories of the years of Dr. Awad’s practice . It became apparent as the stores were shared that Dr. Awad’s life was not just about caring for animals but rather, caring for pets was Dr. Awad’s way of caring for people and showing them the love of the Father who cares about all of his creation, including the owners of the suffering pets.

Over the years Dr. Awad was not alway certain he was being understood because of his Egyptian accent, so he would end many of his explanations with “Do you follow me?”

So tonight I answer Dr. Awad: “ Yes, dear friend, we follow you. You are coming through loud and clear as an outstanding human being: outstanding in your skill and expertise, outstanding in integrity, outstanding in generosity and hospitality and outstanding in your demonstration of the love of God to a people you have come to call your own.

Thank you for coming to us out of Egypt and expressing the heart of the Father who could Himself be called an Immigrant in that he left the culture of heaven to come among us in the person of His son Jesus. And like you, He also asks repeatedly, “Do you follow Me?”

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