Kirk wrote this e-mail in April 2010 to the team that participated in our cardiac surgical trip to Kosova during the summer of 2009:

Dear Team,

I just had one of those incredibly encouraging afternoons.  All of the kids that received surgery here in July 2009 came together to be seen in follow-up.  It was an amazing reunion.  The parents still had tears in their eyes expressing their thanks to the team.  One dad came pretty close to kissing me on the lips.  They said that they could never repay what was done for their child, to a person, and that they will be forever grateful for what the team did.  They all looked great in follow-up.

When I arrived in Kosova on Saturday I was bringing back a child that was part of our screening in July 2009.  He was in significant failure with a large VSD (ventricular septal defect—hole between the pumping chambers of the heart).  He had an uneventful repair in Orlando.  As we arrived at the airport, the grandmother said that this is the first time she has had joy since her husband was killed during the war.

These two events have really helped me put into perspective what we have the privilege to be a part of.  During that week filled with politics, broken promises, loud weddings, changed plans and all other types of difficulties, it is easy to forget that we were an answer to a families cry to God for help.  We had the honor of treating these children in the name of Christ and now two of the families have Christian kids clubs in their homes.

It was so encouraging to see all of these healed children in the midst of screening lines that never seem to get shorter and the tears of broken-hearted mothers that never seem to cease.

I have no idea what the future holds for what we do, but today my heart was filled with joy from the knowledge that I have had the privilege to be a part of a team of gifted people, who love Christ and want to share their skills with others.

I recently was thinking what really makes me happy, what brings me the greatest joy.  I think it is when I get to witness circumstances overcome by the power of God and the only answer for the victory is His power and love and Jesus gets the credit.  Today I was able to share with the families that we played a little role but that Jesus deserved all of the thanks, because if it weren’t for Him there would be no team.  Today I was able to experience that greatest joy.  I wish each of you could have been here with me to see Jesus glorified in Kosova.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of more than making long waiting lists.

Much love friends,