If you are a Christian, how often do you get the opportunity to witness to others? Can you talk about God at work? Can you pray with your clients? If you are shaking your head no, it’s probably because you feel it wouldn’t be appropriate, you’re worried you might offend someone, or you’re just not comfortable being vocal about your beliefs.
But what if you had a boss who welcomed you to share God and who modeled it through his own conversations and actions in such a way as to never offend and only help? Would you feel more comfortable doing the same?
Those who are fortunate enough to work with Dr. Varghese John at Advanced Dentistry in Sugar Land have found their lives transformed as a result of the environment he has created. It is one in which the staff prays together each morning, asks troubled patients if they can pray with them, and keeps God at the center of their business model. Nothing is “in your face” about their approach, and it works.
“There are times when people are not ready for it,” explained Dr. John. “I ask God for guidance or I get nudged by the Holy Spirit. I make myself available, make conversation, and let it evolve naturally. I don’t push it on people. I have a genuine interest in them and they sense it, and then they become open.”
Treatment Coordinator Shawn Smith says she learned how to witness by watching Dr. Varghese John. “He’s always out there offering wisdom and prayer. It’s taught me that you can do any job in this world and still do missionary work. Many people have walked away encouraged by him. They came in not knowing where to turn and hadn’t thought about asking God for help. He reminds them that God is always there.”
Dr. John has run Advanced Dentistry since 1996 with his wife Anna, who came on board as his office assistant but is really more of a co-pilot. She has the same ideology as her husband: Take care of people, don’t be afraid to be a servant leader, be devout, be positive, and support one other. They have two older children, one who is pursuing a dental degree to continue in her father’s footsteps and the other, a high school student, who does graphic design for several ministries. All are actively involved in the International Bible Church in Stafford.
Aside from ministering close to home, Dr. John has visited several mission fields in African nations. He feels it’s the least he can do given his own experience coming to know God. “Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life and some people may find that offensive, but that’s what’s the Bible teaches. The only way to reach the Father is through the Son. If people don’t hear about the Gospel, they won’t have the chance to accept Christ as their Savior. In the western world, we are surrounded by it to such an extent we have the privilege of rejecting Him. We have an overabundance of everything. Many parts of the world haven’t heard of God or the story of Jesus. How can we have more than two chances, while others don’t even have one chance? That’s not fair.
“I was fortunate to have experienced the Grace of God. I was a totally different man. I came to the U.S. from England in 1993 and that’s when I came to know Christ. Christianity had been merely a tradition in my family. I never had a relationship with God. I could see how God was making a way for me before I even had the faith that He would do so. Others who had faith taught me and led me to His Grace. God was waiting for me just as the father waits for the prodigal son. People think they have to clean themselves up before going to God. No. He will clean you up.”
As a “cleaned up” Christian, Dr. John wanted to pay it forward by making God accessible to those who don’t have the Bible in their own language and who have never heard the Word of God. The avenue he chose was TAMI – The Apostolic Ministries International. With 836 churches in 30 different nations, the organization has helped him connect with both pastors and native peoples eager to learn about God.
One such trip was to Africa, in Cameroon, where Dr. John went with a team to teach over 300 pastors. What began as a lesson on how to pray and worship God turned in to intense long hours of study session and prayer when the pastors begged to spend more time on the subject. Dr. John said, “The gospel is supposed to change people’s lives. As a result of prayer, these pastors became more productive and their joy increased. We are still getting reports about the changes taking place in Cameroon.”
While there, Dr. John took some time to visit the prisons, an experience that made him uneasy but was ultimately rewarding. His team delivered food to over 700 prisoners, handed out Bibles, and shared the Gospel. After only two hours, 240 people participated in Believer’s Baptisms; many were healed of diseases and many were set free from evil spirits.
As word spread of TAMI’s presence in the region, the native pygmies, who typically never leave the forest, emerged in a group of 40. With handmade instruments, the group praised God in a way Dr. John had never experienced. He was blessed while blessing those around him.
He continued to spread blessings upon his return to his dental practice. As he shared stories from his mission work, his employees were inspired to do their own mission work right there in the office and in the local community.
Smith said, “Dr. John gave me the freedom to reach out to others. In this country, we have gotten so bad about speaking to people about God and prayer. In watching him and how well he does it, I’ve learned how to offer. You’d be surprised how many people are searching for this. They have something missing in their life and they don’t know what it is.”
Through Dr. John’s studies at Bethel Ministries in California and his mission work throughout the world, he has witnessed miracles of healing and restoration, and he is not surprised by them. “Miracles should happen now, just as they did in the early church. God is still in the miracle business. “
For more information about Advanced Dentistry visit www.sugarlandcosmeticdentist.com and for more information about TAMI and how you can get involved in mission work around the world, visit www.tamiglobal.org.