Missionary Doctor In Tchad


James Appel, Class of 1991
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I have so many fond memories of my time at FLA that it’s hard to choose one. Most of the memories surround the group of friends that I made and not necessarily a specific event. It was those relationships that I’ve carried with me wherever I’ve I will say, that generally, the three mission trips I went on over Spring Break were the most meaningful in terms of short-term satisfaction and long term impact on my life. Experiencing new cultures, learning new languages, working hard for the benefit of others, traveling, discovering the value of team work, adapting, being flexible, putting spirituality into practice and not just theory, all of these things have profoundly shaped my future life.

It was those mission trips that gave me a taste for more overseas experiences. It led me to want to try it for longer. In college I then went as a student missionary for a year to South America. This also proved to be insufficient as I then went on to make a career out of it and have been in Africa for the last ten years.

Besides lifetime friendships and life changing mission trips there were also many teachers who inspired me and helped shape my future. Among the many, one stands out: Michelle Nash. She was a new teacher when I arrived and became our class sponsor. She was involved in everything that our class did and helped shape the relationships we had with the faculty and with each other.

More importantly, Mrs. Nash helped create in me a love of writing. It lay dormant for years, popping up here and there as necessary for certain classes, but not really as a passion. However, when I went to Africa I found myself in experiences so intense, they needed a release to keep myself sane. It was at this moment in my life that I began to write. It saved me. It allowed me to not only survive Africa but to thrive there. It brought me into contact with a larger world and brought that larger world’s resources to the poor country of Chad.

In conclusion, while completely unaware of what was happening at the time, many of my experiences at FLA were shaping my future. From the friendships I was forming, to the missionary endeavors I was enjoying and finally from the teacher who was inspiring, God was shaping my future way back in the past.

For more information on James Appel’s mission work, and the country of Tchad, visit his website:

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