Lee SauderTeam Leader

Team Position: Team Leader
Scheduled Travels Include: Medical Team
Home State: Texas 
Family Facts: Second oldest of nine, with five brothers and three sisters
Favorite Country: It’s difficult to say. I have been in Peru the most and definitely enjoy the Andes region there. India is the most unique country I have experienced.
Strangest food I’ve ever eaten: It’s a tie between deep-fried guinea pig in Peru and dried grub worms in Zimbabwe.
I never travel without… a well-stocked first aid kit, which typically includes IV medications and antibiotics. This is due to some learning experiences on my first mission trip.
Me in 12 Words or Less: Student of life. Quiet, observant, and adventurous. Coffee is essential for life.

About Lee:

I was born in Ohio, grew up on a dairy farm in Kentucky, and have lived in quite a few places since then. At 15 I moved with my parents to a ranch in southern Colorado and worked there for three years for my Dad and for a neighbor doing typical ranch work – cows, haying, fencing and just about everything else that needed to be done.

At 18, I randomly decided to move to Texas and train in emergency response at the International ALERT Academy. I received my certifications in search and rescue, rope rescue, firefighting, wilderness first aid, search and recovery SCUBA diving, and several other fields. This is where I realized my calling for public service and pursued it further the following year. I went back in 2014 for my EMT and Paramedic training. After all that I took a paramedic position in Kentucky and worked there for a year, then moved back to Texas and have been here since.

Currently I’m a full-time student and a part-time paramedic. I graduated in February of 2018 with an associates in nursing and am pursuing a BSN degree with a focus on pre-medicine science.

For the past two years, I have been traveling during my breaks for short-term mission trips, part-time contract jobs internationally, and a few more traditional “touristy” trips. The mission trips have been the most fulfilling by far, but I thoroughly enjoy travel in general. I enjoy using my medical skills to help people. Although I get paid to do it at work, that’s not as fulfilling as helping in a remote village where the most basic medical needs are not being met. I have a passion for going where the needs are the greatest, medically speaking, and helping any way possible, whether teaching someone about basic health and nutrition or handing them a small bottle of basic medication that we so often take for granted.

Lee's Perspective on International Ministry:

My first exposure to international missions was when a close friend convinced me to go with him to Chiapas, Mexico for a medical mission trip. While I had an interest in missions before, this trip really opened my eyes to the needs in these places. I was exposed to the fact, over and over, that while we may feel that we are only helping in a small way, it can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

I found it hard to believe that some of these people have almost no access to any sort of modern medicine. And on top of that, they have almost zero exposure to the outside world. Their culture is mostly ancient Catholicism influenced by old Mayan superstitions. This results in a huge distrust and fear of any outside ideology. This intrigued me and started a desire to spend more time helping those who are oppressed by their culture. I want to point them to the freedom that is in Christ and show them that their lives do not need to be dominated by fear – that in Christ Jesus all can have freedom and be loved by an ever-loving, ever-forgiving God, living our lives boldly and courageously.

How do you change a culture that has roots hundreds of years deep and so engrained in the culture? I believe that God changes lives and have faith that he will accomplish this. I believe that simply going and loving people, offering simple assistance where needed and always pointing them to Christ can make an impact. We can teach those who will listen and pray for those who are resistant, while selflessly serving the needs of the people.

Since my trip to Chiapas, I have spent time with gypsy children in Romania, Christian churches in India, and orphans in the feeding projects in Zimbabwe. Everywhere I see the fear, hopelessness and superstition that unredeemed culture engrains in people. If I can point one person to the hope and freedom in Christ then my trip has been worth it a thousand times over.

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