Strauss Ministry
 
About Us
Dr. Glenn Strauss

After more than 25 years of academic and private practice in ophthalmology, Dr. Glenn Strauss left his private practice to began full time medical mission work with Mercy Ships in January 2005 as a surgeon and leader.  During his years in practice, Dr. Glenn served as a bible teacher, pastor, and church planter.  He began serving in short term missions in 1997 with annual trips to central America. 

He is also an accomplished classical guitarist and enjoys leading worship.  

Dr. Glenn has been married over 35 years to Kim and has 4 children and 5 grandchildren.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from U.T. Austin in 1976, and from medical School at UTMB, Galveston in 1980. He completed four years residency in Ophthalmology at UTMB in 1984, worked as Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology from 1984 to 1987, and as Residency Director at UTMB, Galveston from 1987 to 1990. He worked in private practice with Heaton Eyes Associates from 1990 until 2004, and as Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Tyler since 1990.   From 2003 through 2005 he served as Course Director and national consultant for a newly approved surgery called Refractive Keratoplasty. He has written numerous papers and given many presentations at national meetings. Dr. Glenn was honored in 2009 for his work in medical education and surgery for the poor when he received the Grand Cross of the National Order of Benin, the highest civilian award of the country.

   
Kim Strauss

After more than 25 years as a full time homemaker, mother, chidlren's bible teacher, and women's counselor, Kim joined Glenn in full time missions in January 2005.   She has served in various leadership and support roles including eye clinic manager and perioperative eye team manager.

Kim is a trained educator of the deaf, is proficient in sign language, and has served as a children’s art teacher. 

Glenn and Kim have been sent out by Grace Community Church, Tyler, Texas

go to www.gcc.org for more information.   They also enjoy the support of a "senders team" organized to assist them in accomplishing their mission.  For more information contact jim81ruby@gmail.com .

 
Woven Together
(Spiritual Biography of Kim and Glenn Strauss revised Feb, ‘08)
Kim and I have known each other since the seventh grade. We were both raised in Lutheran homes and began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in high school. Soon after we accepted the Lord, Kim was trained in personal outreach and evangelism by Lutheran Youth Alive and I began a personal, intense study of the bible. We worked together as leaders of our youth group and worship team and dated briefly. Kim began college at University of Houston and I went to U.T. Austin. We both actively participated in Christian campus organizations including Navigators, Campus Crusade, and Intervarsity. I pursued my bible studies under the guidance of several well-respected bible teachers. I also pursued Kim who eventually joined me in Austin.

We were married in 1975, our last year in college. We made a public commitment to a life of service to the Lord by being baptized together and began working with a small group to start a new bible church in Austin. As a result, my parents who were deeply involved in the Lutheran church literally disowned us. We were suddenly faced with harshness and criticism we had never expected. Over the next 15 years, we would find ourselves repeatedly ostracized despite trying to rebuild a relationship.

At this turning point in our early married life, Kim and I learned to count the cost of pursuing the Lord. Our faith grew and with the financial support and encouragement of others we continued our work in the church, Kim finished college with a degree in deaf education, and I finished with a degree in microbiology. The door opened for medical school at UTMB in Galveston, which ironically had been my father’s hope for me, and Kim began teaching in order to support us. We quickly got involved with a new bible church that was starting in Galveston (the only one to this day). Within a few months Kim had to quit work because of a difficult pregnancy and we lived on money I earned from doing carpentry and music, Kim’s day care work in our home, and student loans.

During the four years of medical school, I continued to study bible, including Greek and expository preaching. Teaching, counseling, and discipling opportunities came regularly as I served as an elder in Galveston Bible Church. Our family grew to 3 children and Kim whole-heartedly poured herself into child rearing and establishing family traditions. Many children including our own came to know the Lord through her work. Several of these kids, including our oldest son, have gone on in their service to the Lord, still acknowledging the impact she had on their life. She also taught other women about their personal identity in the Lord, using their gifts and personality strengths to build a home, child rearing, and how to honor parents (even the ones who are hard to honor).

In what seemed like a miraculous way, God opened the door for me to train in ophthalmology at UTMB- an ideal specialty for using my mechanical skills and allowing me time to continue our work in the church. It has also turned out to be an ideal platform for mission work. I did a transitional year of psychiatry training to further develop my counseling skills, finished my surgical training in ophthalmology in 1984, and opened a private practice near Galveston. A few months later I accepted a position for two years as interim pastor at Faith Bible Church in Hitchcock, Texas where I was befriended by the director of leadership development from Child Evangelism Fellowship. With her encouragement, I began exploring foreign missions. In 1986 I had my first overseas mission opportunity with CEF in the Philippines. I found that I worked well in a cross-cultural environment and could use my background in teaching, carpentry, and medical skills. Unfortunately, Kim became seriously ill with a poorly defined disease and was incapacitated for nine months. Her recovery was slow and it was many years before the problem stopped recurring. But at that time, I cut back my private practice and eventually took a full-time teaching position at UTMB where I became the director of the ophthalmology residency program.

The adoption of our fourth child, Jessilynn, would become another turning point for our family. We began to discover the severity of her emotional and physical problems and Kim poured herself into understanding and dealing with Jessilynn’s day-to-day problems. To make things more complicated changes in the university and a deteriorating Galveston environment prompted us to make a move. I joined a small practice in Tyler, Texas and began the process of rebuilding. I also took a position as worship leader at Bethel Bible Church in Tyler. But Kim had two more episodes of extended illness that left me unsure of the Lord’s timing for further involvement in missions. The work with Jessilynn was painful and seemingly unfruitful, old friends seemed to distance themselves, doctors and councilors were giving up, our church went through changes that we could not support: our faith was at a low point.

God continued to provide for us. We found a new church home at Grace Community in 1996. Two of our children were baptized and committed themselves to following the Lord, and we found a secure Christian facility that would take Jessilynn. I joined the worship ministry at Grace and involved myself in its development. Doors opened again for significant involvement in missions through Mercy Ships, Int’l. I began making short-term trips as well as getting involved with the development of their ministry. My music ministry also grew with the recording of my original music and three classical guitar CDs. Kim began exploring various ministries in worship and children’s work, taught art at Grace Community School, and studied health and nutrition. She has had no further recurrences of her illness and in fact, has been sought after by others to help them learn to deal with long-term illnesses. She also creatively and compassionately worked on family needs that continue to test us.

Despite the variety of struggles, God continued to move us forward and encourage us. Our oldest son, Jason, and his wife pursue the Lord, working part time at a church as worship director, and have given us three wonderful grandchildren. Allison is married has one child and is also growing in her faith. The broken relationship with my parents from years ago has been restored and my mother is now a bible teacher, speaker, and author. In fact, we even received a letter of apology for the hurt she had caused.

Kim and I continue to have opportunities for discipling. We have led a fellowship group in our home for many years. Many couples have sought us out as a last resort for marriage counseling providing tremendous opportunities for transforming lives. My work with classical guitar has led to a position on the Univ. of Tex. at Dallas board of directors for guitar studies and performance and I continue to perform regularly using concerts as an opportunity to share concepts to challenge worldly thinking. I have also served as a national consultant and teacher for the refractive surgery business, Refractec, Inc. which gives me opportunities across the U.S to be a light for Christ.

Despite all these opportunities, Kim and I sensed the leading of the Lord to pursue a new direction. I accepted a position with Mercy Ships as director of eye care services in Jan., ’03 and have led the development of the MercyVision eye care program for use in developing nations. God made it abundantly clear with a series of confirmations that He wanted to use us in full-time missions. After prayer, council, and confirmation by our church, we made the commitment to leave almost 15 years of successful private practice behind and move into full time work with Mercy Ships. Our experience with church planting, discipling, counseling, music, medicine, and missions, and our efforts to stay financially unencumbered, the strength of our marriage and complimentary gifts, and our passion for making a difference for the Lord, seems to have prepared us for this new season in our lives. In Sept. ’04 I accepted the position of Director of Health Care Services for Mercy Ships, Int’l. and in Jan. ’05 we officially “retired” to begin our new work.