Journey to Veterinary Missionary

For: Megan Murata
Organizer: Megan Murata
$42,313
of $107,537 goal
39% Complete
Raised by 38 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

“Very simply, healthy animals represent healthy people.”


THE STORY:  

In third world countries, veterinarians are uniquely equipped to reach people with the love of Christ through their profession. The livelihood of many families is dependent on the nutrition, income, and labor provided by their animals. By helping improve productivity through disease prevention, agriculture/food system management, and education in animal care, a bridge of trust is created: one that encourages meaningful relationships and opens up doors to share the gospel.


HOW ANIMALS MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

  • Dogs and cats serve as companion animals for most children, and dogs serve as a source of protection and productivity on working farms
  • Cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens provide a much needed source of nutrition and income through milk, egg, wool, and meat production
  • Equids such as horses, donkeys, and mules are the main source of transportation, and serve as a means of agricultural labor
  • The health of animals is directly related to the health of people including zoonotic diseases and parasites


HONDURAS: 

In Honduras, most “veterinarians” are not individuals that are educated in veterinary medicine or even have college degrees. Most of them are businessmen that grew up on farms and have extensive animal experience. And although most people recognize that animal medicine is important and needed, the idea of preventative medicine does not exist. A local veterinarian explained to me, “it is a knowledge problem”, one that he believes could easily be corrected.


YOUR CONTRIBUTION:

This website was created to help raise support for Megan on her journey to becoming a long term veterinary missionary. Your donations will go towards the expenses listed below, namely the cost of veterinary school and short term mission trips (if you would like to specify your donation, please make a note in the comment section when donating). By avoiding incurring a large amount of debt, Megan’s hope is to continue serving in third world countries throughout her time in veterinary school and be prepared to enter into long term service upon graduation from veterinary school in May 2018. “Rather than simply asking you to contribute towards my education, I am asking you to join with me in the vision the Lord gave me to serve people through veterinary care. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to attend veterinary school, and would be honored to have you partner with me!


ABOUT MEGAN:

Megan is a lifelong lover of animals and started volunteering at a veterinary clinic when she was 11.  In high school She began asking God how to use her passion to care for animals with her desire to advance His Kingdom.  In her searching, she discovered Christian Veterinary Mission and felt a calling to pursue veterinary missions.  Her first experience in the mission field solidified her understanding about how God could use her love for animals to bring good news and hope to people in need.  Since then, Megan has traveled back to Honduras seven times – four times with CVM, twice with her church, and once with a medical team. She is the fifth of seven children and cherishes time spent with family, friends and her dog outside of veterinary school.

VET SCHOOL INFO:

  • Texas A&M Veterinary School
  • 4 Years, 18-23 hrs per semester
  • Estimated Tuition: ~$99,000 

EXPENSES:

Vet School Year 1 (August 2014- May 2015)

  • Tuition: $22,066
  • Mission Trip to Honduras through CVM (March 2015): $1930 (PAID)

Summer 1 (May-July 2015)

  • Mission trip to Honduras, Plan Escalon (July 2015): $850 (PAID)

Vet School Year 2 (August 2015- May 2016)

  • Tuition: $22,753
  • Mission trip to Honduras through CVM (March 2016): $2,140 (PAID)
Vet School Year 3 (August 2016-May 2017)
  • Tuition: $24,204
  • Mission trip to Honduras through CVM (March 2017): $1800 ($300 currently needed)
Vet School Year 4 (projected)
  • Tuition: $28,694
  • Externship in Honduras through CVM (Jan 2018): $2000
  • Boards Exam Fees: $1100

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 3, 2017

Posted on April 3, 2017

Return from Honduras
--------------------------

Dear Support Family,

A lot has been going on these past 8 months! Now a married woman and on the home stretch in my third year of veterinary school, life is incredibly busy. However, God has continued to lead and bless my life, and bring me through this season of change with peace. His theme for this semester has been Rejoice, from Phil 4:4 ("Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; rejoice!”). 

Below is a short summary of my past mission trip to Honduras on March 11-18th. I also just finished updating my website to include the projected finances needed to complete my last year of veterinary school and this previous mission trip. I cannot express enough the amazement I have for how God has provided these past 3 years; and even though I continually struggle with worry, He continues to fight aggressively for my attention when looking towards the future. 

If you would like to receive a FULL update letter (including my an update on my husband and our big move), please just email me and let me know. Most of you have either received it via email or will soon receive it via snail mail, but if you don't I am happy to send you one. I love you all, and look forward to continuing to share this journey with ya'll!

LOVE, Megan


I have just returned from my 7th mission to Honduras. It is incredible to look back over the past few years and see how God has guided me through each mission trip! Although long term missions is what I still feel called to, He has purposefully used each short term trip to further strengthen and build a foundation that I hope and pray will serve me in the near future. 

The work we performed this past week with Honduras Outreach Inc. was very similar to my previous trips through Christian Veterinary Mission. We provided veterinary care and education to a different village each day in the Agalta Valley, including deworming to decrease parasite load and transmission, sterilization surgeries to help prevent overpopulation and modify behavior (horses), and education in basic animal care and husbandry. We also bring small gifts and activities such as a bubbles, soccer balls, and coloring books to engage the children, and additionally try to involve them in the treatment and care of their animals (since they are often the ones responsible for their care). In general, the people of Honduras are very receptive to our efforts, and often eager to learn and do for themselves.   

The first highlight from my trip was the opportunity to go with the local Honduran pastor and the community leader to pray over some families in one of the villages. This work was completely non-veterinary related, and I heard heartbreaking prayer requests for diabetes, blindness, fractures, and intestinal pain. Most of these requests were shared because these people cannot afford treatment and are enduring chronic pain. As a future doctor, medical treatment was the first thing that came to mind upon hearing their requests; however, I strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit remind me Christ is sufficient, and I needed to only have the faith of a mustard seed and pray for healing.

The second highlight from the trip was the miracle that the Lord performed before my eyes when monitoring our last surgery of the trip. This poor mama dog was heavily pregnant and had TVT (transmissible venereal tumor). After examining her, our surgical team determined that she would most likely die giving birth a few weeks later due to the cancer obstructing her reproductive tract,  and therefore decided to go ahead and spay her. Due to her poor health condition, her heart stopped beating 5 times during the surgery. After reviving her with the 5th dose of epinephrine and CPR, we all decided that we could not offer any more medical support, and instead prayed for a miracle. To our disbelief, the Lord kept her heart beating! Our team kept a watchful eye on her overnight,  and the next morning I was able to hand her to the owner who was ecstatic that she was alive.

Overall, these two experiences coupled with the rest of the trip were such a blessing to me. I was able to put into practice the knowledge and skills I am learning in veterinary school to serve others. Our team bonded wonderfully, and we were able to connect with so many people in addition to treating over four hundred animals. Lastly, the trip came at the perfect timing in my life. I was given a week to take a break from school and be still to reflect on my own personal walk and seek the Lord in solitude.


Posted on March 25, 2016

Posted on March 25, 2016

Dear Support Family,

I pray this update finds you well! After a long week of traveling and working, both my roommate and I found our way back home to College Station this past Saturday. There are lots of stories and praises to share, but I wanted to quickly share a few of the highlights from the trip!

Our team arrived safely in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Saturday afternoon. Moments after landing, I found myself reuniting with several acquaintances (both Honduran and American) that I have made over the past 2 years. It was a joy to see everyone again and pick up where we left off! Both teams (both Veterinary and Rotary based) then traveled to Juticalpa for the evening, and then to Rancho el Paraiso the next morning (which lies 7 hours northeast of Tegu). The long drive is always a little tense in Honduras due to the dangerous speeds and absence of driving laws, but we made it to our destination safely. We quickly assembled our supplies for the week and packed our surgical equipment in suitcases for traveling to the villages. We then gathered for our first devotional and thanked God for bringing our veterinary team together.

I woke up to the first work day with a sore throat and fever. However, I was so excited to be in Honduras and didn’t want to miss a moment of it! Our first work day was in a village named El Ocote, and the school children were lined up with their pets by the time we got there at 8a. I collected research samples, helped deworm several animals, and then assisted with sterilization surgeries. After lunch, I was able to make some friends. This little boy (pictured on the right) was thrilled to show me his house, pet parrot, and rabbits. We were able to exchange several words in Spanish and English as we attempted to communicate. The grandmother of the little girl gave me a tour of her house. She explained to me that the little girl’s mother was off working in the city, and she took care of her during the day. They were both absolutely precious!

At the end of the first work day, Sephra and I began analyzing the samples we had collected.We quickly realized that it was going to take a lot more man power to analyze the samples, and proceeded to recruit the rest of the veterinary team. Andrew (top corner) helped by laminating the protocols, while Kayla (bottom corner) made the blood smears and ran the heart worm tests. Sephra, Hannah, and myself made the “poop slurries,” and analyzed the fecal samples. The next three days continued in a similar pattern. Breakfast was at 6a, followed by veterinary work in a designated village from 7:30a-2p. Our afternoons consisted of the research project, and our evenings were spent enjoying each others’ company over dinner, devotionals, and life conversations. New experiences on this trip included helping rescue a dog with porcupine quills in it’s mouth, almost being stranded in the Honduran airport after a 6 hour delay, and watching my roommate experience missions for the first time.

Over the course of four work days, our team treated almost 400 animals and collected/analyzed 70 samples from the four different villages. The research project went very well, and I am hopeful that the research will continue and improve educational strategies and animal treatment long term. Although it’s incredible to add up the number of animals treated, the true blessing for me was the people we were able to reach through our work. We all had the chance to love on, talk with, or serve someone through our skills in veterinary medicine: sometimes that person was a Honduran, while other times we were serving fellow teammates or the missionaries on the ranch. Either way, I believe that God used (and will continue to use) all of our encounters this past week to further His Kingdom.

Throughout the week, the Lord continued to bring up chapter four of James. Over the past few months this chapter has been on my heart, and I continue to come back to it over and over again to glean the meaning behind it’s words. I strongly felt that the Lord was teaching me more about humility on this trip (especially since I was sick for half of it), as He was constantly reminding me to submit to His timing and purpose for each and every moment. Some of my favorite verses from this chapter include…

  • “‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God.”
  • “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
  • “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”

Overall, I have filed away many more treasured memories and experiences.  I was very encouraged by the work that we did, and more encouraged to continue pursuing long term missions. As I get back into the groove of school and finishing out this semester, I would ask for your continued prayers. Taking the lessons from Honduras and applying them here is very difficult, as I struggle with contentment in the classroom versus the field. Yet I know the Lord always proves faithful, and I am excited to see how He continues to grow and challenge me. Thank you all for your prayers, support, and love. May the Lord bless and keep you!

In His name,
Megan Murata


Posted on February 23, 2016

Posted on February 23, 2016

“You must have prayed for bigger faith,” commented my roommate, as we were discussing present challenges on our way to vet school one morning. My initial response was, “I don’t think so, I’m usually very careful when praying.” But as I thought to myself for a few moments, the words from Hillsong’s Oceans came to mind. “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.” I marveled for a few minutes as I knew that this was a reminder from the Holy Spirit: I had not only prayed for bigger faith, but had been crying the words of this song for the past two years.

Over the last few months, my faith has been tested. Although I have felt a strong call to return to Honduras, I have been faced with with many difficulties. Nonetheless, the Spirit of God has been upon me (Isaiah 61), and His daily reminders of how much He loves me and how close He is to me has continued to guide and encourage me through little and big decisions. Similar to the Israelites who struggled to have faith and obey, He has humbled me over and over again to show me His direction. But through this process, He has been growing me.

I believe that God is moving and has big plans for this upcoming trip. Through His favor, I have been working with veterinarians here at school, across the US, and with the staff of Honduras Outreach Inc. to prepare for a research project. Although it is a basic survey of parasitic infections, everyone is hopeful that the information we collect during our trip will have a cascade effect. We intend to initiate a protocol for collecting/analyzing samples that can be repeated at the ranch in Honduras and applied to mission trips across the globe.

As both my roommate and I move forward to prepare for this trip, I would ask for your continued prayers. God has been placing prayer on my heart recently, and the power of humbling ourselves before Him and asking for His hand (James 4). We are very excited for this trip, but continue to seek His grace as we try to balance vet school, work, family, and trip preparations. Please be praying for us through this process, and especially for the duration of the trip.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you upon my return! The words of the song below has been my prayer and cry for this semester. May they also encourage you to reach out and seek the Lord in your personal walk with Him. 

In Him, Megan

“God I need You, I need You, I need You, Every breath, every pulse of my heart.
Christ have mercy, have mercy, let mercy abound, I need You, I need You now
God pour out Your grace, glorious grace, That I would be held by Your perfect embrace I am undeserving, You are high and worthy, All of my praise for this glorious grace.”
This Glorious Grace, Austin Stone

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