Unshelved

03/04/2015 .
Saddleback Storytelling Ministry

For more than five years, Rob Traultoff has been living life flat on his back. His spine is literally falling apart. Going from living an active lifestyle as a physician in a busy medical practice to being bedridden in pain in a quiet 12-foot by 12-foot room, Rob thought he was finished and that God had put him on a shelf. But in truth, God was using all of these experiences to prepare him for ministry.

“If someone had asked me 20 or 30 years ago where I would be right now, being flat on my back with constant pain is not where I would have put myself,” Rob says. In the past 10 years, he’s undergone four major spinal surgeries. After the last one, the surgeon came in, sat down with Rob and his wife, and explained that Rob was going to be permanently disabled and would no longer be able to continue working as a physician.

From his bed, Rob began watching Saddleback services online. As he listened to Pastor Rick talk about the importance of sharing his faith on a daily basis, Rob thought there was no way he could do it — he rarely left the house. But that was not enough to keep Rob from trying. He prayed, “God, use me — but you’re going to have to bring it to me, because I can’t move.”

A short time later, a friend from Saddleback called and asked Rob if he would be interested in working with a Rwandan PEACE team. They were introducing a pilot program called Telemedicine that used Skype technology to connect Rwandan doctors face to face with U.S. physicians to consult about delivering the best care in challenging patient situations.

Despite his difficult circumstances, God gave Rob the opportunity to not only share his faith, but to help care for people around the world. “God answered my prayers — he’s taken me off the shelf, dusted me off, and put me back into action. All for his glory.”

Learn how your gifts and skills can impact the world by attending our next PEACE Night. Email peace@saddleback.com to learn more.