It was not without misgivings that our family embarked upon the objective of starting New Paradigm Ministries. Was this the right thing to do? Was God really behind this? Or was it just our own will? These were questions that we struggled with. But with a desire for the salvation of souls, a recognition of what the Lord had gifted us with, and experience in how the Lord had led in the past, we decided to press forward.
If you have never worked in self-supporting work, you may not know how much of a financial sacrifice such work can be. It is like working as a missionary in the United States. To give you an idea, when I was the president and medical director of a self-supporting institute, my stipend was less than what I earned working in a health food store in high school. Now, the institute also provided free housing and utilities, and we were allowed to pick food free from the institute farm, so we were by no means treated poorly. But our financial situation was a far cry from what it could have been had I been working in the emergency department.
Needless to say, we did not have very much in savings at all when we recognized the Lord was calling us to start New Paradigm Ministries. Thanks to the pandemic financial relief measures and having a family with 6 children, we had enough money to take care of the legal aspects of setting up a new corporation. But we didn’t have money to purchase a property where the ministry could operate and our family of 9 (Daddy, Mommy, 6 children, and Grandpa) could live. We knew that if this was God’s will, He was going to make a way for this to be a reality, even if we didn’t have the money.
Also, at the time, I was the medical director of Uchee Pines Institute’s lifestyle center, and I wasn’t going to leave Uchee Pines without a suitable medical director to take my place. So, I prayed and asked the Lord, “If it is Your will for us to leave Uchee Pines and start this new ministry, send a new medical director to take my place.” We did not just need a new medical director. We needed a new medical director that harmonized with our philosophy of patient care and had a personality that would mix well with our existing team.
In case you didn’t realize, it is EXTREEMELY difficult to get a physician to fill such a position. The financial sacrifice and the significantly different way of treating patients usually turns off most physicians. Those that are willing to even consider such a position are those who are willing to sacrifice all to follow where the Lord is clearly leading in their life. So, this prayer was a big deal!
Our lifestyle center administrator and I both thought of a physician we had met in Cuba. Each of us had been to Cuba one year apart to participate in a program to train Cuban health professionals in the use of lifestyle interventions, natural remedies, and spiritual care. And each year, Dr. Kaylene Cox was there as one of the instructors. A surgeon, she had mission in her bones and a kind, humble, and cheerful character. We knew that if she was interested, she would fit well with our current team. So, we contacted her and asked her to consider becoming our next medical director.
Dr. Cox had become more and more interested in lifestyle medicine over the last several years and had recently taken her board examination in lifestyle medicine. She was considering starting a lifestyle consulting practice and getting out of full-time surgery. After fasting and prayer, Kaylene accepted the position and moved to Uchee Pines in August to begin training in as our new medical director. This was one HUGE confirmation that the Lord was behind this transition from Uchee Pines to New Paradigm Ministries.
Another HUGE confirmation came in the area of finances. Again, we didn’t have money for a property. And my wife was the main one looking for properties. She was all over the place, finding properties that were $80,000 to $6M. We didn’t know how the Lord was going to work this out or what He wanted us to look for, so we sat down together and talked about what would be the minimum needed for the ministry. We decided that we would need at least 20 acres of country property with close access to people, a water source (well, spring, creek, etc.), housing enough for our family, internet accessibility, a barn or shop, and storage space.
For months, my wife looked all over the place. I put a post on Facebook about what we were thinking of doing, and many wonderful people gave us leads or made us offers to come where they were and set up our ministry. We had many opportunities to pray about and seek the Lord’s direction regarding. Several of these opportunities we checked out in person. Still not sure about what direction the Lord would have us take, I prayed a silent prayer to the Lord, “If this place offers me a position, I will take it as Your will to go there. If this other place calls us while we are there, I will take that as Your will to go to that other place. If so-and-so accepts this proposal, I will take that as Your will for us to remain at Uchee Pines while focusing on New Paradigm Ministries. And if none of that happens, that means you want us to look elsewhere.”
Eventually, we came down to the last option, which was somewhere else. But where? Time was getting short, and we needed to find a place soon, or the winter would come and moving would be very difficult. There was also the issue of money. We still didn’t have the money to purchase something with. That was when a family approached us and offered to purchase a property where our family could live and New Paradigm Ministries could operate! Wow! God is so awesome!
We now had a budget to work with. My wife found a property in southern Missouri that came on the market that very day. It was 22.5 acres, had 2 homes (one was a 2-BR single-wide trailer renovated into a 4-bedroom home. The other was a 2-BR single-wide in bad shape and was not considered in the value of the property.), a barn, a large shop, a pavilion, 6-8 RV hookups, and 2 wells. And it was only $15,000 over what our budget was! We were able to take a virtual tour of the property that day (we were the 5th showing that day, with 2 scheduled the following day). After talking it over and praying about it, we decided to make an offer on the property. We asked the realtor how much we should offer, and she suggested the exact amount we had budgeted (we hadn’t told her how much we could afford). We made that offer the next morning with a letter stating what we would be using the property for.
The owners countered with $10,000 above our budget and offering to vacate the property by October 22 (some of you will understand the significance of that date). We countered with $5,000 less and an offer for them to vacate by November 1. They accepted the offer! Later, speaking to the owners in person, they stated that the note we sent with the offer about how we were going to use the property was what made them decide to sell it to us. They wanted the property to be used for ministry. We have had a wonderful relationship with them since then. God is so good!
So, with no money for a property, we now have 22.5 acres, a home (which is small for our family, but it works), a barn, a pavilion, 6 RV hookups, a large shop, a storm shelter, 2 wells, a small pond, several out buildings, 3 churches within a 30-minute drive from our home, wonderful church family that we have already fallen in love with in our first week there, and lots of friendly deer on the property, we have no doubt that the Lord is behind this move and New Paradigm Ministries.
We are excited to see how the Lord will continue to work and lead in the development of the ministry. We want to see as many people as possible become free in Christ, and it is our purpose to be involved in that work until Christ comes. Thank you for your prayers.
Some of you have asked how you can donate. We still have to finish some paperwork with the Missouri Secretary of State office, then we will be able to open a bank account. Once that is done, we will be able to accept donations via our website (www.npmin.org), PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Zelle.
Mark Sandoval, MD