Jacob Newman

Jacob Newman, pictured above, is a Gainesville resident and Lions Club member who is set to return to Australia for medical missionary work. Newman’s sponsors include some local churches. He represents Gainesville Lions Club.

The Gainesville Lions Club recently recognized a new member who returned from Australia in June, joined the club and is now scheduled to return to Australia on Tuesday to conduct missionary work in the medical field.

Jacob Newman was inducted at the Gainesville Lions Club’s annual installation of officers on June 15, with District 2E2 Governor John Paul Burnett administering the oath of office.

Newman, 22, was born in Gainesville to Greg and Connie Newman and is presently sponsored and supported by the First Presbyterian Church Gainesville, First Baptist Church of Era and Trinity Lighthouse in Denison.

After graduating from high school, Newman attended Tarrant County Community College and studied emergency medicine,  He became a nationally registered emergency medical officer in 2008, and started working immediately in Dallas.  

“For two years, God was not a big part of my life,” Newman said during the June installation meeting. “My priorities were school work and my girlfriend. I wouldn't say I turned my back on God, but said, ‘He just was not a priority.’”

But Newman said things soon changed for him. “After lots of prayer, I looked into an organization known as Youth With a Mission,” he said. “The first step in working with this organization is doing a discipleship training school. To do this, I felt led to go Townsville, Australia, and in April of 2011. My first step was work as an international missionary.”

The school is a six-month program divided into two parts. The first installment is a lecture phase with a strong focus on Christianity.

The second installment puts discipleship students in the field doing missionary work among natives.

“For the outreach portion, my team went aboard the Youth With a Mission medical ship where assistance was given in primary healthcare clinics, cataract surgery, dental work and even prescription eye glasses, which where donated by various Lions Clubs,” Newman said.

Newman is scheduled to return to Papua New Guinea on Tuesday to further assist the missionary medical ship, as well as helping staff a remote clinic in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. He will also represent the Gainesville Lions Club.

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