Tami dedicated her life to Jesus Christ during a mission conference in her church at the age of nine. From that time onward, Tami planned her life purposefully. Her desire was to thoroughly equip herself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually for the mission field.
In preparing spiritually, Tami read the Bible, memorized scriptures, even attempted to memorize entire books in the Bible, because she wanted to know God better and trust His wonderful promises for the rest of her life. She planned the exact courses to study and the college and university that would best equip her to become a missionary doctor, which she believed was God’s plan for her. Tami, like any young woman was desirous of getting married, yet for the sake of Christ and His kingdom, she was willing to remain single if this was part of God’s plan for her future. In college she was attracted to a godly man who was mutually attracted to her. But when Tami realized that he had no specific call to missions, with deep heartache, she called off the relationship. Tami believed that this was part of God’s perfect plan for her and she recovered from this heartbreak.
God equipped Tami holistically and Tami entered the mission field in 1995, with great joy and anticipation. She joined Medical Services International (MSI) to work among the Yi people and had also received official blessings from the Chinese government. For three years Tami served as a doctor and also was able to learn the customs, culture and language of this people.
She returned to America to continue her Post-Graduate studies with the intention of returning to China to serve among the same people. In the midst of her studies, she was discovered to have melanoma – skin cancer of an aggressive kind. Her dreams were shattered. All kinds of questions flooded her mind, including negative ones. Tami prayed for healing and sought God’s counsel for some of her plaguing questions. God enabled Tami to return to China for a short project when she was in remission. She was overjoyed and knew this was God’s blessing, for he had allowed her to return to see her friends, colleagues and the people she dearly loved, once more. Eventually the cancer returned and it took Tami’s life. She was 39 years old when the Lord called her home.
Was Tami’s life and call to missions all in vain? Humanly speaking, it would seem so. From God’s perspective, it was a life well lived. She had “fought the good fight, she had finished the race and she had kept the faith”.
During the SARS period, in the midst of her remission, Tami contributed to some break-through research that enabled treatment for the disease. She published extensively in medical journals and spoke at international conferences on areas that she had personally researched in America, Africa, Thailand, Taiwan and China.
In her time in China, she was instrumental in bringing many to Christ through her life and witness. She served and loved the Chinese people in China and the professional Chinese scholars studying in America. This love and service was an over-flow of her deep love for the Lord Jesus, a love that began at the age of nine!
Despite the excruciating pain of the cancer, Tami persevered in prayer, trusted in God, and continue to seek God’s courage and purpose for her life. Towards the end of her life, Tami penned these words:
“Lord, I have given my life to missions. Now I offer my ‘mission’ to you. You are the only One I want to serve and worship with the whole of my heart. My life belongs to you.”
May we, like Tami Fisk, offer our lives to love and serve our God in good times and bad times because our God poured out His life for us, so that in Him we can find our purpose and our mission in life.
By Dr Violet James (YCKC Bulletin 28&29 October 2017)