By: David Shedd
Mr. David R. Shedd most recently served as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the U.S., following four years service as Deputy Director. Until January 2015 he led the Defense Intelligence Enterprise workforce comprised of more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide.Mr. Shedd has also previously served as the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Deputy Director for Policy, Plans, and Requirements. From May 2005 to April 2007, Mr. Shedd served as Chief of Staff and, later, Acting Director of the Intelligence Staff to the Director of National Intelligence. From 1984 to 1993, Mr. Shedd was posted overseas in the U.S. Embassies in Costa Rica and Mexico.
Mr. Shedd holds a B.A. degree from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and a M.A. degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Latin American Studies. Mr. Shedd was born in Bolivia and grew up in Latin America.Mr. Shedd is married to Lisa Ann for nearly 34 years and they are blessed with a son, David Jr., and daughter-in-law, Megan, and another son, Jeremy.
My recent trip under the banner of Justice and Mercy International (JMI) alongside of Reston Bible Church to the Amazonian people – notice I refer to a people vice a place – was a multi-leveled experience that thematically reminded me that God is Good and Good all the time! Potential distractions were in abundance aimed at taking my eyes off the service call that this trip entailed. Lost baggage, relentless heat, and growing weariness as the week progressed to name a few. God proved that not only is His grace sufficient but also showed Himself powerful even in the small things. Without a change of clothes and other amenities for one third of the trip, the JMI team rallied to support me in an Acts-like church response making available any/all of their possessions to aid in my comfort. The heat became “normal” as did the insects.
Sharing from God’s Word to believers and unbelievers alike was the highlight of the trip – in a church setting, during home visits or on the Discovery boat with my missions team partners. I was constantly reminded that our standing on this earth is not measured by our earthly possessions but rather by an eternal perspective that extends beyond the applause of others and the call to be encouragers to fellow pilgrims who, like Abraham, “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) Among other instances, two encounters touched my life in a profound manner:
- As part of a home visits outreach, God placed a man on the path for fellow team member and me. The elderly man was building his retirement home on the outskirts of PuruPuru. This providential encounter was with a fellow believer whose eternal perspective permeated all his speech. He recognized that nothing in this world compares to the mansion with many rooms being prepared for him (John 14: 2). He prayed at the closing of our encounter praising God for life, health, salvation, and the process of sanctification on his pilgrimage to that Heavenly home. What an extraordinary blessing.
- The privilege of painting the toe nails of a body gnarled by decades of living with cerebral palsy. The smile on the face of Clarinha is indelibly etched on my mind. She beamed. For me, this was the closest I came to washing the feet of one of God’s children. I came close to painting the nails (a first) “within the lines.” I was blessed beyond measure. My mind was transcended to the lofty thought of the new heavens and earth where we will “dance” without infirmity and where we will be physically whole – whatever form our physical being takes!
I could go on and on. I joined this ministry outreach seeking to bless others yet God worked in my own life to soften my heart for those in human need yet who find their joy in knowing that they rest in the hope of Romans 5:1-5. Their perseverance is producing character that in turn is building that hope – the assurance of an eternal destiny that will make all life’s sufferings and discomforts short lived. To God be the glory for the great things He has done and is continuing to do as we pour our lives into fellow believers focused Eternity and testify to unbelievers of their need for a Savior!
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