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Making a Difference Again

For over 30 years, Dr. Malcolm Lewis made a difference in the lives of many patients who saw him as their general surgeon at Baptist, St. Thomas and Parkview Hospitals located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today, at the age of 85, he is making a difference again as a volunteer counselor at the Nashville Rescue Mission, where he has faithfully served for over 11 years.

“Volunteering is definitely not a struggle. I get a lot of out it. I probably gain more than I give. It’s a very rewarding experience.”

Dr. Lewis grew up in a small town in Iowa, where his father was a surgeon and his mother was a psychiatrist. He moved to Nashville in 1959 to practice medicine. In addition to his work as a surgeon at various hospitals, Dr. Lewis also served on the clinical faculty at Vanderbilt.
Not your typical retirement
When asked why after so many years of hard work and now finally reaching retirement he wanted to volunteer instead of retiring to a beach or some other exotic destination, Dr. Lewis replied, “When I saw how recovery made a difference in my family, I became very interested in the process. I knew a couple of men who were on the board of directors at the Nashville Rescue Mission and they suggested I come and check it out.”
“I started volunteering as a mentor to men living in transitional housing in 1999,” says Dr. Lewis. “I would come in and meet with a group of 18 men, and talk about saving money, goals, budgeting, church and general things that would help keep them on track.”Dr. Lewis
“After several years in this role, I was asked if I’d be interested in being a counselor to men in the life-recovery program. I didn’t have any training or experience, but I have always been a good listener,” says Dr. Lewis. “It probably didn’t hurt that after following in my father’s footsteps as a surgeon, I was now trying my hand in my mother’s footsteps. Maybe it is in my blood.”
Faithful to serve
Today, Dr. Lewis dedicates 3 mornings a week to meeting with men enrolled in the Mission’s life-recovery program.
“I find it very rewarding to work with these men,” says Dr. Lewis. “It’s so gratifying to see them do well.”
Fred Hoffman, Director of Programs, has this to say about Dr. Lewis: “Dr. Lewis is a humble, unassuming man. He knows who he is in Christ and what it means to serve. His presence here is as much a testimony of one being called by God for a certain time and season as any I have seen. It is a privilege to co-labor beside him.”

"I think it’s just wonderful that Malcolm volunteers at the Nashville Rescue Mission. I am so proud of him. I can tell he is greatly rewarded by seeing the men he counsels graduate and go on to a better life."  -Virginia Lewis, Malcolm’s wife

Memorable moment
When asked about a highlight from his 11 years of volunteering at the Mission, Dr. Lewis fondly recalls a man by the name of James. “I met James 4 or 5 years ago,” says Dr. Lewis. “He was a meth addict and was most definitely not a Christian. During the time he was here, he accepted Jesus and became very passionate about his faith. He would save his weekly allowance to buy food and make sack lunches, which he would hand out to the homeless living on the streets. He would tell them about Jesus and about the Mission,” Dr. Lewis recalls. “I got a thank you card from him about a year ago. It really meant a lot to me to see such a transformation in this young man.”
Dr. Lewis’s willingness to serve others, together with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunities provided by the Nashville Rescue Mission, has resulted in the transformation and restoration of many lives. Thank you Dr. Lewis, for your willingness to give of yourself to help those in need! If you’d like to be a part of this valuable ministry and make a difference in the lives of men and women at the Mission, please call our Volunteer Hotline at (615) 312-1544.


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