Paul Osteen: How letting go led him to his true calling

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Most people know Paul Osteen as the older brother of Lakewood Church's pastor, Joel Osteen. What they don't know, is that he gave up a successful surgical career when their father, John died in 1999.

"Driving home to Little Rock from my dad's memorial service, I felt this overwhelming impression that I was supposed to give up my practice, move to Houston and help with the church, however I was needed," said Paul Osteen.

It was a move that even his brother questioned at first.

"I was thrilled, but a part of me wondered if Paul was having a mid-life crisis, overreacting or something like that," said Joel Osteen.

Initially, Paul thought his medical career as a vascular surgeon was over, but then he took part in a medical mission trip to Africa.

"It's interesting I went with a plastic surgeon and he just said he asked if I would mind assisting him while I was there," said Paul Osteen. "And after about two days of operating he said you still have this ability."

Paul and his wife Jennifer spend between four and six months a year on medical missions.

"It was like God gave it back to him, and he was able to do it, but this time in a much greater capacity, said Jennifer Osteen. "It was truly just being able to use the gifts and the talents that he had to help people."

The couple usually travels on their mission trips with their four children, but it has not been without its risks.

"When my youngest son was six years old, he developed a headache and went to bed. He almost certainly had malaria, said Paul Osteen. "He was sick for several days. Not quite comatose, but he would not wake up or get out of bed."

"It really helped me identify with so many mothers around the world who lose children daily to malaria and other diseases," said Jennifer Osteen.

The Osteens want others to know they can also have an impact in the lives of others. Lakewood Church is hosting its first annual Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference, Feb. 19-20, 2016. The event will have 35 speakers, including Dr. Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who survived the Ebola virus.

"I don't think there is a greater feeling that I've ever had that can surpass the times when we've been in the mission field giving our lives away," said Paul Osteen. "You know I tell everybody that I'm living the dream that I never even dreamed of because it's better than I ever thought."

Anyone interested in more information about missions or the upcoming conference, can register at Mobilizing Medical Missions.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.