Pastor Mike Omtvedt's role at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato has allowed him to connect people with their faith from across the globe.

"I've had the opportunity to do mission trips in Fort Washakie, Wyoming and leading youth events in the outdoors," Omtvedt said.

Even having the opportunity to travel to Israel twice now. But Omtvedt says last month's trip to the Middle East was a vast improvement compared to his trip in May 2016.

"The second time was without hip problems and there is a joy that happens when you can walk without pain and walk with a body that feels good like it used to," he said.

Omtvedt received a double hip replacement last November after experiencing what he thought was back pain for about a year.

But Omtvedt opted out of the traditional replacement route, instead becoming one of Dr. Eric Busse's first patients at Mayo Clinic in Mankato to undergo the anterior surgery approach.

"Before my partner and I came down here there was no one in the area doing the direct anterior total hip. So, we're just offering a new service," Dr. Busse, M.D., Mayo Clinic Orthopedics said.

A new service Omtvedt says is the reason his latest trip was made possible.

"After the first surgery I was out of the hospital in one day," Omtvedt said.

Apart from commonly resulting in faster recovery time, Dr. Busse says this alternate method, sometimes referred to as the "muscle–sparing approach," involves entering the front of the hip joint as opposed to the back or side.

"It's basically just the way we go into the hip joint itself. The patient is positioned differently on the operating table. We use a different skin incision and a different intramuscular interval to approach the hip," he said.

But Dr. Busse says the success of each surgery depends on more than the procedure itself.

"It's an entire team during every procedure. People who don't get credit are PACU nurses, recovery nurses, nurse managers on the floor and the nursing assistants," he said.

And a qualified patient eager to take on the results.

"I am very thankful. Today I do the very things I used to do for years and slowly lost overtime," Omtvedt said.

Omtvedt says he's already looking forward to his next mission trip up to the Boundary Waters.