International Caring Hands has started providing small portable medical/dental evangelism clinics in local Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Oregon and California. Our first medical evangelism outreach provided services to Veterans without Dental Coverage at the Fall Creek SDA Church located 20 minutes east of Eugene, Oregon. This event was held in March 2016 and Veterans were able to receive a free breakfast, free dental care and lifestyle counseling using the New Start Program in the church annex and many of the attendees asked questions about the Adventist Church, our views on prophecy, and our health message. There were Veterans from the Marines, Navy, Airforce, and Army ranging in age from 27 to 67. Several of our local church members who were also Veterans were able to spend time talking and connecting with the attendees as they waited for the free dental care.
International Caring Hands was able to purchase six portable dental chairs and portable dental units from Government Liquidations. It is possible that some of the Veterans who came may have sat in these same chairs when they were in the Navy. International Caring Hands believes that having small medical evangelism events that serves up to 100 people at the local churches allows people to have a better relationship and understanding of the local Adventist church.
International Caring Hands also partnered with Maranatha Volunteers International in January and June 2016 and provided medical evangelism clinics at the Immanuel Temple and Spanish Seventh-day Adventist church in Oakland. Comments from the church members included, “we have never served so many people in our church and relieved their pain, this is what Jesus would do”.
In May 2016, the Pilot Rock SDA church partnered with our mobile dental evangelism program along with nursing students from Walla Walla University. Local Adventist Dentists and Dental Hygienists served people with physical healing while the Pendleton/Pilot Rock Pastor provided spiritual healing to those present. Some of the patients were in tears they were so grateful for the loving kindness they received from the church members.
The portable dental clinic equipment purchased using this ASI funding also allowed us to work in combination with Adventist Medical and Evangelism Network in Portland and Eugene, Oregon. In Portland over 800 people were served and in Eugene over 600 people were served. These events resulted in people coming to members’ homes for the Hope Trending event hosted over the internet by Dwight Nelson. Also some attendees did attend the local Seventh-day Adventist churches as well. One person called us later and said I cannot believe that you actually relived our pain and then invited us into your homes!
Another volunteer in Eugene in the medical screening section was working with a patient and when she looked down at the patient’s name realized that this was a family member that they had been trying to find for over 10 years, they left the clinic together at the end of the day with smiles on their faces.
Overall in combination with other ASI organizations over 2,000 people were served with free medical evangelism services in Oregon and California for an estimated total of $800,000 in free medical and dental care in 2016. International Caring Hands is grateful for the $10,000 that has touched these lives and brought healing to those in pain. This ASI grant also allowed us to give volunteer opportunities to over 1,000 volunteers who now know the impact of medical evangelism in their community.
Having the Medical Evangelism event at the local church allows a large number of members to volunteer to help with registration, blood pressure screening, food preparation, live music, lifestyle counseling, haircuts, massages, and other creative talents of the local church. Even the children can volunteer to hand out water and snacks to the people as they wait. We look forward to Heaven where we will see many of the people whose lives were touched by ASI.
Please consider the following quotes as you think about medical evangelism being done in the local churches:
“How shall we reveal Christ? I know of no better way … than to take hold of the medical missionary work in connection with the ministry. —Medical Ministry, page 319.
“Christ gave a perfect representation of true godliness by combining the work of a physician and a minister, ministering to the needs of both body and soul, healing physical disease, and then speaking words that brought peace to the troubled heart.”—Counsels on Health, page 528.
In Closing please consider this quote from Ellen White,
“We shall see the medical missionary work broadening and deepening at every point of its progress, because of the inflowing of hundreds and thousands of streams, until the whole earth is covered as the waters cover the sea.”—Medical Ministry, page 317.