Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Medical Crusade Offers “Abundant Life”—Physical and Spiritual

“Number sixty!” calls the man on the platform, and another mother and child step up and join Dr. Mike and his translator for consultation. Two roosters are crowing in the background behind the hum of the crowd gathered around the registration table. It’s all part of the Abundant Life Medical Crusade in the covered basketball court/pavilion that serves as a community hub for the village. The team is helping people who rarely receive medical attention by offering consultations, checkups, and basic medicine. After Jordan and Sam (summer medical interns with the Nehemiah Teams) take the patients’ temperature, blood pressure and weight, they go to a waiting area until their number is called by the doctors. In the waiting area they hear the gospel presented by local Pastor Antonio. Antonio uses a large cartoon-boxed banner that illustrates “God’s Way” vs. “Man’s Way,” and the Good News coloring book to communicate the message of sin and redemption in a way people of varying literacy can understand.

The medical mission team was welcomed with open arms by the village this morning. They were introduced one by one to the community by the Barangay Captain himself. The captain’s assistant also spoke: “In behalf of the barangay officials, we are very thankful for you coming here. Our barangay is very far from the city. I have been living here since birth, and this is the first time our barangay has had visitors like you to do a medical mission.” The lady who spoke these words later heard me (Ben) share my testimony at the evangelism table, translated by Pastor Antonio; at the end of the day she said that she was open to attending a Baptist church if one was nearby, and asked how one went about converting from the Catholic church.

This first-of-its-kind team is mostly from First Baptist Church of Ft. Payne, Alabama, joined by Jordan and Sam and Filipino partners including Bong, Lang Lang, Pastor Antonio, Pastor Allen, and others. They have visited five barangays since they started last Friday, helping over 960 families become both physically and spiritually healthy.

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