This is a series of sessions from leading experts in healthcare missions.
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) face significant challenges to their health and well-being that are unique due to lack of necessary resources including food, water, sanitation, shelter, security, and healthcare. Caring for people in these situations requires an understanding of their unique needs as well as having realistic goals regarding what can and cannot be done for them. Our experiences in providing healthcare for the victims of disasters in Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Honduras, Nepal, Kurdistan, and Turkey – both natural and manmade – highlight the need to be well prepared when serving in these difficult situations. We are called to serve “the least of these,” and the victims of disasters and crises certainly qualify. Often these events, though causing much hardship and suffering, create the possibility for doors and hearts to be open to the message of Jesus that otherwise would be closed. We must be both willing and well prepared if we are to serve well when we are called to respond to those in need.
This session will explore the value of healthcare education as a form of mission experience, both in the short and long term, as well as to inspire and equip participants to explore healthcare education opportunities as an answer to God’s call to missions.
A surgeon in training may be feeling called to and exploring a future career in medical missions or may simply be desiring a heart for God; to serve Jesus Christ unconditionally in a US based practice with or without short term missions service. This session will focus on the practical ways that students and residents pursuing a surgical sub-specialty, including general surgery, can fan the flame of God's gifting and calling in obedience to the Great Commission. What are the critical spiritual disciplines in a walk with Christ during training that protect and nurture such a mindset, even during a demanding and stressful surgical residency? What type of volunteering activities or short term missions service play a key role in maintaining a passion for missionary service? Are there resources available which will help develop a heart for and understanding of evangelism and disciple-making in the life of a short or long term missionary? Will share perspectives from several surgeons who are actively serving in missions today.
How are we Christian medics different from non-Christian humanitarians? How do you answer a patient who asks, "Why didn't God answer my prayer for healing? Did the devil win?" Does our role as medics conflict with God's highest plan for healing, such as the Miraculous? In this session we will search the Scriptures and consider natural revelation to answer these questions. We will show that God has an active, deliberate role in "natural" healing, "medicinal" healing, and "miraculous" healing, and that our role in this spectrum as Christian medics is vital and profound. We will expose the falsehood of the "medical prosperity gospel" and show that God is actively working in our spiritual lives in the "artistic medium" of illness and healing.
As we see an increasing number of culturally diverse patients in our practices, there is no doubt of the importance of cultural competency in medicine. Specific circumstances and miscommunications have been well documented. But how can we develop an eye to see where a patient’s values and worldview may differ from our own? We will review an approach to cultural competency highlighted by medical missions case studies.