by Will Rogers
A resounding YES! Now, I have more to say. So keep reading! But, yes, after years of personal experience and all of my work in serving missionaries and mission-sending organizations, the answer is yes. Medical mission trips are worth it. Keep reading to find out why I think it’s completely worth it to serve God by going on medical mission trips.
I’ve seen several positives from medical mission trips over the years. Here are just a few positives to consider:
1. Medical missions allow you to get out of your comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective. This is true for the person who travels on medical missions trips and the people who end up being served.
2. Medical missions can provide even more sympathy, compassion, and selflessness in the individual who is going. This not only fosters character-building in you but can go a long way in developing a heart for service. Once you see the needs, you’ll be more apt to see how you fit in with helping meet those needs.
3. Medical missions can give you an opportunity for more hands-on clinical experience. For instance, in a developing country, you might be asked to take vital signs or record patient history, things you might not have the opportunity to do as a premed back home.
4. Medical missions can help you and as you consider your calling to go into a medical missions career.
Aside from these reasons, I’ll start by saying, God can use medicine to heal physical bodies and ailments. Think about it, when Jesus walked the earth, He was known as the Savior who healed people—and not just of their physical maladies, but also their spiritual longings. But yes, Jesus healed people from their physical ailments. Let’s not forget how amazing it is that Jesus cared to physically heal people. And, may we not forget how powerful it is that God has given you the skills to possibly join Him in His work and heal others with your gifts and experience.
As healthcare professionals, medical mission trips are absolutely worth it. Why? Because they can change lives forever. Here is one story, found on MedicalMissions.com, from the country of Togo. You should know that Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) is part of this story:
It’s difficult for many people to see how medical missions fits with church planting. But in Togo, they fit hand-in-glove.
“I thought: if someone like Jesus Christ died for me, just to save me, it’s really something interesting,” says Gaglo.
Togolese pastor Anani shared the truth of the gospel with Gaglo—now a physician’s assistant—around the time of the construction of Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) in Tsiko, Togo which opened its doors in 1985. It was at that time that the words Pastor Anani shared with Gaglo made sense. He recognized himself as a sinner in need of a Savior and he knew that the only Savior was Jesus Christ.
“I was one of the six first baptized, like a fruit of this hospital.”
A small Bible study had then begun for the new Togolese Christians. They studied the Bible and discussed its truths with the missionaries. Out of this Bible study, the Togolese worked with the missionaries and began a church about one year later just a short walk from HBB’s campus.
Through the sharing of the gospel in both the hospital and in the neighboring town, people from the community were also accepting the truth that Jesus Christ alone can save.
The gospel continued to spread to the neighboring village of Adeta, and the Tsiko church continued to grow. It was decided that a church should be planted in Adeta since so many villagers from that area were in attendance.
“This is a long story,” Gaglo says. “The Lord called me and I am serving at the second church [Adeta] as a pastor.”
As more people come to know Christ as Savior, Pastor Gaglo and the Adeta church are praying about planting a new church in another nearby village.
God has been using HBB to touch the lives of the Togolese. Through their physical needs, God leads them to the hospital. While there, they are presented with the truth of the gospel.
Though successes are being celebrated often, there is still much work to do and still so many that have not yet heard the gospel. Not all that have not heard will come to the hospital. One way they can hear is through the discipleship of those that have believed and the planting of churches in the villages to which the patients return.
HBB has served tens of thousands of patients, but the demand has long ago outpaced its 50-bed capacity. By God’s grace, the HBB Vision Project will help renovate, enhance, and expand the hospital, support surgical and medical programs, and help train Togolese and other Africans to use medical evangelism to become highly-skilled, kingdom-minded surgeons who can also effectively share the gospel.
More about ABWE: ABWE began 1927 by a medical missionary. Now almost 90 years later ABWE's nearly 1000 missionaries serve in 70 countries. There are three tertiary care hospitals, 2 in Togo and 1 in Bangladesh. ABWE is interested in medical students, residents, practitioners, physical therapists, pharmacists, PAs, nurses, CRNAs, FPs, Internists, surgeons, ob-gyn, pediatricians, PAs and APRNs. ABWE hopes to generate interest in various levels of medical providers for short and/or long term opportunities. Learn more about ABWE and find more stories.
The contents of the above letter was written by Hannah Strayer & Liz Ortiz. The full letter can be found at the post Multiplication through medicine.