If you had a stomachache or a headache, what would you do? Probably take some pain relievers or go see your doctor. But what if you didn’t have those available? What if you didn’t have medicine and couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, and the nearest health care center was located miles away? This is a struggle thousands of people in Asia face every day. Gospel for Asia’s medical ministry is trying to do something about this! That’s why Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers organize free medical camps throughout Asia. These medical camps bring skilled doctors, medical staff, medicine and health education to places where people rarely have the opportunity to visit a doctor.
In October, a Gospel for Asia (GFA) behind-the-scenes missionary named Tony had the opportunity to visit one of these medical camps. Below, Tony shares firsthand what he experienced.
“It was a warm Wednesday morning, and we were on our way to visit a free medical camp organized by a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported worker. I have never been to a free medical camp before and didn’t give it too much thought, other than I was looking forward to the experience. But I was in for a surprise.
“After an hour drive, we arrived in a very remote area. Everything for the clinic was set up right next to the local church building. Right away, I noticed there were more than 200 people lined up waiting for the clinic to start, and everyone from infants to the elderly waited patiently. As the word about this medical camp spread, more people gathered. I was surprised that people were waiting and still coming before it even started.
“Many of the villagers did not have the resources to see a doctor. Even if they did, the nearest medical center was more than 60 miles away, and they would have had to travel on foot to get there. This makes it very difficult for parents who want to help their children or for aging parents to get treatment when they get sick.
“Before the camp started, the team thanked everyone for coming and opened the day with prayer. Four doctors had graciously volunteered their time.
“While there, a realization hit me: Anytime I need something simple, like Tylenol or even an antibiotic, I can just go to the store or see a doctor and get whatever I need to feel better. I wondered if this was the first time many of these people had the opportunity to get their blood pressure checked, get their medical questions answered or get the appropriate medicines they needed.
“Several lines were formed—each person would see the doctor and then go to another line to get a prescription, if needed. Rather than sending these patients to a pharmacy, the camp had organized the ability to give them the prescribed medicines they needed, and this helped patients to avoid additional travel.
“Several hours later, as we were wrapping up our time at the camp, there were still many people to be seen, and the doctors continued their work. My gratitude for this area of ministry grew—I knew it was very important for the villagers because it was the first medical camp ever done in their village.
“There was excitement and anticipation in the camp for everyone involved, and it was a joy for me to experience. This was a humbling time for me, and it showed me conveniences in my life that I take for granted. I learned that simple medicines and treatment I can easily obtain are not the same for everyone in the world.
“It is true that showing kindness in this way is a practical way to show God’s love. Having this free medical camp was such a blessing to everyone who was able to be a part of it.”
Gospel for Asia’s medical ministry is helping thousands of people in Asia who need medical care—and it’s all motivated by demonstrating the love of Christ. While thousands have received help, thousands more are still in need of medical care and support.
Source: Gospel for Asia Features, Simple Medicines, Practical Kindness
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