The Unique Power to Change the World
Experience the community of healthcare missions
by Will Rogers
Today's Christian Doctor - Spring 2013
Each November, something unique happens at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. It is here that thousands of healthcare professionals and hundreds of organizations gather together because of a shared belief that healthcare missions has the power to change the world. As we have gathered together over the years, that shared belief is turning into a reality. Together it’s happening. But what might be even more unique is that we don’t gather simply because of a conference. We gather because we also believe community is essential for this work, and our gathering over the years has developed this amazing community of healthcare missions.
To share this community with the world, we launched medicalmissions.com, a website tool that equips healthcare professionals with best practices and innovative ideas for ministry. The site had an incredible impact by helping to serve more than 40,000 professionals in 2012, and we’re excited to see the new directions the Lord intends for its continued development. We began this journey of developing the site believing that we needed to share the community we foster during the conference with the world every day of the year. We knew it was going to be a great resource, but the stories of its impact and effect are such a blessing and encouragement to us.
For the first time ever, we exhibited and shared this resource at Urbana 2012, a student missions conference held in St. Louis, Missouri. It was a truly humbling experience as we spent time connecting with students. I may never forget the first day as I explained the website to a first year medical student and showed her how to find organizations in her area of interest, how to access all the GMHC content online for free and how to even connect directly to healthcare professionals in various areas of practice or interest. Her glassed-over eyes suddenly filled with tears as she expressed how she’s been searching for two years for connections and how to make the next step. And this wasn’t the only story. Throughout the conference, we saw how thirsty this next generation is for community. And here’s the beautiful thing—this community exists and you are that community.
So where do we go from here? It’s really quite simple—we continue to pursue the problems we see that stand in the way of this community serving the kingdom well in healthcare missions. We believe there is something unique that happens when people of like minds and like interests join together with a common heart. We believe that community is the foundation of how God intends for us to engage in missions and that we are all in this together. We also believe that we have an opportunity and a stewardship to see this community grow and thrive. These are the guiding principles that help guide us in developing both this online resource and the annual Global Missions Health Conference.
You play a critical role in this community, in the kingdom and in how you use your professional talent. In every form, healthcare has a vital ability to reach uniquely into the global healthcare needs of so many countries around the world and even right here in our backyard. There is no healthcare skill that isn’t needed today as we work together to share the love of our Savior. Many will say that healthcare missions is perhaps the greatest means for sharing the gospel. I disagree. Healthcare missions is the gospel, and if you have a skill then you have a responsibility to steward that well.
We are witnessing countless transitions and innovative approaches to healthcare. With the advancement of technology, we’re even seeing telemedicine and remote patient review where American healthcare professionals are able to visit with and guide patient cases right here in the U.S. Thanks to the leadership of CMDA and Global Health Outreach, we’re seeing amazing best practices presented for how we engage local and national governments while working together toward sustainable solutions in healthcare missions. We stand in the gap of an exciting time when so many things are shifting and you are desperately needed to help be a catalyst of change in the future of healthcare missions.
We invite you to join us as we work together toward this amazing common goal. We invite you to join us at the 2013 GMHC in November and catch just a glimpse of what the Lord is doing around the world. We invite you to join our community. There is a place for you in this community that has the unique power to change the world.
Experiencing the GMHC Community
Last November, I attended the Global Missions Health Conference as a third year medical student. My first experience at the conference was during my first year of medical school, and I was very excited to make it back this year. I have aspired to become a missionary doctor since I was young, and the GMHC continues to be a tremendous encouragement to me.
Like Elijah, I often wonder if I am the only one trying to become a missionary doctor, and this conference opened my eyes to the multitude of like-minded brothers and sisters around the world. The conference refreshed me and helped me realize that I am not alone in my endeavor to serve God through medical missions.
I tailored my conference experience to include lectures on my areas of interest. The most challenging part of the conference is choosing which lectures to attend! I was happy to find that they have a trafficking in persons tract which helped to guide my lecture choices. Additionally, I was able to meet some amazing people who are interested in similar areas, and I had a great time browsing the exhibit halls to get an idea of what organizations are out there for when I finish my training.
CMDA has several booths where you can get information about their outreach ministries, as well as meet other CMDA students, members and staff workers from around the country. I was especially blessed to be welcomed into the home of a wonderful Southeast Christian Church family who hosted me for the weekend through the student housing program. I would encourage as many students as possible who are interested in missions to attend next year’s conference because it is an incredible opportunity for learning and networking, as well as a fantastic time for fellowship and meeting new brothers and sisters in Christ!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Rogers has worked in various aspects of strategy development for organizations since graduating from Milligan College, and served as the student body president while a student. Following graduation, Will took a leadership position with the Focus on the Family Leadership Institute overseeing the Office of Student Development and was able to journey with the program from its infancy. After Focus, Will moved to Florida to serve as the Chief Operating Officer of Christian Financial Services ($100+ million fund) to assist churches and ministries acquire loans and other financial guidance. Following his time with CFR, he began working with Southeast Christian Church as the Executive Director of the Global Missions Health Conference and continuing work with Focus on the Family’s global offices for strategy development. He is also the administrator of medicalmissions.com, a website designed to connect resources for medical missionaries.