3 Reasons Why Medical Mission Trips Are Important

3 Reasons Why Medical Mission Trips Are Important

If you are new to the Mission Partners For Christ organization or haven’t heard of medical missions before, you might find yourself wondering, “what is the point of all of this?”

So many of us who are living in the USA (or other first-world nations), might find it difficult to empathize with the need for medical missions. Most of us can simply pick up the phone and make an appointment to see our primary care physicians. Most of us have also grown up with some amount of knowledge about health and how to care for our bodies.

It can be hard to see it, but many of us actually carry a great deal of privilege. We can take it for granted that, when we need it most, we can have access to medical care for ourselves and our families.

Many people around the world have never seen a medical professional before. Those who grow up in developing nations may also lack access to things like medication, proper foot or eyewear, or basic knowledge about nutrition or how to care for their bodies.

This is where organizations like Mission Partners For Christ come in.

Medical Mission Trips Matter Because Everyone Deserves Access To Medical Care

We Provide Free Screenings and Treatments At Our Clinics

Did you know that some nations have only a handful of doctors to treat the thousands or millions of people who live there? The medical professionals who work in these places are dear and precious resources, but they become overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who need their expertise. That only includes those who are able to find the transportation and money necessary to see these medical experts. It is a privilege in many places to have access to any medical professional.

Many people live in remote villages and/or lack the resources to see a doctor due to the level of poverty around them. 

Mission Partners For Christ goes exclusively to places where access to medical care is limited or non-existent for the people who live there. When we travel to a location, we work with our local partners who already have established relationships with the people who live in that area. Working together, we open free clinics that make healthcare accessible to all who need it. The doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who volunteer with us spend hours each day meeting with people, screening them for health issues, and providing whatever treatment or medication is necessary.

We Provide Health Education To Those Who Need It

In a previous post, we discussed why health education matters in medical missions. It isn’t simply a way to teach people about their bodies and the growing bodies of their children, although that is extremely important. It’s also a way to help people connect with their bodies, and to give them a greater sense of agency and control over their lives. For many who have lived in impoverished nations, health education is a luxury that is simply not affordable.

Mission Partners For Christ Helps Provide Health Education To Those Who Need It The Most

Mission Partners For Christ is able to help bridge the gaps wherever they exist. We love nothing more than to help people understand better how to care for their bodies. We can teach them about proper nutrition and hygiene to prevent or manage serious illnesses. We can teach them how to prevent injuries by taking notice of the signals that their bodies are sending them and how to respond to those signals. We can teach them what are normal and healthy developments of growing bodies and when it’s time to get help from an expert.

We Share The Gospel With Those Who Have Never Heard It

We don’t just care for bodies on our medical mission trips, we also take the time to care for the souls of those people too. We go on these trips to love people in action and in truth, and so we make it a priority to share the gospel whenever we can. 

When Mission Partners For Christ opens a free medical clinic to work with underserved communities, we don’t just see them as bodies to treat. We see them as souls who are deeply loved by the Creator of Heaven and earth and Who so desperately wants a personal relationship with each one of them.

Our medical mission trips have enabled us to share the saving gospel of Jesus Christ with countless thousands of people since our founding less than a decade ago. The ability to share the message of the Cross with the unreached is our motivating factor to do the work that we do. 

After we leave a location, we remain in touch with our local partners and we often hear reports of how our work in these places has made lasting differences in the lives of those we interacted with. And we rejoice for the opportunity given to us, by God, to share Jesus with those who needed Him.

Would you like to make a lasting difference too? Consider how you might get involved with Mission Partners For Christ. 

  • We also need people to consider supporting us financially – we can only do the work that we do because of generous people like yourself. Because Mission Partners For Christ is a 501c3 status nonprofit, your donations are tax-deductible. 
  • Consider a commitment to holding our organization in prayer. We have a monthly prayer meeting that you can join. Contact us for more information on how to get involved. 
  • Spread the word! You never know who in your network might be looking for a way to get involved in missions, and you might be the one person who gets to introduce them to Mission Partners For Christ and the work that we do!
  • Consider inviting Sheri to speak at your church or event. She has a wealth of experience to share about medical missions and is excited to introduce people to this way of sharing the gospel. 

Did you learn anything new about medical missions? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Dental Care is a Medical Need Too

Dental Care is a Medical Need Too

In the United States, if our mouth hurts when we sip our morning cup of coffee, many of us might set up a dental appointment. When we chip a tooth, we call the dentist. Within an hour’s notice, our tooth can be repaired. Antibiotics or pain medication prepare us to be healthier or safer for the dentist to work on. We go to see the dentist multiple times per year for regular dental care. It’s such a blessing and benefits us to be able to eat and drink in healthy ways that support our immune systems, muscles, minds, and whole health. We don’t always think of it, but it really can be a tremendous thing for our lives.

Medical Need

This privilege of dental care access is not the case for many around the world. There are countries where there are no toothbrushes in the majority of households. Those in extreme pain or medical need may use a stick or rock to prod or remove the affected tooth. This can cause infection, injuries, or other serious health problems. Something as simple as the shape of one’s jaw or the bones in one’s face can also make eating or drinking painful or difficult. According to the WHO Africa website, as many as one in five children in Africa has suffered from a form of oro-dental/facial trauma. That is just in one region of the world.

It’s easy to see there is a serious medical need for all kinds of dental work worldwide. In many countries, though, dental schools are not only an issue of affordability but of availability. For some, there simply might not be a nearby school to study and practice. A student in the United States could choose to go to a fairly close university or dental school to train.

Fortunately, there are volunteers here and overseas who work alongside trained medical professionals to help people receive good dental care and antibiotics or medications they might need. Global medical outreaches can help bring good dental care to people who may never have seen a dentist before or who don’t have access to one. Mission Partners for Christ has worked with others in some of these outreaches. We are thankful for the dental volunteers who join us on missions trips.

Good Dental Care Matters

Good dental care help us have a healthy smile when we greet one another. It helps prevent serious illnesses from medical issues like infection or malnutrition. We bring hope in numerous ways when we address this medical need. It’s a blessing that there are groups and volunteers who come together to support this important type of health care. If you are a dentist or dental hygienist and are interested in joining us on a future trip or supporting us in another way, please go to our Mission Partners for Christ website and find out how you can join us today.

4 Ways To Serve Others Well

4 Ways To Serve Others Well

When we are called to serve, it’s usually inconvenient. We aren’t called into a comfortable place of service; instead, we are called into discomfort. But those who want to serve want to do it well despite the discomfort they may feel. Here are 4 Ways To Serve Others Well! To learn more about how to step outside of your comfort zone during a missions trip, read this post.

1. Be the servant.

As obvious as this one sounds, we often approach serving others from the position of “better than.” We think we are superior and focus on what we can offer and how much of a difference we can make, but if we want to serve others well, we have to view ourselves as a servant. We are all equal in the eyes of God and we all have something to share and learn from one another. Read our post about servant leadership here.

2. Listen and learn.

When you listen to and learn from those you are serving, you may quickly find that what they need is completely different than what you are giving. For example, if you are meeting someone’s physical needs and they are talking about loneliness or a lack of purpose they feel in life, you’ll soon realize that the person also needs mental and spiritual support! On the other hand, if you’re preaching and serving a group of people and notice a group of hungry children in the corner asking for food, you’ll learn that they need to eat before they can take in anything you are trying to teach them. Far too many times a mission team has gone to build a home or update a school in an impoverished place but only takes a few minutes of their time to look into the eyes of the people and be open to what they can teach the team. When you choose to serve on a medical missions team, you receive the amazing opportunity to work one-on-one with people. Ask them their stories! Learn about their culture, their needs, and what their individual gifts. We are all given gifts from the Lord and being able to use those gifts is an empowering experience.

3. Serve with sacrifice.

As mentioned above, service is uncomfortable and often inconvenient. It requires giving of yourself and pouring into others. Service requires sacrifice. If you want to serve well, you must be willing to sacrifice. You’ve positioned yourself as a servant and have listened to the needs of others. Now it’s time to figure out how to meet those needs. This may mean changing your agenda. Maybe it means staying up late to share a meal with someone you meet on the trip and listen to their story. Sacrifice could mean working longer hours because more people show up to receive medical attention than originally expected. Maybe it means making a plan for when you return home to continue the impact by making others aware of your experience and the people who need continued support. Whatever it looks like, be sure that on your trip you are serving well by sacrificing yourself for others. Remember: “Loving people the way Jesus did means living a life filled with constant interruptions.” -Bob Goff

4. Help grow the planted seed.

A missions trip plants a seed, but the seed needs special care to grow! There are many ways to continue making a difference for those you are serving after you plant the seed. This can be done through making others aware of the needs and the mission, as mentioned above. We have a list of ways you can help the seeds you plant grow!
Read this post: 3 Ways To Continue Supporting Mission Trips Upon Your Return

Now that you know how to serve well, it’s time to join our next Mission’s Trip Team! Join today!

Just Say Yes: How God Overcame A Volunteer’s Fear

Just Say Yes: How God Overcame A Volunteer’s Fear

Have You Ever Been Afraid to Do Something Because of Fear? 

God had a unique and sure way to deal with my fear… and the answer came through participation on a short-term mission trip to Benín, Africa in November, 2021.

I had been to Africa once with Mission Partners for Christ. In October 2019, we had served in Ethiopia. Then there was a long pause on travel due to Covid. The Benín trip would be the first mission trip opportunity post-Covid, and I was so ready to serve again. But…there was a lot of FEAR about this trip.

In the forefront, was a fear of COVID and what that could mean for any of our team members. At that time, the travel rules were very strict, and if someone acquired Covid while in Africa, there was a likelihood that we would have to stay in Benín in quarantine, and I felt uneasy about all of the unknowns about this possibility. Also, I had some fear of Benín due to this country being the origin of voodoo. Honestly, I just didn’t have a good understanding of voodoo and if it could potentially impact or harm us.

I had prayed about the trip for weeks, and with every prayer, God’s answer was a solid YES, time after time! 

God Used Unique Ways to Speak to Me

A few times, I would receive a text from a friend with a Bible verse about a specific fear or worry I had expressed to the Lord while praying about the trip earlier that very day. He used friends reaching out to me, saying they had been prompted by God to send me a note, text, call or Bible verse.

I even reached out to a Missions Pastor, to ask for some advice. He had very wise words for me. He said, “Stop staying in safe places…How can you be effective when you just choose to stay safe?” So I committed to the trip, literally, on the last day of the deadline to sign up.

Then the fear actually became worse. There were times, I would cry and feel so anxious, every time I thought of the trip. It was a crazy spiritual attack and I was so aware of that, but it was still ongoing. So I began to fight back! I began to speak the name of Jesus out loud, just so the enemy had to flee. I also began to perceive that God was about to do something huge, if the enemy was trying so hard to discourage me from going!

Volunteering in Benin

The actual mission trip itself in Benín was an amazing and stretching experience, as each mission trip that I have served on, has been.

We set up medical clinics in 4 remote villages and treated 2,155 people in 4 days, and 243 people accepted Christ!!

We had an incredible team consisting of 10 from America, and over 40 African partners who served with us. We worked long hours, we loved people deeply, by God’s grace -we served well, and we gave until we were empty. I remember a team member on the last day saying, “I don’t have anything left in me to give…I laid it all out there.” That was the common sentiment amongst all of us.

Then we got on the plane to head home, and right away I began asking God to fill me back up again so that I can do this over and over again.

So Where Did The Fear Go?

Do you realize that not once while we were in Benín did I experience fear? My fear stopped exactly 3 days before we left.

And it was replaced with a deep sense of pure peace. Just calmness. Assurance in the Lord. Security. A knowing. Like the saying goes, “when you know, you know.” I knew deep down that we were going WITH God.

I fully believe that the prayers of people around me helped to wash that fear away, as many, many were praying for us! Also, just the process of feeding your faith and starving DOUBT. Why should I ever doubt or worry?

In talking with others who have a desire to serve on a mission trip abroad, but haven’t yet, I commonly hear people say that they “don’t know if they have what it takes?” Many say they’re hesitant because of how far the travel to Africa is? Is it safe there? Where will we stay? Concern over clean water and food? All of these are natural questions….but is this fear or concern enough to stop you?

Now, let me share what happened AFTER the trip to Benín! 

God Works Powerfully Through Medical Missions

Job 42:5 has come to mean a whole lot to me since returning from Benín. It says, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have SEEN YOU!” 

To me, this verse speaks about the conversion of knowing God with our HEAD, to knowing God with our HEART. Truly experiencing Him. 

Due to our work in Benín, God has opened many doors for the Gospel. Over the past 11 months, since we served there, many new churches have been planted. There have been so many open doors for the spread of the Gospel. Clean water wells have been placed in villages that we served in. Latrines have been placed in all 4 villages where we served. Missionaries and pastors have been encouraged and supported in their Gospel mission work. We have even seen 3 of the pastors receive motorbikes to enable them in their missionary work of spreading the Gospel!

To be able to fully comprehend ALL of the ways in which God is working things out for HIS purposes and HIS people in Benín, is what has allowed me a greater perspective of what these short-term trips are all about.

Some people will ask, “What can you really accomplish in one week?” The truth is, that the team is only on the ground for one week, but God is not working on our timetable! He is the master and creator of time. His word tells us “A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). So we may have eyes to see the perspective of what we need to do in one week, but God is not bound by that week.

He is setting a lot of things in motion during that week while we are serving, but really, that is just the launch pad for what is coming in the weeks, months and years to follow.  As I have often reflected on this trip, I literally am in AWE of how God used that week in Benín to stir up the Gospel in those 4 villages, and beyond.

And I have only mentioned what God did in Benin…I haven’t even talked about the spiritual growth that has happened to me since this experience, which has been, quite literally, a change in the trajection of my own Christian walk. I know now, why the enemy was stirring up fear. It is so obvious to me now. If he can stop us from going, he will do anything in his power to do so.

There have been several times since the Benín trip, that God has asked me to do something out of my comfort zone, and it only takes a brief reflection back on this trip, to give me the courage to say YES, and remember God’s faithfulness, on so many levels.

I want to encourage anyone who is considering going on a short-term trip abroad, just say yes!

Take a step of faith, and just trust the Lord to work things out. Nothing is too much in front of God, and there is absolutely nothing He cannot do!

Can’t wait to see you on the next trip!

– Rosemary Fisher, MSN, RN, FNP (Guest Blogger)

Encourage Medical Missionaries of the Future

Encourage Medical Missionaries of the Future

Have you considered how you–a current medical missionary–might encourage medical missionaries of the future? The pandemic has not ended our ability to reach people globally and participate in making a difference! We are blessed to be a blessing in many ways over the last year. This mercy and grace is continual.

Current medical missionaries might not yet be going on as many trips, but are still able to communicate with organizations and people in some of those places or help raise funds or donate supplies that support training doctors, staff, and patients in places where there is a lack of basic medical care. They are still able to prepare for a future trip and stay updated on things related to where they are going.

There are other things that current medical missions volunteers can do as well! We would like to share with you three things you can do to encourage medical missionaries of the future.

Be An Advocate

There might be medical residents who have not been a regular part of their faith community since they started to learn and practice, but they dig in and their faith deepens. As this happens, they seek new ways to give back to the world. Or there could be a registered nurse who has just moved to your city and is looking for an extra way to be plugged-in to a new volunteer opportunity. A newly certified medical aide might be unaware of how they can volunteer or participate in medical missions trips. A current medical missions volunteer like you could advocate for global medical care issues.

You can shine a light on the different ways these medical missions volunteers of the future could be a part of the changes they are eager to see. Your advocacy may encourage medical missionaries to seek out organizations where they can volunteer sooner rather than later!

Share Your Testimonies

Your testimonies can be the spark that lights up what is already in the heart of future medical missionaries who are not even grown up yet. Your compassion and dedication shines bright when you share the good things you have seen or heard. Not only that, but the glory of the gospel of Jesus is highlighted.

Your words encourage those who have dreamed of becoming a doctor, nurse, medical aide, counselor, or being part of some kind of medical missions team, and stir up the faith of everyone who hears you. You could blog, ask for permission to share about things that have changed since your last trip in church, or find other creative ways to share your testimonies as part of your regular day. You could do something similar to what we do on our Facebook page, and post live videos sharing good news and prayers.

Educate

As medical care professionals and volunteers, there are things you stay updated about on a regular basis that other people might not. You could provide education about some of those things in a way that brings hope and clarity to people who might one day become a medical care professional or volunteer. What you share about malaria in a region where there is a lack of access to basic health care could stay on the heart of a person who is thinking about going back to medical school now that their children are grown up. Or someone who is considering which medical field to go into might be moved to hear about how some in hard-to-reach places are accessing eyecare or dental work. You never know who might benefit from a bit of news that you share.

Mercy and grace are experienced every time there is a miracle in someone’s life. It is certainly a miracle any time someone receives much-needed basic medical care when they previously could not. It is also a miracle when someone decides to become a medical professional because they heard the story of someone like you. Or because they experienced the compassion of someone like you on the job.

Would You Like to Learn More?

Are you interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2023 trip to Guinea? We are leaving February 4, 2023 so there is plenty of time to sign up if you have considered it. If you would like to learn more about Mission Partners for Christ, we’d love to answer your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

You Are Welcome

You Are Welcome

Imagine you are a parent who has walked a long way from home on a deeply rutted road of hot red clay. The sun shines brightly overhead and all around you. Motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles occasionally pass you. You look down each time at the child in your arms, but she does not wake up. She has been ill for about a week and is worn out from walking part of the way. She stirs only when you sit to give her water and food to eat. About a mile ahead of you is a medical outreach event. Your hope is great. There are canopies with chairs to sit in and open buildings. Friendly faces look up in your direction and wave. You are welcome here. Not only are you welcome here, but you are prepared for, hoped for, and expected. You are prayed for and rejoiced over.

Imagine Finding Out That God Loves You

Now imagine you find out that it is not only the medical clinic volunteers but also Jesus–the Son of God–who is happy you are welcome here and that you have arrived. You may have heard that there is someone called Jesus who is supposed to be the Son of God, but you did not know about Him.

Or you may have heard good things about Him, but did not think He still does those things. You did not know He personally cares for you, your child, your neighbor, and so much more. Hearing from the Bible for the first time ever has brought so much joy to your heart that you want to give your life to Christ. You want your child’s life to be dedicated too, and you pray with the volunteers that she recovers so she can hear the good news too. You want her to know she is welcome to know Jesus.

When We Welcome the Unreached

This is just one scenario that could take place in thousands of different ways each day. When we welcome unreached peoples, we not only extend care and kindness to them, but we share the good news of Jesus. They get to see it expressed through us as well. For many–especially those who have endured war, famine, or other serious issues, this might be first certain good news they have heard in a while. It encourages them and bolsters their faith. They believe God is with them as they learn about health concepts in a way they had not heard before. They believe it is possible to make new habits. It seems true that things will get better. Some may have heard naysaying about their situations. Now they can listen to someone who speaks with the voice of reason and feel courageous faith burgeoning from within.

When someone is welcomed not only with help they may have hoped for, but with the Source of all hope, something changes. It’s not just another day they hoped for anymore. It’s the beginning of a brand new life. Some troubles may be the same, but now they know God. Their perspective is filling up with faith even if they do not see the precise result they expected just yet. They welcome God and tell other people all about Him.

Would You Like to Welcome the Unreached Too?

There are people all over the world who have yet to hear the truth about Jesus. Many of them also have other unmet needs. One way we are able to help them is by providing medical care they may lack access to. If you believe you would like to be a part of supporting our endeavor by volunteering to join a medical missions trip, check out the Volunteer page on our website. Donors are appreciated too, if you believe you’re called to give and would like to. You also are welcome to learn more about us by reaching out to us here or on our Facebook page, Mission Partners for Christ. We want you to know that we are thankful for you and you are welcome here.