Christians in health care ministries are living out their faith by “word and deed” throughout the world, and people are responding.
Among those making decisions to follow Jesus are people in places where the message of God’s love is only just now arriving.
In South Asia, a Vacation Bible School’s offering from First Baptist Church in Lafayette, La., purchased health and hygiene items that could be shared with terminally ill patients, along with health lessons and Bible stories.
The distribution gave Christians in the region access to communities where they had been unwelcome before, and about 350 people accepted Christ — one of them on his deathbed.
A steady stream of reports illustrates the variety of ways Southern Baptists and their local partners merge proclamation of the Gospel with demonstrations of God’s love for suffering people.
Among the reports during a meeting of the IMB-related Global Medical Alliance in June near Richmond, Va.:
— In West Africa, as the Ebola epidemic exploded, International Mission Board workers focused on raising awareness and teaching prevention techniques in Liberia, Togo and Mali. An estimated 424,000 people were reached through a combination of fliers, TV spots, speakers, hand-washing stations, music concerts and food distributions. Thousands heard the good news and more than 200 professed faith in Christ.
— In East Asia, health care strategies helped local believers conduct word-and-deed outreach in remote villages where the Gospel was unknown. At the same time, health clinics in more than a dozen urban factories created opportunities for Western health care volunteers to partner with Asian counterparts. More than 1,000 people made decisions to follow Jesus — several among an unreached people group.
— In Europe, missionaries utilized fitness programs, addiction recovery ministries, health seminars and hands-on medical service in communities plagued by alcoholism, obesity, smoking addiction, suicide and mental illness. An estimated 4,200 people heard the Gospel, and 790 decided to trust Jesus — including members of an unreached people group.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press