USA (MNN) — Medicine and missions make a pretty good team, and one summit set out to prove it.
This month, International Mission Board hosted the Medical Mission Mobilization Summit in Augusta, Georgia. Doctors, nurses, students and residents attended to learn how to be more like Christ by providing medical care around the globe.
The summit's host, Dale Twilley, is living proof of the power of mixing medicine and missions. Over the last 12 years, Twilley, a dentist, has traveled to six countries and extracted over 5,000 teeth. At the same time, he has personally led at least 250 people to faith in Christ.
Speakers discussed the ways in which medical missionaries are an integral part of missions. "Medical missions provides us access that many of our other personnel simply do not have," says IMB associate vice president for global strategy, Scott Holste.
This unprecedented access to areas that may otherwise be closed to the Gospel adds to the lists of reasons medical professionals and students should consider getting involved with medical missions. However, other speakers stressed the fact that this type of ministry was characteristic of Jesus' life not just for evangelism's sake, but to truly demonstrate love. As medical personnel exemplify this on the field, people who may never have considered the cross could slowly fall to their knees.
Of course, having the privilege to go into uncharted territory has some risks. The summit informed attendees of the 6,400 unreached people groups which are generally from some hostile regions. For instance, IMB says that all of the 612 people groups in Central Asia are unreached, and the region is 99.9% Muslim. That means Christians make up no more than 0.1% of the area–and likely less than that.
Understanding that venturing into areas like this bearing the Gospel of Christ may prove to be very dangerous, medical missionaries are still stepping forward. Still, many more are needed. If you are interested in joining IMB to reach the world with the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel through medical missions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.