Meeting physical and spiritual needs
For the past 15 years, we have sent medical mission teams to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan to provide medical care, dentistry, and veterinarian care. We provide basic medical care, vitamins, malaria testing and treatment, and de-worming medications. But our goal is much broader in scope. We model the love of Christ by addressing their physical needs but also sharing the Gospel. After our 4 days clinics, a new church is birthed with a new pastor and a new congregation.
We team up with the Agape Fellowship Centre, our church partner, in Kenya. Under their leadership and direction, a destination city is selected. This decision is covered with much prayer and fasting. And we never go to the same place twice. Our goal is evangelism and church planting in the area of most physical and spiritual need. Months before our team arrives, a new pastor is selected and has begun ministry within the city and surrounding area. Through Jesus Harvesters Ministry, we provide funding to build a new church structure that will serve not only as our medical clinic but the newly-planted church. When our American team arrives, we are met by approximately thirty other Agape pastors, leaders, musicians, singers and laymen who join us hand-in-hand to fulfill this great work. While patients are waiting to enter the clinic, a pastor is preaching the Gospel. Each patient that comes to our clinic will go to our prayer tent, where a pastor will share the Gospel and pray with them. Every night, our Kenyan team holds an open-air crusade in the city. We want to reach as many as possible for Christ but it does not end there. When the clinic is completed, a new pastor is installed who is challenged with discipleship and nurturing a new flock of believers.
Over the years, our medical teams have grown in scope and size. When Dr. Kyle Hudgens began this work, the team comprised 6-8 members, which included a few physicians and nurses. In recent years, we are taking teams of approximately 20-25 that include physicians, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, nurse practitioner, nurses, medical students, and other volunteers. We bring all of our own medications from the United States which is purchased through Blessings International.
These mission trips are also tremendous educational opportunities. We have been fortunate to have many residents join us through the years from the Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Alabama. Additionally, we have recently had residents from The Children's Hospital of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital join us on these trips. This opportunity gives them exposure to the practice of medicine in a third-world country and patient pathology rarely seen in the United States such as typhoid, malaria, and schistosomiasis. In years past, we have toured rural and urban hospitals, met with regional health leaders, and learned from local physicians and nurses. We believe this experience greatly enhances their resident education and hopefully ignites their passion for medical missions. Through the generous donations to the Baptist Health Foundation Resident Fund by physicians in the Birmingham community, we are able to fully fund these trips for medical residents.
We have been blessed to partner with some amazing people and organizations that support us and make it possible. We owe them a debt of gratitude for sharing our vision for medical missions.