Reflections of a Health Care Mobilizer
The Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC) is the world’s largest gathering of healthcare professionals, students, and organizations dedicated to healthcare missions. It’s one of the highlights on OMF’s events calendar as we have the privilege to speak to healthcare professionals about how God can use their skills among the people of East Asia. This year’s conference runs November 9-11 in Louisville, KY. You can also attend online. Below we share the story of a doctor who has seen the impact of healthcare missions.
By Dr. D.
Having completed my second term as a healthcare worker in East Asia, I was back on a one-year home assignment when one of our mobilizers, Jim, invited me to attend a conference and help at a booth.
“Wait, what’s this conference called again? Global Health Medical Conference?”
Jim replied, “No, Global Missions Health Conference – GMHC!”
This sounded like the perfect gathering, both for personal growth as well as find others who might be interested in joining us. After agreeing to attend and help at the booth, he added, “By the way, what will you talk about when people come by the booth?” This was his not-so-subtle way of asking what my main message would be!
That question has stuck with me for almost two decades. Since that conference, I’ve been back to GMHC six times, sometimes as a US-based mobilizer, sometimes as a field worker, and occasionally as a workshop speaker. Each time, I’ve been challenged by what I’ve heard, the people I’ve met, and by the bigger picture of what God is doing beyond my limited area of personal life and ministry.
My response to Jim that first year was, “I’m going tell people what they can do if they join us! What are you going to talk about?” He answered, “I’m going to focus on our mission and vision.”
As it turned out, the majority of people who came by asked about what they could do if they joined us, so I ended up doing a lot of the talking. I had a blast! It was great to be able to tell stories and talk about what I had done, as well as to invite various people to join us in our work.
Over the years, we have met a number of amazing people, both short-term and long-term workers who have joined us to serve here in the U.S. as well as in East Asia.
As the years passed, ministry contexts underwent huge changes, with corresponding shifts in service opportunities. Much of our work has had to change in order to fit the new contexts. In many cases, this required more cooperation with local partners, deeper understanding and commitment to local systems, and a willingness to follow the lead of local leadership.
In response to these changes, the stories that we heard at GMHC have also changed. The range of challenges given and opportunities offered reflected the wide scope of what God was doing in different parts of the world. We’re encouraged to see God doing amazing things to bring individuals, families and communities to Himself, allowing them to experience the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness, and to see these faith communities grow, multiply, and eventually reach out to others in mission.
When people come by the table, the main question is still “What would I be able to do if I joined you?” or “What opportunities do you have that would fit my skill set?” We are more than happy to answer those questions and present suitable opportunities.
However, we will likely also ask, “Did you hear the story that was just shared by Dr. _____? Isn’t it amazing what is God doing? What do you think He is doing in that part of the world? And how can we be part of what He is doing?”
So come on by! Let’s have that conversation! In the rich environment that surrounds GMHC, let’s discover together what HE is doing!
(Click here to learn more about this year’s Global Missions Health Conference and to register.)