By Dr. Kevin Thomas —
I felt absolutely helpless. We were on a mission trip to a remote village in Mexico. Our primary mission was to build a church building, but we also took “over the counter” medications to share with people who had almost no access to healthcare of any kind. I watched as the missionaries talked with villagers, listened to their symptoms, and gave them the medication that they hoped would be helpful. An elderly man shared that he was having chest pains. We prayed for him, and the missionary gave him a small bag of aspirin with instructions to take one per day. Heart attack symptoms!—and we offered a prayer and some aspirin, and we weren’t even positive that the aspirin was the right call! We wanted to do more, but there was nothing more to do.
What a contrast to the healthcare I can provide for my family. When our son Michael was just a baby, he caught the flu. Throughout the weekend, he couldn’t keep anything on his stomach. By the time we reached the doctor’s office Monday morning, he was completely lethargic. His almost motionless body lying on the table was a terrifying scene for Melissa and me. The doctor immediately admitted him to the hospital, and the nurses soon had IV fluids flowing into him. Those fluids rapidly revived him. Ringers lactate, some plastic tubing, and a needle saved my son’s life. Such a simple solution, if it’s available. Unfortunately, life-saving healthcare is too far out of reach for too many people.
Jesus had a threefold ministry: preaching, teaching, and healing. When He called us to follow, He passed that ministry on to us. Our calling is to continue the work of sharing Good News (preaching), making disciples (teaching), and healing. To be faithful to our calling, let me invite you to do three things.
First, pray for the sick. Pray for the people on our prayer concerns list. It does make a difference. Jesus still heals through prayer today just as He did 2000 years ago. Second, support ministries like the Good Samaritan Clinic that provide healthcare to under resourced people. Third, advocate for
affordable, accessible healthcare for all people.