Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Healing for the body, mind and soul at four-day medical mission

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Dentists will also be on site at the Independence Church of Christ four-day medical mission.

A four-day medical mission with a spiritual platform got under way yesterday at the Independence Church of Christ at 8 Hellshire Drive Portmore, St Catherine, with residents of Independence City, Westchester, Waterford, Cumberland, Portsmouth and Greater Portmore turning out to benefit from this comprehensive healing mission.

"While we attend to the medical side of things, with doctors, dentists, psychologists, because we'll have counselors, it is very important that we attend to the spiritual as well," Minister Gary Cunningham told The Gleaner. "At the end of the day, man needs God."

The annual event, which seeks to serve a minimum of 200 persons each day, will see the beneficiaries getting medical attention, interspersed with spiritual injections, Minister Cunningham explained.

"The intention is that we start the day with a five-to-ten minute devotion. Then as the people come in, while they wait for the different services, we try to engage them in a short Bible studies and so, for like five minutes. In the evening, we will have a service lasting at most two hours. So, that would start at 7:00 and by 9:00, it's ended."

 

A HIT WITH YOUTH

 

In fact, these devotion sessions proved to be quite a hit with especially the young people.

The event, which is timed to coincide with the back-to-school calendar, sees children coming in for special attention, with the Colgate mobile dental unit providing a wide range of services. Courts Optical also turned up to provide

eye-testing. The team of volunteers includes local and overseas doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists, family counselors and pharmacists with supporting staff offering in depth comprehensive assessment and treatment as needed.

... Persons with pre-existing medical conditions to bring along documents

For persons with pre-existing medical conditions, Minister Gary Cunningham from the Independence Church of Christ at 8 Hellshire Drive Portmore, St Catherine, is advising that they take along any documentation which would help the doctors in terms of insight into their overall health status for the four-day medical mission at the church.

"If they have a medical history, it would be good that they come and inform us so that we can have a basis on which to act, but outside of that, we do the full gamut in terms of examination and so forth, so we urge them to come out and access the services," he appealed.

In fact, the church has made an effort to spread the mission to communities where the services will be best appreciated, taking it to the people wherever they are, especially over the past five years. Last year, it was in Patrick City, St Andrew and in 2015 Willowdene, Spanish Town was the location of choice. This rotation has really worked to the benefit of the people the church has targeted, in light of the overwhelmingly positive responses.

"There have been occasions that we have dealt with emergency cases where people come in and these are difficult cases and we helped them. The idea, though, is to engage the community outside of just providing the free medication and health care. So we find time to sit with the people and see how else we can try to meet the needs that they have, so it has been very positive in terms of the community outreach, very positive," Minister Cunningham recalled.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com