When Jesus came to earth, He performed many miracles of physical healing as a sign that the curse of sin and death was being reversed. These wonders offered hope and healing, confirming His identity as the promised Messiah and showing His love to the sick and dying. Even in Old Testament prophecy, He is seen as the one who heals us: "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall" (Mal. 4:2).
For the poorest among us, medical care provided out of Christ-motivated concern is truly a matter of life and death; for many it can alleviate tremendous financial needs; for everyone, it is an incredible gift of kindness. Medical needs often bring us to the end of ourselves, causing emotional and spiritual suffering in ways few other physical problems can.
AMG has long recognized this opportunity to serve others, providing medical care while proclaiming the life-giving Gospel of Christ. From rural health clinics to specialty care centers for leprosy patients to full-service hospitals, each of AMG's medical centers serves as a beacon of hope to surrounding communities.
In the city of Braila, Romania, AMG national worker Dora Ciuca serves as director of our Diaconia Medical Center. She shared this story as an example of something that happens almost every day: "A patient saw one of our doctors, who was a Christian, and the lady was very pleased with the care she received. When she came out, she asked me at the reception desk, Why are you so different? I was very impressed with your doctor -how she explained, she checked, and she listened to me. Why are you so different?' I told her it was because we are Christians, and this is the purpose we have for the clinic. I shared some information about our mission with her, and she said, I am so impressed. Only God helped me to come here and to find you!'"
Since 1973, AMG has operated St. Luke's Hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece, where over 2,000 patients each month experience the love of Christ through the kindness of our staff and daily devotionals broadcast through the PA system. St. Luke's has come to be one of the highest-quality and most trusted hospitals in all of Eastern Europe.
There are many stories of the hope and healing St. Luke's brings to all comers regardless of their ability to pay (a rare treasure in Greece's cash-strapped secular medical system). Something that happened this past summer stands out. One of our missionaries called St. Luke's to ask if the hospital could treat an illegal immigrant from Pakistan who had very recently come to saving knowledge of Christ.
This man had been hit by a car, breaking both bones of his lower leg. A hospital in Athens only put a small cast on his leg and sent him home. For three months, this man stayed in a room by himself, in tremendous pain.
When he came to Thessaloniki, he was very fearful and wary of everything around him. He was operated on, and in a few days he began to walk again. Our staff there embraced this man with the love of Christ, and by the end of his stay, he had begun to smile again. Because of his poverty and immigration status, he likely would have never been able to receive the costly surgery he needed, but our missionary generously provided as much as he could, and St. Luke's covered the rest of the expense.
As stories like these show, medical ministry is a tremendous blessing in its own right, but even more so, it serves to build up the reputation of the Church, paving the way for ministry far past the hospital doors.
How can you help? First of all, pray. Pray for all of AMG's medical staff around the world to be patient, diligent, and kind to reflect Christ as they serve and for the Lord to bring healing to those treated.
Second,go. Many of our medical facilities depend on volunteer doctors, nurses, and technicians to provide the level of care needed, and even the full-time staff benefit from training and collaboration from visitors. If you are skilled in those professions, consider joining AMG for a medical mission trip.
Third,give. All of us know from personal experience just how expensive health care can be. It is only by the faithful generosity of generations of Christians that we are able to share with you about the incredible work AMG is doing today through medical care. Will you join us in partnership to continue this work and ensure that we are able to sustain and expand our ministry, and providing Christ-like compassion to all who come? Thank you!
To learn more about AMG's medical ministries, and how you and your church can partner with us, please visit www.amginternational.org or call 1-800-251-7206.
Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) International is a non-denominational, international missions agency based in Chattanooga, Tenn. AMG's distinctive has always been its reliance on national workers to carry the Gospel in their own cultures. Today, they operate ministries in more than 30 countries around the world through partnership with national believers.