The Medical Ministry is a very special and unique ministry that brings help and hope to the suffering and their families. Ministering through medical camps is an opportunity to treat and care for the physical needs of the people, thereby share the gospel. But that’s far from the end of the story because the predominant belief is that any physical ailment a person suffers from is because of bad karma in previous lives, many people cannot find help or treatment. When medical camps offer help, the offer is so drastically different from what they have heard and believed all of their lives, that people ask, “Why?”. At that point, medical camps are provided with a precious opportunity to share the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.
Medical camps have been a regular missions outreach work of AJC Ministries. Each medical camp attracts anywhere between 300 to 500 people from the villages. A team of a handful of efficient, dedicated doctors assist the AJC Ministries in its medical camps. The camp sites are identified in remote places where even primary medical facilities are rare and access to quality health care is sometimes impossible. Mission - minded doctors, nurses, pharmacists and volunteers unite with prayer, preparation and dedication to regularly conduct medical camps. Much efforts are poured in gathering resources for procuring medicines, health supplements, gifts and meeting travel and other incidental expenses. Your prayers unto the Lord God to raise more volunteers and supporters for our medical missions is the need of the hour.
Medical camps are conducted to serve the following purposes...
- To educate the people on basic cleanliness, self-hygeine and personal care.
- To create awareness about basic vaccinations for new-borns adn toddlers.
- To insist on keeping theie homes and surroundings clean.
- To throw light on the fundamental home remedies for frequently occuring infections.
- To educate about the first-aid procedures in handling accidental injuries.
- To make them clear about the do's and dont's in dealing with any medical emergency.
- To educate on the symptoms of commonly occuring diseases.
- To ensure the need and importance of physical exercises.
- To build up a strong will-power that the diseased will rise up with renewed strength.
- Never induce a person to follow Christ..
An excerpt from the book, "Burnt Alive" which speaks of the missionary work of Graham Stuart Staines who carried out the mission work amidst the lepers of Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of Orissa State, India. Graham was burnt alive along with his two sons, Philip (11 years) and Timothy (6 years) while on their way back from their annual jungle missionary camp in the remote village of Manoharpur. It’s been said that love can prompt a man to climb any mountain. To reach the people of Manoharpur, one would need that kind of love. Graham had that kind of a love that carried him across three ravines and some of the unfriendliest terrain. For the past fourteen years, he had been travelling to the tiny village nestled in the remote hills of Keonjhar, about 250 kms north of the state capital and about 150 kms from Mayurbhanj Mission House, where around 150 Santhal tribe families reside. Manoharpur is quite far from life in any city, such that, there is neither electricity nor any of the modern amenities. This meant that Graham and his sons had to spend the night in their station-wagon.
Graham prepared himself by disciplining moral values in mission work. Dr. Subhankar Ghosh, a friend of Graham for many years recalls, “Graham never induced anyone by money or materials to become a Christian, rather he took money even from the poor patients towards the cost of medicine, because that was his discipline and way.”
A healed leper testifies,
“Our world was darkness. We always faced death. None of the religious leaders bothered to give us even one meal. When we begged for alms, they would threw stones at us and chase us away. We were untouchables. These religious leaders used to tell us that we deserved leprosy because of our sins in our previous birth – because of our ‘karma’. And we were left to die in the jungles all alone, like worms…but then came Staines Dada and his friends…they stretched forth their hands of mercy and took us to the Leprosy Home…Dada and his wife personally washed our sores and dressed the wounds with medicines and when we were cured, they taught us some skill…there we saw the love of God”.
The missionary work fulfilled by Christian medical missionaries in India is remarkable. A couple of them are..
- Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder (December 9, 1870 – May 23, 1960) - n 1918, she started one of Asia’s foremost teaching hospitals, the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, India.
- Dr. C.S. Shelton along with Dr. Steele - American Madura Mission - The Hospital evolved from a small dispensary established by the American Missionary Doctor C.S. Shelton in 1849, which in the next two years became a hospital.