Advance Magazine

Medical Missions

A Q&A with Dr. Joy Anglea, BMM’s Medical Director

Klen, a paraplegic in Cambodia, lived in a small dark room made of
sheet metal, sleeping on a hard wooden bed. A missionary, Dr. Mary
Broeckert, had led him to Christ during a hospitalization. Fellow believers at Koh Kong Baptist Church (started by Mary and her husband, Hubert) spent many hours visiting him to read the Bible, sing, and pray.

Later, Klen’s wife left him because of his physical limitations, but Klen
maintained his deep joy in Christ for the rest of his life. Today he is walking and talking with our Lord in heaven. 

His life is one of many saved through medical missions.

Spr22 Medical Mary
Dr. Mary Broeckert

Q: When did medical missions begin?

A: Jesus provided our example as He reached out to those suffering with diseases, deformities, and disabilities and restored them to health. Clearly, He came to forgive sin and redeem souls, but He also set the example for us to follow. The early church followed His pattern of compassion as they helped the sick even at risk of their own lives. Christianity became known as a religion of love and compassion.

Q: Why use medical missions instead of focusing entirely on church-planting?

A: Church-planting can be enhanced by medical ministries when the gospel is made the primary focus. Compassionate healthcare can demonstrate Christ’s love to communities, provide a means of presenting the gospel, expand the outreach of local churches, and provide ministry opportunities for believers.

Spr22 Medical Rhonda
Rhonda Green

Q: How long has BMM used healthcare as a means of spreading the gospel?

A: For 100 years medical missions has played a significant role in reaching people for Christ through BMM. Early medical ministries in French Equatorial Africa (now Central African Republic and Chad) and India were started in conjunction with evangelism and discipleship, leading to the formation of local churches. Many of these ministries were eventually turned over to local believers with the same goals.

Q: Does BMM still have any hospitals?

A: Yes. Many of our hospitals have been fully nationalized, but one in Asia has a vibrant ministry outreach to its patients and to others via mobile village clinics. Village clinics have been a means of evangelizing surrounding communities, resulting in the starting of at least 22 congregations. The hospital and its associated church are the hub for a Christian school, Bible institute, correspondence ministry, and Christian boarding school. This ministry has been extremely effective in a predominantly Muslim culture.

Spr22 Medical Nikki
Nikki Carr

Q: Are there other types of medical mission ministries?

A: Absolutely! Nicki Carr (RN) serves with a church-planting team in western Romania. Her nursing background has helped her establish credibility with the Roma people as they seek community medical care. Even though most of her work involves their local church ministry in Luncsoara, providing first aid has helped her build relationships with the Roma villagers.

Rhonda Green (RN, MPH) serves on Guam, reaching Micronesians with the gospel. In addition to helping local Micronesians and students at Harvest Baptist Bible College with their health needs, her master’s degree in public health qualifies her to teach health courses. But all of this is within a broader context of evangelism and discipleship with Harvest Baptist Church.

Q: What about medical ministries here in the US?

A: An inner-city free clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, (Faith Wellness and Pregnancy Center—FWPC) offers medical and eye care as well as supportive care and counseling for pregnant women. Local doctors, nurses, other health professionals, and medical students volunteer in the ministry to patients. FWPC is one aspect of the multifaceted outreach of Faith Baptist Community Church & Center, which also provides Bible studies, practical classes, meals, clothing, addiction counseling, and children’s ministries. All of these services offer Christ’s love and compassion to many who otherwise lack hope.

Q: What are your current needs on BMM’s medical mission fields?

A: More medical missionaries are needed! Our most urgent need is for a physician to serve alongside our two nurses in our hospital in Asia as our current physician approaches retirement. We also have fields where a new primary care ministry (e.g., stationary or mobile clinics) could enhance the outreach of already-established local churches. We will always have fields where medical missionaries—men and women—can be used effectively to reach people for Christ.

Spr22 Medical Joy

Dr. Joy Anglea

After serving in private practice, Joy joined BMM in 1996 as a medical missionary to Micronesia. She became BMM’s Medical Director in 2004.

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