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Ministry training and medicine, hand-in-hand

CATACAMAS, HONDURAS — Predisan’s Doris Clark on medical missions and programs that train preachers

By Doris Clark
For the Christian Chronicle

February 18, 2004

Predisan’s Doris Clark on medical missions and programs that train preachers

CATACAMAS, HONDURAS – I think (medical missions and ministry training) can go hand-in-hand, just as Jesus walked,taught, worshipped, and showed compassion through healing.
Here in Catacamas, Honduras, the Honduran Bible School was aleady begun (1983) and the health component was added in 1986 so that rural preachers could learn to show the compassion of Christ by sharing their understanding of basic health knowledge and practicing first aid in their communities.
We had a great beginning. I believe an integrated approach is truely a Christ-like approach to reaching the physically and spiritually needy. I also believe
that this concept of has to be taught at the Bible School preparation level — there is more than one strategy to gain entrance into people’s lives. We don’t all have the same gifts but we do have the same goal.
This plan in Honduras would have been even more optimum if the idea had originated with national Christian leaders, and if they had been capable of organizing it and running it themselves from the beginning. I was in a Missions class in ACU a few years ago where these pros and cons was discussed extensively, with the conclusion being that the ideal is that national churches mature enough to define and form their own outreach ministries.
In Honduras and in many other places of need, however, the local Christian leadership lacks the skills to initiate and means to fund even minimally health care services. This calls for partnering with those who have experience and can share financially. Our family and our USA connections became a part of that partnering in 1986. Dr. Amanda, a national physician, became involved one year later and has been key to the organizational growth over the years. When Dr. Clark left Honduras, the churches were less inclined to collaborate with her as a woman leader. Consequently, the healing component began to take on a more independent character and became legally incorporated as “Predicar y Sanar.”
I continue to believe that the preaching of Christ and healing (a service we can offer with love) demonstrate an attitude and work of the body of Christ that attracts sinners.
DORIS CLARK is president of Predisan Honduras, a medical mission in Catacamas the employs many native Hondurans and sponsors medical mission visits from physicians in the United States and Canada. The Northlake church, Atltanta, supports the ministry. For more information, see www.predisan.org.

Filed under: Staff Reports Views

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