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Where we’ve been: Medical Missions Seminar


FORT WORTH, Texas — Be Christians first. Then use your education to heal and serve. That was Dr. Bob Whittaker’s advice to 190 physicians, medical personnel and mission workers during the 35th annual Medical Missions Seminar. Whittaker, a British-born physician, has served for decades in the African nations of Nigeria and Swaziland.

Participants also heard talks from a Christian midwife, a pharmacist and a physician who discussed how medical missionaries can de-stigmatize depression in developing nations. Christians also discussed how non-medical believers can be useful on medical mission trips.

The seminar was the idea of international evangelist Joe Cannon and medical missionary Dr. Henry Farrar, who sought to encourage future generations of Christians to spread the Gospel through health care. More than 50 of this year’s participants were students at Christian universities including Harding, Oklahoma Christian, Abilene Christian and Pepperdine. The event is sponsored by International Health Care Foundation/African Christian Hospitals, a Searcy, Ark.-based nonprofit.

Marty HighfieldThe seminar provided hands-on training for the students as they learned how to address fractures and dislocations in a wilderness setting. Organizers also honored medical missionaries including Dr. Fred Massey. He received the Farrar Award “because of his life-changing surgical work in many African countries that has saved the lives of countless women,” said Farrar’s daughter, Marty Highfield, who presented the award.

Highfield, who has a doctorate in nursing, worships with the University Church of Christ on Pepperdine’s campus in Malibu, Calif. She continues her father’s legacy, helping young believers train for medical ministry and participating in short-term trips to developing nations including Haiti.

At the seminar, “the halls and lecterns were filled with men and women … who have made a lifetime commitment to spreading the Gospel by using their professional training to heal physically and spiritually,” she said.

Filed under: Partners

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