Every evening after providing free medical treatment to hundreds of people at a free clinic organized by Your Best Pathway to Health, the volunteers have gathered together to worship and share miracle stories from the day.
But we did something different at our most recent free clinic in Beckley, West Virginia. We invited the patients to join us.
The idea came to me one morning during my prayer time with God.
Sensing the need to more quickly connect people to “whole person care” — the secrets to physical, mental, and spiritual health, and to find better ways to invite them to visit health information centers set up at local Seventh-day Adventist churches after the free clinics ended, I prayed earnestly.
As a result, I felt impressed to change the focus of the evening meetings toward the patients while still maintaining an exciting time for the volunteers.
In subsequent discussions with the programming team, and again with much prayer, we decided to invite the patients to a free dinner followed immediately with a whole person health program that included the day’s miracle stories, music, and more.
The result proved very successful in Beckley. Each night, patients and volunteers sat at round tables, eating and mingling. It was beautiful! Then the guests stayed for the evening meeting. About 50 to 75 guests came each night during the three-day free clinic, and many attended the Sabbath School and church meetings on the day after the event ended.
“You people are my family now,” Tiffany, a mother with two small daughters, told me, her eyes shining with joy. “First you ministered to my health needs. Then you fed me and provided for my spiritual needs.”
Tiffany and her family have visited the health information center at the local Adventist church and plan to attend spiritual health courses led by Ron Halvorsen Jr., president of the Ohio Conference, in a few weeks.
Other patients have similar stories.
These precious souls are learning about whole person care because of prayer. And it wasn’t only my prayers. A group of us prayed throughout the week surrounding the Beckley free clinic. We continuously sought God’s counsel on how to accomplish what we were seeking to do. God answered our prayers more than we ever imagined. Our evening meetings were even mentioned on television and in local newspapers, providing free advertising that we never could have afforded to buy. Many people in Beckley now have a positive view of Seventh-day Adventists and, most importantly, of God.
This is the miracle of prayer.
Dr. Lela Lewis is an obstetrician-gynecologist and the president of Your Best Pathway to Health, which in partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ASI, and many supporters has provided more than $83 million in free services to more than 22,000 patients in six U.S. cities since 2014.
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!