Over the course of two days, 385 volunteers converged to offer hope and healing to the San Fernando Valley. The Southern California Conference West Region partnered with Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN) to offer free health services, including dental, vision, medical, laboratory tests, ultrasound, dermatology, haircuts, lifestyle counseling, and more, on the campus of San Fernando Valley Academy in Northridge, Calif.
Lay person and clinic co-director J.R. Cahatol, RN, Glendale Filipino church, works as a home health case manager in the San Fernando Valley community. “I was motivated to organize and hold this clinic because of a quote I read from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 62: ‘We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work,’” J.R. shared. “I wanted churches and church members to be involved in more outreach that focuses on the needs of the community. I saw that this was a great opportunity for everyone to join in and experience it.”
The clinic served 474 total patients, and volunteers represented 8-10 local Seventh-day Adventist churches. “I experienced the most blessing from seeing volunteers from the different churches come together to use their God-given skills to bless the community,” J.R. continued. “It showed me that when we link together for a common goal, we could be capable of blessing so many people in San Fernando.”
That blessing proved to be more than potential. Volunteer Rachel Minor, Valley Crossroads church, spoke with a patient named Erlinda who was especially grateful for the dental services she received. “‘Because of this clinic, I can smile, and it’s free,’ Minor recalled Erlinda telling her. ‘It’s nothing but God.’ She was just extremely thankful, which helped other people who heard her feel more encouraged that what the AMEN clinic was doing was beneficial and that it would help them.”
Erlinda continued to share her personal testimony with Minor. “She [Erlinda] went through so much, and it was incredible to see God’s hand in her life,” Minor said. Erlinda had become a Christian, and then found this health clinic offered by the Adventist church.
Minor recalled her encounters with Erlinda and other patients, reflecting on the mission of the event. “The AMEN clinic was really doing the Lord’s work,” she asserted. “It was really helping people to see the big picture and how Christ wants to heal them.”
There are many ways to reach souls for Christ; meeting needs through clinics like this is one. “I just want people to see that we shouldn’t be afraid to do things that are outside of our comfort zone,” J.R. mentioned. “We should continue to challenge ourselves, trying different ways of doing ministry to reach people.”