Over Labor Day weekend, the Indonesian-American church in Azusa conducted an event some people had thought might need to be rescheduled. “You won’t be able to get enough volunteers or professionals on a holiday weekend,” many said, but the Lord had other ideas.
Peter Young, D.D.S., from the L.A. Cantonese Adventist Fellowship company, enlisted 23 dental students for the clinic’s dental department. A church member who owns a lab donated two lab tests per patient, with the church providing only minimal materials needed for the more than 200 patients who took advantage of the free service. Eighteen Western University students volunteered to offer vision services, under the direction of faculty member Taylor Lamb, O.D.
Leaders of the Los Angeles Indonesian Christian Association specifically asked the church to have the clinic on the holiday weekend. After praying, the church decided to do just that. And since the church has many Hispanic neighbors, the clinic offered translation in both Indonesian and Spanish.
The weekend was very hot and humid, but 385 volunteers came to assist with the different clinic services. For the outreach, the church partnered with AMEN (Adventist Medical Evangelist Network), offering medical, dental, and vision services, ultrasound, pharmacy, foot care, lifestyle coaching, massage therapy, and more.
Ewan Wonoprabowo, SCC auditor and Indonesian-American church head elder, reported on what many members saw as a miracle. “We had ordered 12 boxes of croissants for volunteer lunches,” he said. “When we went to pick them up on Friday morning, they only had two boxes. ‘Come tomorrow,’ they were told, but the next day was Sabbath.”
“We can’t come tomorrow,” the church member said, “because it’s the Sabbath.” Early Sabbath morning, a large surprise donation arrived from Trader Joe’s and was received by a night watchman. The donation included bread, croissants, and fruit — enough to share with both volunteers and patients. The church was able to give each patient a vegetarian sandwich, and volunteers never ran low on bread or sandwich filling.
Wonoprabowo and the church’s clinic team worked for 10 months preparing the outreach, offering exercise and cooking classes twice monthly. “Diabetes Undone” classes will be offered in November. An evangelistic series starts in December.
Included in the extensive planning, preparation, and fundraising for the clinic were several visits with Azusa’s Mayor Joseph Rocha and his staff, arranged by Andres Altamirano, a community services activist and a member of Community Adventist Fellowship. The Mayor’s office collaborated with the clinic, offering police security, overflow parking at nearby schools, and attending the clinic on both days. Also visiting were the Consul General and the Consul for Immigration for Indonesia. Clinic co-sponsors included the Asian-Pacific departments of SCC, Pacific Union, and North American Division. Lucyana Panjaitan, R.N., was the coordinator for the clinic.
Near the end of the weekend, Rocha asked if the church would sponsor a free clinic in 2018. “We will certainly consider it,” said Wonoprabowo, adding, “if the city can provide the funding.” A meeting was scheduled to discuss the possibility.
Wonoprabowo also asked about finding a larger venue for the clinic, since the 2017 turnout had overfilled the church. “No,” Rocha replied, “this is the perfect place for the clinic. It is the house of the Lord.”