“I had not been cleaned for 20 years and they did a marvelous job,” says Arthur Peyton, a dental patient at our recent free clinic. “My gratitude is to all the volunteers I met here. I’ve never been so comfortable in my life around total strangers.”
Acts chapter three shows the harmonious blend between the medical missionary work and the preaching of the gospel: “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” Acts 3:7.
With a vision to bring the gospel message to the whole world through the preaching of the Word and medical missionary work, Hartland held its very first free clinic on September 30, 2018. It was a life-changing experience as people’s needs were met and hearts were touched by the self-sacrificing love displayed at the clinic.
“It’s wonderful to use the knowledge we’ve been receiving at Hartland at an event such as this,” says Gleny Cherian, a health ministry major.
Through partnership with Germanna Community College, the University of Virginia (UVA) Ophthalmology Department, and local Seventh-day Adventist church members, 200 volunteers came together and offered their time, energy, and service to make this clinic possible.
“We are here today because there is a tremendous unmet need for vision, medical, and dental services in the community,” said Dr. Rebecca Sieburth from UVA. “We see people for their eye health, but often people have many other things going on in their lives. They have bills to pay, children to feed, and they may put their own vision health behind. So today, we can provide these things to those people.”
It was amazing as the medical volunteers from UVA and Germanna Community College shared the same vision. They realized that they were not only ministering to patients’ physical needs but were also impacting the patients’ lives in a greater way.
“It’s a step in the right direction in the sense that it gives people who may not have access to health care a foot in the door and may identify some problem that can be stopped earlier on and have a tremendous impact later in life,” said Oliver Filutowski, a medical student from UVA. “Today has led me to desire to see more of this on a regular basis from all sorts of different communities.”
With this joint effort, 340 patients received clinical services worth over $60,000. This free clinic would not have been possible without the donations of local Seventh-day Adventist churches, the willingness of all volunteers to serve, and the services of the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN) team.
“This was a singular opportunity to share with others why we are here,” reports President Norbert Restrepo. “We gave out 166 Steps to Christ, 48 Christ’s Object Lessons, 36 Ministry of Healing, 24 Desire of Ages, and 24 Great Controversy, adding up to a total of 298 books! We also shared 182 Last Generation magazines. We offered Bible studies, and 13 people signed up right then and there! Twenty-one signed up for follow-up events at local Seventh-day Adventist churches.”
“This event has inspired me to see a way that I can help people. My dream is becoming a nurse and helping others,” says Jennifer Gomez, a participant in the clinic. “I think it’s really nice that you offer this opportunity for free for people that are not able to pay for it.”
This free clinic served as an inspiration to students thinking of going into the medical field and fueled their passion for serving people. It brings such joy to see the satisfaction of the participants and to minister to their needs.
“I recommend anyone coming to you all, because you have really helped so many people,” says Denise Tinsley, another participant. “I hope you are able to continue.”
We praise God and greatly appreciate every effort directed towards making this free clinic possible. Seeing the great needs of the community and the greater impact of this free clinic in meeting those needs, Hartland is committed to continuing this ministry to heal and to save.