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Christian Medical Missionary

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by mercaptovizadeh, 01.12.06.

  1. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Anyone else here think they might want to do part time (or maybe not so part time) Christian medical missions either in the US or abroad?
  2. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier

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    I've definitely thought about it.
  3. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    What sort of path do you envision? To tell the truth, I've always envisioned something adventurous. Trekking through Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. like wandering gypsies, ministering especially to the poor and forgotten with medicine and with gospel. Of course, this belies the fact that most ministry is slow, methodic, and unexciting, and God uses all kinds of ministry, even the uninspiring and "humiliating" kind to further His Kingdom.
  4. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Vac Ninja Extraordinaire

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    I've thought about it too. I found this website, and I'd like the opportunity to do something on a short term basis while in school... but then again, I have to get in first :)

    http://www.missionfinder.org/medstudents.htm
  5. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member

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    I am interested in doing short-term missions as a physician. Two summers ago, I served on a Christian medical team in Inner Mongolia for two weaks. It was a wonderful experience. I suggest checking out the Christian Medical and Dental Associations for missions and information (including scholarships).

    CMDA Missions
  6. VPDcurt

    VPDcurt 2K Member

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    I've gone on 5 medical missions through a christian organization and I have two more planned for this upcoming year. I've been to Ecuador once and the Dominican Republic 4 times. One trip is planned for Bolivia and the other is a return to the DR (although it will be in a different "town"). They are amazing and I would highly recommend it.
  7. RunnerMD

    RunnerMD Senior Member

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    Definitely! Also, most medical schools have a chapter of the Christian Medical Association, and they typically go on an annual missions trip.
  8. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier

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    I've thought about trying to get involved with medical care for the homeless attached to a shelter and mission. Give them food, medical care, and let someone minister to them while they're waiting.

    I've also thought about some sort of rural mission, but that would need to be traveling. I don't know, I'll have to research it.
  9. g3pro

    g3pro Dr. Mogley

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    For those who've gone on the missions trips, what kinds of opportunities are there to share your faith?
  10. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member

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    Cool, I didn't know this.
  11. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    I was told two days ago that I might be able to go along on a trip to Nepal to work at an eye surgery clinic. The father of one of my friends is an ophthalmologist and he asked if I was interested.

    As for a trip through a Christian group, despite being a frequent (3 out of 4 Sundays) churchgoer I wouldn't go on a trip through such an organization.
  12. paceac

    paceac paceac441

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    I plan on doing short term missions and am open to doing long term as well.
  13. andi_cvr

    andi_cvr Guest

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    I totally want to do this too. That is assuming I can get into medical school in the first place. I went on a work trip to Haiti for a week last year and I definitely plan to go back when I am a doctor.
  14. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Lifetime Donor

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    I'll be doing a medical mission in Nicarugua during Spring Break for Christian Medical and Dental Association.
  15. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    well, my fiancee is a nurse, and someday I'll be an MD, so we'd both like to do some kind of medical missions work (short-term - probably less than a month? I dunno where we'll be in a decade). I'm not sure if we'd go through a Christian organization or not. I'd like to support believers in other countries, so maybe I'd go through a Christian organization.
  16. TheMightyAngus

    TheMightyAngus

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    I'm all about secular intl medical programs. There's no need to interject western religious beliefs into developing countries. International aid is already ethnocentric enough.
  17. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member

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    How dare you insinuate that Christian medical missions proselytize to sick, vulnerable people who basically owe the missionary doctors their lives after they're treated?!? Secular is soo middle-ages.
  18. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    If you're not Christian and are anti-Christian, perhaps you'd best not post on this thread. It's really none of your business.
  19. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    LMAO....that's great....sarcasm- many attempt it, but few achieve it.
  20. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!

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    If you are not christian you do not see the need, the same is not true for a christian.

    By the way christianity is an eastern religion. The fact it is highly practiced in the west does not make it a western religion.
  21. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    How is it an "eastern" religion? Just because the Holy Land happens to be east of the US does not make it an Eastern religion (i.e. in the same classification as Buddhism, Shintoism, etc)....
  22. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Originally it was more obviously so. But the Roman Catholic church especially, as well as many Eastern churches, fused it with paganism. A useful "conversion" tool, I guess.
  23. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    I think the point was the it is not a European religion. It was founded in the Middle East, in and by a Middle Eastern culture. Europe doesn't have a monopoly over it. What are we talking about, anyway? That's right, Christian medical missions.
  24. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Actually one can be a Christian and realize that professional actions and religious recruiting can be seperate. I mean if someone is receptive to the ideas of my religion, then I will be more than happy to discuss it with them, but I'm not a fan of the "beat people over the head with it until they convert" approach that some Christian agencies utilize. Granted I know of a lot of very good non-medical missionary work that is done by groups that don't seem to be simply trying to fill a quota or something similar. As for the medical side of the coin, the only group I have dealt with seemed to be more hellbent on reaching a certain number of converts than healing people and I think that if you are going there for a stated purpose then that should be your primary focus (i.e. treating blindness if you are going over to do cataract surgery, etc), regardless of which group you are with.
  25. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Sorry....didn't mean to get off topic.
  26. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Then you are ignorant. I don't advocate "beating" anyone over the head. The missionaries I saw weren't doing this. There was no discrimination towards the patients because of their religion.

    Why do you have to destroy every Christian thread and every thread I start? Can't you just leave it alone? If we want to heal and preach, that's our business. The patients' reception of our message has nothing to do with our treatment of them as people and as patients. It would be immoral if it did.
  27. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member

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    Oh, I'm sorry, did I confuse this site with ChristianDoctor.net? Oops sorry, my bad!! As long as you post on this *public* non-Christian, non-sectarian board, you have absolutely no right to tell me to mind my own business and tell me not to post. I hope as a good Christian you have the decency to apologize to me.

    And fyi, I'm not anti-Christian, I have plenty of practicing Christian friends -- I'm just completely against missionaries who bait innocent, naive people with riches, medical treatment, etc. and then preach to them "while they wait". I think it is completely unethical and disingenuous to treat someone, then offer them the doctrine. It crosses so many lines! Imagine if GWB started handing out personal checks to poor people, and then followed with campaign brochures? Buying innocent people's faith is wrong. I don't disagree with people spreading their faith -- if you believe something's correct, by all means, tell people far and wide. I don't disagree with medical camps in developing nations -- curing sick people is why we want to be doctors. I don't disagree with groups of Christians coming together and going to other countries to sick people, as long as they aren't preaching as they cure. It's "spreading the gospel" while "curing the sick and vulnerable" (as a deus ex machina) that I find morally reprehensible. I mean, can't you pick one or the other? Conflict of interest?

    If you have anything intelligent and rational to say on this, I would really love to hear your perspective.
  28. TheMightyAngus

    TheMightyAngus

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    Just for the record. When I wrote "western religious beliefs", the adjective "western" is modifying the noun "beliefs" as is the word "religious". Much in the same manner as the modifiers in the phrase "covert unwanted brainwashing". I made no reference to the locale of Christianity and do not insinuate that medical missions are attempts at brainwashing.
  29. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!

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    And that is respectfully respectful praetorian. However, also realize that to a great number of christians (and for most christian scholars for that matter) saving the soul is more important than achieving health. For this reason I stated that to a christian there might be a need to not only do a medical mission but do a medical evangelistic mission.

    I doubt there exists any christian/medical mission which directly or subtly exchanges help for people's faith. It is a matter of preaching at perhaps the best moment to have someone's attention and hear about the christian faith, which to most christians is the only way to an afterlife with the creator. With this in mind (not necessarily agreeing) it is completely understandable that christians may wish to not only go to deprived countries with goods but also with what christians believe is the word of salvation of one's soul.

    And BTW, one does not need to wait to be a med student or a physician to be involved in an overseas (or local) christian mission. Volunteers are extremely valuable regardless of medical preparation.
  30. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Well, I have nothing to apologize for. The thread was intended for other people involved or interested in Christian medical missions. It was not meant for you to waltz in and attack the work of worthy people who save lives and merely tell others about their faith.

    Your GWB analogy is entirely erroneous, because all patients are treated equally regardless of their religion or receptivity to Christianity. At least that's what I saw at the hospital I shadowed at. And by the way, that dirty little tactic was used by Democrat NJ governor candidate Jon Corzine; he handed out sandwiches to homeless people so they would hold up promotional signs and posters.

    I think you're just being ignorant of how these things really work. Fortunately, I have experience and can point out the fallacies in your claims.
  31. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    As someone who originally planned on becoming a minister, I completely understand the view of valuing salvation over health. But at the same time, I don't agree with religion being crammed down the throats of everyone someone comes in contact with. I've always found that the best way to recruit is to demonstrate the best characters of our faith, rather than the typical "You all are going to burn in hell" approach.

    By the way thanks for staying polite and adult in your reply Medhacker. A lot of people could stand to learn from your example when it comes to religious discussions. :thumbup:
  32. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Who told you that is the usual approach? I certainly don't use it. I repeat, religion isn't "crammed" down their throat. Let me explain how these things work: the witnessing technique was primarily by posting verses from the Bible in the native tongue on the walls of the hospital wards. A portable television was kept in the ward and periodically, the "Jesus" video was shown. Those who didn't want it could have a silk screen put in front of their bed. Another TV was kept in one of the reception areas for family members, playing the same video. People who didn't want to see it could just turn away or go elsewhere.
  33. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member

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    Unfortunately you're not understanding what I'm saying. I don't doubt that you medically treat everyone equally, regardless of faith or "receptivity". It's the "after" part that I have a problem with. Say you cure someone's life-threatening infection, this person's indebted to you for saving their life, and clearly in a more vulnerable position [you've saved their life, after all!]. If you preach to them afterwards, they will be much more receptive to your doctrine because you've given them something, you've dangled that carrot in front of them. I don't see how that isn't luring people. "Receptivity" is a complete non-issue if you offer them nothing, but people become much more receptive if you do offer them something... which is wrong, if you're trying to achieve some purpose. If you disagree, why not just do the medical camp, but not preach? Or why not just preach, without biasing your audience with incentives? Don't you realize you're not giving people a "no strings attached" service? Sure, they can choose not to worship. Is that going to happen? Unfortunately the average world consumer isn't wise enough to objectively separate the charity from the strings. I'm sad that you feel threatened by people who question you.
  34. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    That's the standard approach of the Pentecostal (the "praise Jesus and pass the rattlesnake" version of Pentecostals) missionaries I've dealt with. Granted that's kind of like judging Muslims by looking at jihadis (both extremists, but differing degrees thereof)....but I digress...
  35. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier

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    Read the GLBT and allies thread. I respected their request to stick to topic. Why won't you?
  36. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Another related point is that regardless of what one thinks, no one is completely objective. No matter if you think you aren't treating people differently, 99.9% of you are to some degree, at least subconsciously.
  37. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    These people are not witnessed to before the treatment - it's after. Just because they are more receptive, why does that bother you? So what if they're more receptive? They aren't bribed to believe. They are treated regardless - and often for free! Many of these surgeries would be thousands if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the US. How much do you think a liver tumor resection would cost in the US? At the hospital I was at, such a surgery was performed at no cost to the patient.

    I think you must think that people are being treated as a kind of carrot for conversions. That's not the point. Physicians go out into the field because Jesus was a healer, and if you are equipped to heal the poor and are willing to do it without compensation, that's great. If that makes someone more receptive to faith, what's so wrong with that?

    You're really not making any sense at all here.
  38. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Actually he's making sense, it's just that you're not getting what he is saying.

    Remember most people are a good 50-80 IQ points below most of us on this board, they are simple minded and if you associate free stuff with your group then chances are they are going to get on board in hopes of getting more stuff. It's the same idea that marketing companies use all the time.
  39. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member

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    I have never worked with Christian missionaries, so I can not speak from direct experience. My experience comes from working with the people who have felt the direct effects of Christian missionaries. I have gone on several trips to the Peruvian Amazon working with the tribe’s people to help facilitate long term health through HEALTH education, while being CULTURALY sensitive to the BELIEFS of the people. What I found, as an observant of many tribes, was that the Christian ministry was relentless in its effort to CHANGE the tribes. Not simply the religious beliefs, but also the beliefs of hierarchy as a way of life. Those who had NOT embraced Christianity (which were few due to the fact that the Christian ministry had REFUSED MEDICAL CARE to those who failed build a church and "embrace" God) were much more egalitarian. On the other hand, those chiefs who felt the medical care provided by the missionaries was necessary over the traditional beliefs, had subjected their people to a plague of social side effects. Namely, in those tribes, I observed a much higher rate of spousal abuse, sexually transmitted infections, women's health issues, and subservient women. This is irregardless to the TYPE of tribe. I visited four types total, and I can say with confidence that the ONLY common thread between these people was the "embracing of Christianity".

    I do not mean to trump any persons beliefs, but simply stating an observation. I am Christian. I went to a Catholic grade school. I studied under nuns and priests. I have nothing against Christianity except those who find the inability to embrace the beauty of diversity.

    Perhaps a lesson may be taken from the Jesuits. Their initial work in ministry was to themselves embrace cultures not their own, to learn new languages and the intricacies of society and culture, only then to present the idea of God and Christianity. Not to force. Not to offer life (read: health care) in exchange for complete disregard of lifelong/ancient beliefs for foreign ideas. Present, don't force. In exchange, listen. The world is diverse. Everyone has something to share. Don't be so quick to impose an idea, unless you are as prepared to have a person impose his or her belief on you.
  40. TheMightyAngus

    TheMightyAngus

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    I think people equate the "miracles" of medicine they are experiencing with Christianity and faith, not with pharmaceuticals and science. This misperception causes them to be more receptive to conversion. They aren't converting because they like your values and philosophy.
  41. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member

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    YES, of course it is after! I agree with you! I wasn't saying that the system is "if you are christian, you get treatment". I know you indoctrinate them AFTER the medical treatment, and that's what's wrong in my opinion. You save someone, they obviously owe you (at least they feel). How can they pay you back for that $10,000 resection? By converting to your faith. It's what you wanted right? You can't go wrong obviously. I'm willing to bet that the liver tumor patient is now a happy Christian [maybe wouldn't necessarily have been, if s/he didn't have a tumor and was healthy, but was merely introduced to the faith on its own merits].

    People shouldn't be introduced to faith at a time right after they've been cured with expensive treatments. It BIASES them, and just serves as an easy way to increase your faith's numbers. It's fine to try to attract more Christians, but convince people because of the faith's innate strengths, rather than because their healer was a Christian.

    The cost of the treatments is a red herring, many secular camps offer free treatment as well (including the ones I was part of, I saw 9 hernia operations in one day!)
  42. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    No, because the place this hospital was in is hysterically Muslim, with a Hindu minority, and converts are hardly "in for free stuff". They are persecuted by their own families. I personally know a woman whose two Chistian sisters were abducted, raped, and forced into marriage by their Muslim cousins, and their *mother* was a key player in plotting the abductions.

    Your arrogance and condescension is sickening. At least I respect people enough to believe that they have enough dignity to choose their faith for themselves.
  43. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Heretic! How dare you suggest that we listen to non-Christian heathens! :smuggrin: :laugh:
  44. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member

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    :laugh: crazy, i know :laugh:
  45. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ

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    Whatever. Obviously you take yourself for a genius and them for idiots.
  46. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member

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    not that, but when you see something that is completely outside the realm of that which you are accustom, there is some willingness to be persuaded to the rest of what that person has said. It does not matter that in our own society the two are not scientifically related. In such a case, the two become inextricably linked, unless otherwise taught or shown.
  47. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers Moderator Emeritus

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    anon-y-mouse, I agree with you 100%, but the problem lies with intent. I dislike proselytizing as much as anyone, but many conservative Christians truly believe they are saving others from the depths of Muslim/Jewish/Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Shinto/Taoist/Confucian/Tribal/Agnostic/Atheist Hell. We might disagree with preaching, but as long as their intentions are good (which they consider them to be, I know they're not purposely being malicious), your point isn't really going to be understood or appreciated. Great post, lexy10.
  48. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    I love the fact Mercapto that your only response is to claim I am ignorant and hateful. I am neither. Your opinions are your opinions, but we all have a right to disagree. Personally I think you're bright and probably a very nice person, but the fact that you can turn any conversation into a discussion of how that issue can be used to recruit is a little disturbing.

    As for people who live in a non-Christian friendly country, there's a reason why they don't like us. Maybe people should take a hint and move or just keep their faith to themselves? Is it really so wrong that there are countries out there that are not Christian theocracies as you wish this country to be? Why is it that if Christians are being repressed you all are lined up to help, but there are other groups that are being repressed by Christian majorities and I don't see you crying out for it to stop or offering to go in harms way to aid them (the repressed not the Christians). It states in at least in a couple of places in the Bible that you treat your opposition ("enemy") as you would treat your own, but yet you seem to miss this point. Now who's being ignorant and shortsighted? If you are really one who cares for his fellow man then that consideration should be given without thought to creed, color, location or their actions.
  49. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Just like when I see a tree I see an organism that has evolved over millions of years through natural selection, whereas you see something that was created by God......hmmm.....
  50. lexy10

    lexy10 Senior Member

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: perfect.

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