Most people equate the term, Medical Missions with organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Samaritan’s Purse, and other groups dedicated to alleviating suffering in poverty-stricken third world countries.
And although countless individuals devote their lives to making the world a better place and providing hope to the hopeless, that is not what medical missions are about.
Please understand, I am not implying these groups are off track. I am simply pointing out the difference between selfless humanitarian aid (a noble principle) and sacrificial carrying of the Gospel into the corners of the globe (a Godly command).
When we are on the field in a distant land, no matter what region we occupy, the local influences are far from Godly. In fact, in many instances, they are purely Satanic.
On one of our recent trips, several of us were under the direct influence of oppressive forces. They hung over our heads and weighed us down, suffocating us and keeping us from wanting to pray.
At such times, the simple uttering of the name, Jesus, is all that is needed to break a powerful stronghold.
Again, I am not referring to demonic possession. I am speaking of the oppressive forces that inhabit a geographic region where God is not revered and prayer is absent.
The purpose of medical missions is to carry much-needed medical care to areas where the need is desperate, and allowing God to open the doors. We cannot barge in and do whatever we want. God must prepare the way. Our responsibility is to go, and to be ready—ready to do what He calls us to do.
Is the medical care we offer real? Absolutely. Providing true, valuable, quality medical care is essential. God offers only the best. Flying in a bunch of Band-Aids and Tylenol so we can tell them about God does not cut it. The care we provide is essential to survival. It is the only way it carries meaning. It is the only way it opens doors.
The bottom line is this—when it comes to medical missions, meeting a physical need is futile if spiritual death lurks at the door.
Scripture tells us that the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. We are the workers—all of us. It’s time to get busy.