Adventist medical camps bring government praise, baptisms.
A nation-wide drive to bring physical and spiritual healing saw Seventh-day Adventist members in Uganda reach over 3,000 sites in the last two weeks. Adventist-sponsored activities offered Bible studies and free medical camps, which are garnering the praise and support of local governments in that African nation.
Medical camps in Uganda follow the principles of Total Member Involvement (TMI), a plan by the world church that encourages every church member to take on an active role in ministering to others and sharing the good news of Jesus.
In the Mbarara district, in Uganda’s southwestern region, over 800 people a day received free medical treatments at one of the Adventist-sponsored medical camps last week. Local government leaders were filled with joy as they attended the camps and saw thousands of people get a better sense of their health at the mobile medical treatment centers.
District Police Commissioner Geoffrey Magyezi said the Adventist church was contributing to crime eradication through their outreach. “Before the opening of the medical camp, we arrested a mother who had stolen money,” he said. “As they interrogated her, she said she stole to get money to take her child to the hospital. So the church had come at the right time to save lives in the region.”
Jolly Kagira, representing the Resident District Commissioner, said the TMI medical camps are not an end but a beginning. “These camps should be a beginning of a partnership between the government and the Adventist church in the eradication of poverty and drug addiction,” she said. “With God’s Word, the church can foil evils better than the police with the sword of the law.”
According to Kakuru Bernard, president of the Adventist Church in the Southwestern Uganda Field based in Mbarara, the success of the medical camp was a direct result of church members’ involvement. “Our members have a great understanding of what TMI entails,” he said.
Bernard shared that the camps provided medicine, eyeglasses, dental treatment, and so much more. The local government also participated in the event. They supplied equipment for blood testing, drugs for malaria, and sent some medical staff from Mbarara Referral Hospital to work in conjunction with Adventist health professionals.
Fred Mwesije is 42 and attends a local Christian church. He visited the medical camps after experiencing some health issues, and he said he valued the ministry of the Adventist Church. “Our Christian community knows the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a caring church,” he said.
Korean Adventist missionary Ham Youngsik is serving the Adventist Church in Uganda. As TMI Coordinator in Mbarara, he said he was happy to see church members sharing Christian love. “God bestows money and skills so that we can do His work,” he said.
Youngsik shared the experience of some people with mobility issues. “Some patients could not travel long distances,” he said, “but they were reached in their homes and received free treatment.”
Youngsik also said he was moved to see how the Adventist health ministry is providing not only physical but spiritual healing. “I was touched to witness that 35 of those treated in the Mbarara medical camp made decisions for baptism,” he said.