By Kimberly Luste Maran
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Willie Rollins, Afrodyete, and Lee Anne Selleck are three of the 10,000 patients treated during the April 27-29 Your Best Pathway to Health Los Angeles (YBPHLA) mega clinic at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They came for different reasons, and each received different treatment. But overjoyed with the assistance they received, they also shared a commonality — each was eager to tell their story.
Help on a Personal Level
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Willie Rollins waits in the barber shop line at the Pathway to Health LA mega clinic.
Photo by Kimberly Luste Maran/NAD
A California native currently living in Compton, 55-year-old Willie Rollins heard about YBPHLA the Friday before the event from a friend. Willie spent two days at the clinic. “I really love the services here. They helped us mentally, physically, and spiritually,” he says. “I love the hospitality, and how they worked with us in a personal way.” He describes being escorted by cheerful volunteers to each designated area, and even to the restroom. Willie, a leader in a new non-denominational church that holds services on Saturday, was impressed with the “wonderful smiles” of the medical volunteers. “If I can speak on behalf of the city of Los Angeles, as an ambassador, I say ‘thank you.’ You really helped our city.”
On Willie’s first day at the clinic, he came to check his physical and mental health, and get a new pair of reading glasses. And even though he’d been told the services would be free, he was astonished that he not only was able to get the bifocals he needed at no cost to him, he also received a brand new suit, three new shirts, and a new pair of tennis shoes at the clinic’s clothing area. The mental health zone was the arthritis sufferer’s next stop. “I deal with depression, because of some physical pain that I have, so I went over and they really helped—and on a personal level,” Willie shares. “They even prayed with me.”
Willie adds, “I loved it so much that I decided to come back a second day.” During his second visit, Willie received information on a needed colonoscopy. He also got his hair cut at the clinic’s barber shop. “You can see how handsome I look today, thanks to Pathway to Health,” he says.
Although finished for the day, Willie lingered. He was eager to talk about his experience, and to learn more about the Adventist faith, including what the church believes about Christ’s death and resurrection. After a lengthy conversation, his barber shared the church’s Sabbath belief, and handed Willie a copy of The Great Controversy.
He beamed as he bid farewell to his new friends. “To tell the truth, their love won me over,” says Willie. “Their smiles . . . and they literally held my hand as I walked through.”
Willie reflects on the two-day experience: “It’s like it changed my life. I’m a Christian already, and I’ve dealt with different denominations, and for an organization — or organism as I’d like to call it because it’s a living thing — to come together like this, as one, well,” he adds with a grin, “I’ve been converted a little bit. I’m thankful for this Seventh-day Adventist venture.”
Prayer as Thanks
|Beverly A. Johnson, known as Afrodyete, gives thanks in song as volunteers and patients in the clinic’s dental care waiting area look on.
Photo by Jonathan Peninoy
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