Pathway to Health TripLos Angeles 2016
Sickness. Rejection. Hopelessness. Born blind, this man had no hope of ever seeing. At Bethesda, another man lay for thirty-eight years. Lepers were separated from their families and sent away to die. A hand, withered and useless is hidden within clothing. After twelve years, a woman’s hope for recovery has vanished. Each one, no doubt, felt alone and powerless as crowds passed by, hardly glancing their direction. Each circumstance, each story, each life—appeared hopeless. All this changed, however, when another Man stopped, stooped, and reaching out to heal. Lives were changed for eternity. Are these accounts merely ancient stories or miracles confined to Bible times?
April 27-29 found Fountainview Academy’s Health Evangelism class, along with over four thousand other volunteers, in the metropolis of Los Angeles, California. It was the desire of each person participating in “Pathway to Health” to be the “hands and feet of Jesus” — using Christ’s method of reaching people. The group of ten from Fountainview had a variety of experiences, including areas such as hospitality, triage, press, dental, surgery, and music. “Talking to the patients and the volunteers was an enlightening experience. You learn so much from people,” recounted Elouise W., a student on the Health Evangelism team.
After healing those that were sick, Jesus ministered to their spiritual needs. It was this method of comprehensive health evangelism that this mega-clinic used. Volunteers took every opportunity to pray with patients and minister to their spiritual needs along with the physical. More than eight thousand patients received free medical care over the course of the three-day clinic. The Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed into a giant hospital, where approximately thirty-million dollars worth of free medical care was given. It was calculated that three thousand dollars was spent on each patient. Was it worth it? Certainly! Although the impact of this event may not be known in its entirety until heaven, it is the prayer of each volunteer that this experience will continue to bring encouragement and hope to many hurting people.
Many were touched by the kindness and compassion shown to them. Some patients even expressed an interest in volunteering at future events. Numerous people told how this was an answer to their prayers, and told about their desire to follow God fully. One lady remarked that this event must be what Heaven is like. “It was a good experience,” Klavs C. commented. “I would encourage everybody to do it at least once in a lifetime.” That excitement was felt by each student who participated. “I don’t think I would have traded the experience for anything,” Atieno M. responded. “It was so rewarding because we thought that we were coming to help them, but it ended up being a huge blessing for me. And this is why Jesus asks us to serve.” Jesus’ ministry on this earth left changed people, changed hearts, and changed communities. We thank those who financially supported this project, making this amazing opportunity possible. It has not only impacted those living in Los Angeles, but each student that participated. Kristi J. sums it up well— “When I get to Heaven, I hope to see the people that I met in Los Angeles.”