Privileged to Serve

At the 2018 M3 Conference, Yancy Stermer, a surgical technologist who serves globally with Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), spoke about his experience serving in Mosul.

The battle to re-take the city of Mosul from ISIS control was expected to be protracted and grueling with enormous consequences for the surrounding population.  In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, Samaritan’s Purse deployed its Emergency Field Hospital (EFH) to provide emergency trauma care for all in need.  In stark contrast to the surroundings, the EFH was filled with peace, love, compassion and hope.

In this session, Yancy gives us a glimpse inside the protective blast walls at the mission and the people who made it happen while reminding us that it is indeed a privilege to serve those who God has placed before us.

Caring for the Victims of Humanitarian Disasters and Military Conflict

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) face significant challenges to their health and well-being that are unique due to lack of necessary resources including food, water, sanitation, shelter, security, and healthcare. Caring for people in these situations requires an understanding of their unique needs as well as having realistic goals regarding what can and cannot be done for them.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to serve “the least of these,” and victims of disasters and crises certainly qualify. Often these events, though causing much hardship and suffering, create the possibility for doors and hearts to be open that otherwise would be closed to the message of Jesus. We must be both willing and well prepared if we are to serve well when we are called to respond to those in need.

In this Breakout Session from the 2018 M3 Conference, Dr. Mitch Duininck will discuss his recent experiences in providing healthcare for the victims of disasters in Nepal, Kurdistan, Haiti, Lebanon, and Turkey – both natural and manmade – and highlight the need to be well prepared when serving in these difficult situations. Focus areas for the presentation and discussion include determining why you should go; team selection and structure; overcoming hurdles; and returning home successfully.

Mitch Duininck, MD, is the President and CEO of In His Image Family Medicine Residency Program and Executive Director of In His Image International, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Click here to learn more about In His Image.

Closing the Culture Gap of Medical Missions

Understanding culture in missions is foundational, but do we understand missions culture? There is a culture gap in medical missions but it is not the culture gap we usually consider. The biggest culture gap in medical missions is often the one that exists between short-term and long-term medical missions. In this Plenary Session from the 2018 M3 Conference, Greg Seager, RN, MSN, the Founder and CEO of Christian Health Service Corps, will look at these two cultures and discuss the importance of closing the gap between these two worlds.

To learn more about Greg Seager and the programs and projects of Christian Health Service Corps, click here.

Missions 101: Tips on Volunteering Abroad

“When we enter new cultures, we become keenly aware of the fact that other people live differently.  At first we see the difference in dress, food, language, and behavior.  Then we learn that there are profound differences in beliefs, feelings and values.  Finally, we begin to realize that there are fundamental differences in worldviews.  People in different cultures do not live in the same world with different labels attached to it, but in radically different worlds.” Paul Hiebert

In this Breakout Session from the 2018 M3 Conference, Dr. Tom Byrd addresses the differences we will face when entering new cultures to serve. He will provide tips for preparing for both short and long-term missions as well as advice on pitfalls to avoid. This session will be helpful for those planning their first mission trip as well as experienced missionaries. The talk will conclude with several helpful resources for volunteering abroad.

Tom Byrd, MD, has been a practicing physician for over 22 years and is Director of Hospital Medicine at Brownwood Regional Medical Center. He has been active in missions work in Burundi (Africa) for a number of years and has worked in several clinics in rural Burundi. He is currently on the Board of Directors for “The Cries Of A Child”, a Christian NGO based in Bukeye Burundi and serves as the Clinical Consultant for The Cornerstone Clinic in Bukeye. He has been active in clinic expansion, development and in establishing a program for malnutrition for the clinic.

Click here to learn more about the programs and projects of The Cries of a Child in Burundi.