DrSteveWhen a team of dental and medical missionaries conducts evangelistic clinics in distant lands we often hear this question from those to whom we minister: “Why do you come here and do this for us?”

 

Reaching Other Continents

 

Bringing the Gospel to the Uttermost Parts

 

From: Sowing by Grace, Fall 2011

 

(Click here for the full article)

 

ChildWhen our family first arrived in Benin with our eight-month old child, I had an overly romanticized view of my role as a missionary wife.

Feeding Malnourished Children Gives an Opening for the Gospel

by Teena Ovenell, missionary to Benin (from Sowing by Grace)

It wasn’t long into our first year of ministry before I realized how much time it would take for me simply to keep ourhome. I soon became discouraged, often reflecting at the end of the day on how little had been accomplished. It became clear that some of what I had envisioned myself doing in ministry was not realistic. How would I find time to visit women in the village and build relationships?

A special opportunity for ministry arose when a woman came to our homewith her little baby girl Awa. Awa was a couple of months old but in size she appeared to be a newborn because of her mother Nafisa’s low milk supply.Awa’s mother resorted to asking other nursing mothers to help feed Awa from time to time, but they had to meet their own babies’ needs first. In the local village the cost of formula was prohibitive for her. As a mother with a little one my heart ached for Nafisa.

When we bought formula in the village ourselves and gave her a one-week supply, Nafisa brought Awa to see us every week. Soon we had women coming to our door at all hours of the day with ill or malnourished babies. God’s plans are better than our own! What better avenue to share the gospel than with the physically needy. As more children came, formula became expensive and hard to keep stocked. Then a GDMMissions team brought the ability for us to produce formula locally, making it more cost-effective and accessible. On average, ten women now come weekly for a supply of formula. One of the exciting results of this is that not only are we getting to know women from our village, but word has spread and women from six other area villages are coming to us for help. This is one of the ways that God showed the power of having a medical clinic that could meet the villager’s physical as well as spiritual needs.

Returning to my story, Awa is now almost a year old. Although she and Nafisa do not come to our home for formula any more, I see them from time to time in the village or they pass by to visit. It is exciting to see how Awa has grown. I wish it was always the same happy ending for these little ones. Unfortunately, since we began distributing formula we have lost five children. It is the ones who have suffered the longest without proper nourishment or whose mothers have passed away who never seem to be able to catch up.

Pray for ourfamily that we would be found faithful, making the most of every opportunity to demonstrate and share God’s love with these women and their little children. Pray also that God would open their spiritual eyes so that they might share in the joy and peace that can only come by having a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Yap3The Chuuk Islands of Micronesia, called Truk during WWII, comprise a breathtakingly beautiful group of islands in the western Pacific Ocean.

Dental Ministry to Three Storm-Ravaged Islands

by Dr. Jack Mitchell, DMD

In March of 2015 a Category 5 typhoon did extensive damage on these islands and the neighboring Yap island chain. GDMMissions, with the help of God’s people, mounted a relief effort that brought help to these islands in the form of electrical generators, chain saws, food and other essential items. In July, a small dental team came alongside several national church planting men to help with the dental needs of those impacted, and to give the church planters opportunity to share Christ with island folks who continue to struggle with their living conditions.

The first location of ministry was on the main island of Weno. Because of its many cement block buildings, this island didn’t suffer as much physical damage as some of the less developed outer islands. Nonetheless there were several injuries reported and people had gone with meager food, essential supplies and electricity for a number of weeks. Our team ministered with Pastor Mike Abbe of Grace International Baptist Church. Each day overwhelming numbers came for dental care—more than we could possibly treat. However, church members were faithful in sharing the gospel with all who came, even if we were unable to meet their physical needs.  

The outer island of Tonowas, an island which the Japanese used as their command center during WWII, was our next place of ministry. This was the first time we had access as a medical or dental mission to this very spiritually needy island. A small group of graduates from Harvest Baptist Bible College of Guam came to Tonowas to help our team by translating, registering patients, sterilizing instruments and dispensing medications. Their greatest help, along with the local church planting pastor, was in assuring that all the patients heard a clear presentation of the gospel. This ministry was so important on this island which has no Bible believing church. The fact that our team was encouraged by the islanders and their leaders to return in the future was a testimony to God’s wonderful grace!

On the island of Fefen, our team supported the efforts of church planters Truly and Lency Erras. Once again the dental needs of the patients were overwhelming—each patient needed multiple tooth extractions and many of the children had serious dental infections. Many people on this island had lost so much during the typhoon and several had lost everything. They were very appreciative of the physical help we could give them, and we trust that the gospel which was presented will have a lasting impact.

There is a tremendous spiritual battle being waged on these and other Micronesian islands, in many ways much greater than the battles that were fought here during the war in the 1940’s. Many cults are trying to make inroads, some in ways which take advantage of the desperate needs of the people. We are thankful for the opportunity God has given GDMMissions to impact these islands with the true gospel which is, “the power of God unto salvation.”

H2017La foto que está arriba fue tomada por el hermano Bryan Bell. La compartió con nuestra iglesia y les escribimos un mensaje de agradecimiento. Estos hermanos de GDMMission (Misión Médica y Dental de la Gracia) invirtieron una semana de arduo trabajo en consultas dentales. En nuestra iglesia sirvieron durante dos días en el pueblo el Tazajal atendiendo alrededor de 65 personas en dos días. Gracias a Dios hubo varias profesiones de fe y vimos la mano de Dios al tener la visita de el esposo de una hermana y su hijo que tenían varios años sin congregarse. Además, el esposo fue salvo una semanas antes de este viaje misionero. Gloria a Dios por las victorias obtenidas por la oración.

The picture above was taken by Brother Bryan Bell. He shared it with our church and we wrote them a message of thanks. These brothers of GDMMissions (Medical and Dental Mission of Grace) invested a week of hard work in dental consultations. In our church they served during two days in the town the Tazajal attending around 65 people in two days. Thank God there were several professions of faith and we saw the hand of God to have the visit of the husband of a sister and her son who had several years without meeting. In addition, the husband was saved a few weeks before this missionary trip. Glory to God for the victories obtained by prayer.

Chuck175x175GDMMissions welcomes Dr. Chuck Hurlburt as Medical Director.

Dr. Chuck Hurlburt is a board certified family physician who has been in private practice for 23 years. After graduating from BJU he attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed residency in Washington, PA.  He and his family have participated in numerous short term medical ministries, including GDMMissions, throughout his career. He is excited that the Lord has now made it possible to be involved in medical missions with GDMMissions on a more regular basis. He now lives in SC close to his children and grandchildren, working part time and serving as GDMMissions ' medical director. He rejoices that God can use our medical abilities to open doors for evangelism and assistance with church planting efforts around the world.

Back to top
Back to top