Church delivers free medical services to rural community — and patients accept Jesus!

Members of a multidisciplinary RUCC Ministries medical team that recently served the Hankey community during an outreach aimed at meeting people’s physical, psychological and spiritual needs

Medical care is a challenge for the rural community of Hankey in the Eastern Cape where most people work long hours on farms and rarely get days off to attend to their health needs. For this reason local clinics are open at weekends but are still unable to attend to everyone because they close at noon.

It was this medical need that caught the eye of a local church – resulting in a recent impactful all-day medical outreach during which more than 200 people received a range of free medical services, as well as food and clothing – and almost 40 of them received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

Gateway News spoke to Pastor Lingelihle Jadezweni – better known as Pastor J – of RUCC Ministries in Gqeberha (PE), which planted a branch church in Hankey in July. Pastor J led last month’s healing outreach together with Pastor Henry Jordaan of the Hankey church.

Eye testing during the Hankey outreach

God has blessed RUCC Ministries with a significant number of medical professionals – including specialists – in the congregation – and with a burden to use their medical gifts to serve others said Pastor J

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Over the past four years the church has conducted annual medical outreaches to impoverished communities in Nelson Mandela Bay – delivering free medical services – and going the extra mile to meet special needs – like partnering with the Department of Health ambulance services to transport patients who need to get to hospital immediately – and in once case purchasing a wheelchair for somebody who had been on a public hospital waiting list for one for a long time.

He said 90% of the medical team of about 17 people that served in Hankey were from RUCC Ministries in Gqeberha. A few of the team members had invited colleagues from outside the church to join the outreach.

Dispensing in action at the Hankey outtreach

Pastor J said they would love to partner with as many doctors as they can on future outreaches because of the great need faced by poor communities who are dependent on public health service.

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“We are still trusting God for much more,” he said.

The church’s welfare desk was also active during the outreach with clothing and food initiatives desgined to promote the wellbeing and dignity of beneficiaries

“We believe that Jesus is the answer to all the issues in this world but we also need to understand that questions are being asked by people out there. And we feel that the need for help with basic health matters is one of the questions being asked by the community.

“And so we feel as a church, let’s play our part in accordance with the call of Jesus in Matthew 25 –  I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’ … and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear”, he said.

Pastor J said that the Hankey outreach was conducted in partnership with other stakeholders such as the Department of Health, SANBS, NHLS, and SASSA. The ourteach took place on the church campus at Hankey. Services provided included eye tests, pap smears, child immunization, HIVand TB tests, blood checks and donations, counselling, prostate examination, and other general check ups. Those who needed medication got it for free on the spot – without having to go elsewhere and stand in a queue

The Word of God was also dispensed in the church’s auditorium

While the medical team were serving, the church’s evangelism team was also in action – sharing the Gospel and leading people to Jesus – and the church’s welfare desk was also there with clothes which people could shop for for free. People were also fed with food – and with the Word of God which was ministered to them in the church auditorium.

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