More than 2,000 medical missionaries, healthcare professionals and students gathered in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 12-13, for the annual Global Missions Health Conference.
"The goal was to help people connect for networking and to inspire, motivate and equip people to be able to carry out the Great Commission," said Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. In at interview with AgapePress, Stevens said that medical missions are one of the greatest ways to carry the gospel, especially to countries that restrict missionary activity.
Over the years, the annual conference has grown steadily, Stevens said. "Our goal is to increase the number of medical missionaries by 25 percent in the next five years and to increase their effectiveness in ministry by cross-pollinating ideas and programs and things that are working well."
Stevens added that a goal of the conference organizers is to see it become a "mini-Urbana" with between 5,000 and 10,000 people attending annually to "talk about how to carry out the Great Commission, like the Great Physician did, by healing, teaching and sharing the gospel."
The Conference included workshops on:
- Apologetics and Ethics
- Community Based Health Care - International
- Community Based Health Care - United States
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Medical and Dental Diseases
- Global Missions and Outreach Possibilities - Short-Term and Long-Term
- Medical Technology in Global Healthcare
- Member and Self Care
Speakers at the conference included David Stephens, Executive Director of Christian Medical and Dental Association; Adrienne Acomb, Global Assistance Program Director for Prison Fellowship International; Ken Casey, Special Representative to the President of World Vision Internationals HIV/AIDS Hope Initiative; Neil Thompson, National Director of OMF International-USA; Michael Smith, Senior Director of MAP International; and Jim Moore of Samaritans Purse.
Since 1996, the Global Missions Health Conference has been hosted by Southeast Christian Church in Louisville.