World's Largest Medical Missions Conference to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

The world’s largest medical missions conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary next week.

The Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC), which began in 1996 with about 200 attendees, has grown to more than 2,300 Christians interested in serving in medical missions. As it was with past conferences, the upcoming Nov. 11-12 conference will aim to “inform, train, and equip health care professionals and students to use their medical skills to further God’s kingdom,” explains the statement released by the Global Health Council.

“I think the whole reason the conference is growing is because it shows the many different opportunities for medical people and non-medical people to serve God in their profession – short, intermediate and long-term,” Dr. David Dageforde, the founder of GMHC, said in a statement released by GMHC.

The conference this month at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., brings together Christian health organizations and mission groups including GMHC’s partners: Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA), Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI), Fellowship of Christian Physician Assistants (FCPA) and Nurses’ Christian Fellowship. Mission groups and organizations that annually attend are: Samaritan’s Purse, India Gospel League, Christ for Humanity, Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism (FAME) and Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago.

Moreover, professionals from the nation’s top medical schools, such as Harvard, Vanderbilt and Mayo, will be speaking at the conference.

"The scope of expertise that is represented through the workshops and exhibitors is outstanding. People are coming to this conference from Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as from all over the United States,” Tina Bruner, director of Missions at Southeast, said to The Southeast Outlook.

GMHC was founded in 1996 by Dr. Dageforde – a interventionist cardiologist from Louisville, Ky. – after his experience during a short-term mission trip to Ethiopia in 1994. Dageforde personally witnessed that there was a serious shortage of medical professionals to address all the physical needs in the world. As a result, Dageforde started GMHC to help other healthcare professionals and students use their medical skills to further God’s kingdom.

"You could bring a jet full of doctors every week to Ethiopia to take care of the people's physical needs and that would not be enough to adequately do the job," Dageforde recalls.

New programs for GMHC 2005 include: expansion of prayer for global missions with a “Reverse the Curse” prayer service for the nations on Friday night, Nov. 11, a self-directed prayer walk available throughout the entire conference, and new workshops in missions apologetics from professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.

“This conference taught me so much about missions and about medicine,” Tim Berger, a physician’s assistance from Chicago, said to GMHC. “I can’t wait to see what God has in mind for me. I’m willing to do anything in any place.”

“We went home with a much bigger picture of all that our Lord is doing throughout the world through people who have a heart to serve Him,” Alex Brunner, a resident from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said last year after attending the GMHC for the first time to GMHC.

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