{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}


BostonGlobeonforeignaidIV - THE BOSTON GLOBE Southeast...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
THE BOSTON GLOBE Southeast Christian Church includes information about Islam, as evangelicals become more aggressive in trying to convert Muslims. (David R. Lutman for the Boston Globe) PART 4: MISSIONARIES IN TRAINING | EXPORTING FAITH Healing the body to reach the soul Evangelicals add converts through medical trips By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | October 11, 2006 LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Dr. David Dageforde's life changed in a makeshift medical clinic in remote Ethiopia as he stared into the yellow, sunken eyes of a man with advanced liver disease. The man's family had carried him three hours on a stretcher fashioned from tree limbs and a blanket. Dageforde's years in a lucrative cardiologist practice in Louisville had taught him that this man would die, 11 hours from the nearest hospital. Amid the grieving family, a missionary began praying, talking of eternal life. ``Seeing their eyes, their faces, their look and understanding" revealed the awesome power of connecting healthcare with spirituality, Dageforde said. It's a revelation that hundreds of thousands of other evangelical Christians have experienced, and it is changing America's foreign policy. Pressure from medical missionaries helped focus the Bush administration on AIDS in Africa and on genocide in Sudan. It is also one of the forces behind President Bush's faith-based initiative -- his effort to give religiously inspired groups more federal funds to provide services such as healthcare, education, and food to people in the Third World.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Dageforde, who founded an annual conference on medical missions that attracts thousands of doctors, nurses, and untrained volunteers, says that while spiritual revelations transformed his medical career, medicine is also changing the way missionaries convert souls. ``To give a Gospel message without caring for the people doesn't work," he said. ``Now, we try to care for the whole person -- physically, mentally, spiritually." Drawing lessons from Jesus' life and from near-mythic role models like Dr. David Livingstone , medical missions are blossoming in popularity. Packing pills and syringes alongside their Bibles, an estimated 150,000 American Christians took medical mission trips last year of anywhere from a few days to several months, joining the approximately 2,000 medical professionals who are full- time missionaries. More than 100 US-based organizations -- mainly nonprofits that are loosely affiliated with particular evangelical churches -- help supply or organize medical missions, according to the most recent Mission Handbook published by the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois. Countless churches sponsor their own trips, typically with volunteers paying their own way. By presenting healing as the product of the word of Christ, the movement joins proselytizing and the practice of medicine to a degree that troubles some medical ethicists. Critics argue that offering basic medical treatments as the work of Christ is a manipulative way to gain new Christians.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.