Earlier this semester, over 100 people gathered at Maranatha Baptist University to attend a conference that united two important passions: nursing and missions.
In partnership with Operation Renewed Hope, MBU hosted the GO. SERVE. LEAD. Summit, a conference designed to demonstrate a growing need for medical missions and to equip high school students with practical tools for gospel advancement.
Students and parents heard from missionaries, pastors, and Operation Renewed Hope personnel. This event featured Jan Milton (director of ORH), evangelist Jerry Sivnksty and missionary to Uganda Keith Stensaas.
Medicine with a Mission
Maranatha was thrilled to collaborate with Operation Renewed Hope for this event. ORH is a non-profit organization devoted to providing humanitarian aid to people in need around the world. Their focus is twofold: disaster relief and medical missions.
ORH collects surplus medical supplies from hospitals and manufacturers in the United States and sends them abroad to desperate areas without such materials. Both professionals and volunteers comprise ORH care teams that use these medical materials on missions trips abroad. As they meet physical needs, they are able to address the greater needs of the soul.
Some of these ORH professionals hosted workshops during the summit to give students firsthand perspective on the various medical skills a medical missions trip would require. The workshops focused on topics like dentistry, optometry and general medicine.
MBU nursing student Caleb Hatchett particularly enjoyed the dentistry workshop. He said, “[The dentist] put everyone at ease and really did a great job explaining the hands-on features of dentistry.”
Living by Faith
MBU nursing students, faculty and ORH personnel worked together to provide an enriching experience for the 40 high school students who participated. Students traveled from as far away as Virginia and the Carolinas to attend the summit.
Nursing department chair, Susan Rasmussen, believes the greatest impact on the students resulted from personal testimony from missionaries and Operation Renewed Hope.
Kayla Walters, a high school junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was challenged by the testimonies of the missionaries actively living out their faith. “That’s the kind of life I want to live,” said Walters, “the kind that lives it, not just preaches it.”
Keynote speaker Jerry Sivnksty hopes that this conference has inspired young people to consider medical missions and “give the Lord a chance.”
“He’ll never force his will on your life,” said Sivnksty. “[You have to] make yourself available.”