December 8, 2010

Doctor on a Mission

                                                                                                                                                          [Main Story]
When Dr. Elizabeth Dameff attended her first AMEN conference in 2006, it seriously disrupted her plans.
“I actually had a plane ticket to go to Hawaii the next month to be one of the doctors to help with the Ironman Triathlon,” she says with a smile. “I work for a medical organization that has an affiliation there.” But when she heard a stirring presentation at the AMEN conference about an upcoming India project that partnered with Maranatha International and Amazing Facts, Dameff canceled her planned Hawaii assignment.
“That trip to India really changed my life,” she says. “As a family medicine practice doctor, I’ve done a fair amount of international work. But I hadn’t actually done a medical mission trip in combination with religious meetings like the ones that Doug Batchelor held. As a doctor, I find it wonderful to help people—to help with physical diseases and see the effects on people’s lives. But it’s just amazing to see the impact when you treat them side by side with a pastor, invite them to meetings, and then, at the end, watch them get baptized and present them with Bibles. That experience just changed my life.”
That three-week trip in November 2006 has inspired other outreach. In October of this year Elizabeth returned from a two-month mission trip coordinated by Adventist Health International in the republic of Chad to relieve longtime doctor friend James Appel.
Dameff says that her involvement with AMEN has made a very positive impact on her patient care at her family practice in Loma Linda. “I have fewer boundaries to approach spiritual aspects with my patients now,” she says. “I offer to pray with them more. If there’s an overwhelming obstacle that we as medical professionals can’t help with, I sometimes tell a patient, ‘I may not be able to help you, but I can pray for you; I can pray with you. I know that God is greater than I am, and He performed the miracles we read about in the Bible. I’m sure He can do the same for you today.’”
HELPING HANDS: [Above] Dr. Elizabeth Dameff says that her 2006 AMEN-sponsored mission trip to India “changed my life.”