November 25, 2015

Adventist Congregation Takes Medical Services to Jamaican Doorsteps

Inter-American Division

If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.

A Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Jamaica has started taking basic medical and dental services to the doorsteps of people in the community with the debut of the Caribbean country’s first Adventist mobile clinic.

The Braeton Seventh-day Adventist Church in central Jamaica has offered a back-to-school clinic to more than 600 people a year since 2003. Now it hopes to reach many more people with the mobile clinic, a 20-foot (six-meter) container that sits on a 23-foot (seven-meter) flat-bed truck and has its own electrical generating and water system.

Randall Williams, health ministries leader of the Braeton church, said the idea of the mobile clinic was born when the church recognized that some people were unable to reach the annual clinic on the church’s premises because of financial challenges.

“The idea then was shared with the congregation in 2013, and after two years of planning, working and fund-raising, the mobile clinic is now a reality,” Williams said.

The mobile clinic contains three offices: two for basic medical services, and one for dental.

The clinic-on-wheels is drawing praise from leaders of all stripes.

“What your church has been doing in the area of health service provision is most welcome by me and the government because what the government does is not enough and will not be enough,” said Fitz Jackson, a member of parliament, who attended a dedication ceremony for the mobile clinic on Nov. 14.

He was echoed at the ceremony by Patric Rutherford, chief executive of the Adventist-owned Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, which is assisting the church with the project.

“You have done something great, and I look forward to partnering with you to show the love of Jesus to the community,” Rutherford said.

Roy Dennis, health ministries director for the Adventist Church’s Central Jamaica Conference, said church members were following in the footsteps of Jesus.

“I would like to commend you for meeting the practical needs of individuals within your community,” he said. “This is a tremendous ministry, the ministry of Jesus Christ.”