For years now, the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN) has focused not only on connecting Seventh-day Adventist health care professionals but also on supporting, empowering, and mentoring new generations of future medical missionaries in the health sciences.
The organization informally began when a handful of physicians and dentists organized a lunch meeting at the 2004 Adventist Laymen’s Services & Industries (ASi) convention, as they explored the subject of medical evangelism. The event proved such a success that the group decided to meet again in February 2005 to discuss the formation of a nonprofit organization that would train and equip physicians and dentists to be effective medical evangelists.
During its 18th annual conference, this time held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States, more than 450 Adventist health care professionals, pastors, and health sciences students met October 27-30 to train, network, and reflect on their mission. Increasingly, events such as these include students, residents, and fellows in the medical professions who wish to use their professions, as AMEN’s mission states: “to restore Christ’s ministry of healing to the world.”
The following is a brief description of two resources that AMEN leaders have developed to engage and support newer and younger generations of Adventist health professionals with a heart for mission.
The Sozo Podcast
Advertised as “a podcast that addresses deeper issues,” the Sozo podcast takes its name from the Greek word used in the Bible to describe both physical healing and salvation. “The dual meaning of sozo encapsulates the goal of this podcast, which is to help students in the health professions experience wholeness during their time in training so that they can become healers of both body and soul,” the podcast website states. At the same time, it adds, “the purpose of [the] podcast is to help students in the health professions excel and thrive during their time in training by developing a closer walk with Jesus Christ.”
Hosted by now AMEN president John Shin, a medical oncologist, and co-hosted by general dentist Suzie Lee, the podcast tries to instill in other Adventist young professionals a passion for sharing God’s love through medical evangelism.
So far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “The Sozo podcast encouraged me to trust in God at a time when I was facing difficult academic circumstances,” Adrien Charles-Marcel, oral and maxillofacial surgery resident at Loma Linda University, said. “I really appreciated how the person being interviewed was vulnerable and shared how God was with them at a difficult time as well.”
AMEN has also developed a mentorship program that seeks to support Adventist students and residents in the health professions. In fact, it strives to connect students, trainees, and young health care professionals with physician and dentist mentors who hold a common passion for medical ministry.
The program’s stated goals are to inspire early career health care workers to dedicate their personal and professional lives to God and to provide networking opportunities with physicians and dentists who practice spiritual care. It also seeks to provide physicians and dentists with the opportunity to leave a spiritual legacy in the lives of mentees.
“It is our prayer that God will use this program to pass on the knowledge and wisdom gained by one generation of gospel medical missionaries to the next,” AMEN leaders said. “[We want] to encourage health care workers everywhere to follow in the footsteps of Christ.”