Twice a year on a Saturday morning, Bethel serves at Bethesda Clinic in downtown Tyler. Seventeen people from across Bethel campuses gathered early on March 23, 2019, to join the mission of the clinic, “Bethesda Health Clinic is a Christ-centered ministry with a bold mission: to provide high-quality healthcare to hardworking low income adults who are uninsured or underinsured.”
Rachael Putman, coordinator of the outreach, said, “It was one of the smoothest service days we’ve ever had at Bethesda because we had a great group of people who served in many different capacities.” Let’s unpack that simple statement: there were Bethel providers from family practice, internal medicine, and gynecology who saw approximately 30 patients in four hours with the assistance of nurses and medical educators who made sure every person who came that day knew they were loved and valued. There were two people working the front office to greet patients as they arrived, check them in, and make sure they knew they were loved and valued. There were Spanish-to-English translators who volunteered their Saturday morning to make sure every patient was heard, understood, loved and valued. There was one person who made copies and stuffed envelopes – all a part of fulfilling the mission of Bethesda Clinic.
Two new members of the Bethel team expressed how blessed they were to find a place of service where they could use their training. Jillian Battle and her family have visited Bethel South and Bethel Hope campuses. Jillian said when she saw an announcement in the bulletin asking for medical providers to staff Bethesda Day, she contacted Rachael right away. She was excited that her skills as an RN could also be used as ministry with the church! Natalie Wade is an educator in the TJC School of Nursing. Natalie and her husband, Morgan (who is a full-time competitive BMX rider), have been attending Bethel Downtown for a while and have a three-year-old son. Natalie also has been searching for a way to use her medical training for ministry purposes and had never been to Bethesda Clinic. She enjoyed the day so much, she hopes to volunteer on a regular basis. Natalie expressed how much she enjoyed that the volunteers gathered to start the day with devotion and prayer, and she admires the service-oriented atmosphere of the clinic.
The next Bethel Day at Bethesda has been set for Saturday, November 2, 2019. Sign up now to be part of this outreach – contact Rachael Putman, firstname.lastname@example.org – Rachael will add you to the list and send you a reminder in the fall. Both medical and non-medical people are needed! If Bethel can build a bigger pool of regular volunteers, the goal is to provide this service quarterly. Rachael says, “If you can smile, and you want to serve, we can find a place for you!”
Dentist (Bethesda is equipped for dental care)
All areas of adult healthcare
Translators (#1 need!)
Call patients for appointment reminders
Play with children in the lobby if needed
Pray for people in lobby as they wait
If you want to learn more about Bethesda Health Clinic, https://bethesdaclinic.org/.
-Dr. Lee Ridenour