Conference highlights opportunities in medical missions
By Lorri Paetz | Apr 18, 2023
The heartbeat for international missions is alive and well in Arizona. And, it was on full display at a One Day Medical Missions Conference hosted by Dr. Rebekah Naylor and Dr. Paul Crane of the International Mission Board at North Phoenix Baptist Church on April 1.
Dr. Naylor is a surgeon and long-time CEO of the Baptist Hospital in Bangalore, India. She is currently director of global health strategies and travels for the IMB mobilizing healthcare professionals and students, exposing them to the great need to care for others and share the Gospel through healthcare service around the globe. Paul Crane, a pharmacist by trade, and his wife, served many years as IMB missionaries, and he is currently associate for mobilization on the IMB health strategies team.
The conference began with Naylor and Crane sharing the six components of the missionary task: entry, evangelism, discipleship, healthy church formation, leadership development and exit to partnership.
“People are not saved through compassionate care, but it opens doors for the sharing of the Gospel, which may not be possible otherwise,” Naylor said. “Everything we do must be bathed in prayer.” Crane and Naylor also provided attendees with a “Short Term Prayer Guide for Healthcare Missions.”
In addition to Naylor and Crane, attendees also heard testimonies from Dr. Lynn Coppola, who has served in Ghana; John Dina, serving in Sub-Saharan Africa; and Cindy Snead, currently a clinical laboratory scientist and member of North Phoenix Baptist Church, who felt a call to missions as a college student and served in the Middle East as a missionary journeyman (a two-year opportunity through the IMB).
Tiffany Ford, who began serving her first career IMB missionary stint shortly after the conference, had an opportunity to meet and share with college students about her call and time as a missionary journeyman in Niger.
All those who spoke stressed the great need for healthcare professionals and the significance of the cultural training and financial support provided by the IMB.
Nate Parrow, IMB church and student mobilization strategist for the western region, reminded participants that all mission efforts through the International Mission Board are made possible because of the cooperative giving of Southern Baptist churches throughout the country.
The Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering currently fund the Gospel-sharing efforts of nearly 3,600 IMB missionaries. Parrow thanked those in attendance who are a part of a Southern Baptist church, as they have most likely helped fund missions through their church’s Cooperative Program giving.
A highlight of the day was hearing Naylor’s testimony in a session entitled “A Call, A Career, A Commitment.” She also shared about her time serving as surgeon, chief of medical staff and CEO of the Bangalore Baptist Hospital in her presentation “Fifty Years and Counting: Opening Doors for the Gospel.”
There are additional exciting IMB training opportunities, held in partnership with the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists, coming in November. Be on the lookout for more details. You don’t want to miss out!
Some names may have been changed for security reasons.