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15 - How to Get Involved in Medical Missionary Work

Lela Lewis


In Testimonies to the Church Volume 8 page 77, Ellen White wrote: “The medical missionary work is to be to the work of the church as the right arm to the body.” She went on to state that “The medical missionary work is the gospel in practice.” Clearly, medical missionary work is important, but what is it and what are some practical ways you and I can get involved? Join Esther Louw in this episode of the GYC Beyond Podcast as she discusses these questions and more with Dr. Lela Lewis.


Lela Lewis

Speaker, researcher, author, and practicing physician in the area of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Also Co-Founder and President of Your Best Pathway to Health. 


  • August 19, 2018
    2:45 PM


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In testament to the church Ellen White wrote the medical missionary work is to be the work of the church as a right arm to the body she went on to say the medical missionary work is the gospel and practice clearly medical missionary work is important but what is it and what are some practical ways you and I can get involved Hi this is a still love join me in this episode of the G Y C P on pod cast as Dr Lee Lewis addresses these questions Hi Dr Layla it's so wonderful to have you here welcome to the T.Y.C. beyond pod cast I want to 1st start off by having you tell us a little bit about yourself Well 1st of all thank you pastor for having me it's just a pleasure to be here with you you know I am an obstetrician gynecologist I actually finished medical school in 2001 and then I did my residency and my master's in public health and finished residency in 2009. So today we're talking abit more about medical missionary work in your words what is medical missionary work and what isn't well medical missionary work is sharing the whole person care with the individuals you're trying to witness to so that means physical mental emotional and spiritual healing offered to the patients what it isn't is just providing physical care and there's a lot of organizations out there doing a lot of really good work but if we don't offer of the whole person healing we really haven't done anything at all and of course that's what Jesus did we're just following his example and here we get the opportunity of being his hands and so in my opinion that's what it is and that's what it's not that's awesome how do you start trying to put this whole person care into action in your life. Personally it started many years ago I remember back in college actually you know I was always a pretty good student and I knew for many many years I wanted to be a physician and just to give you just a tiny Ted but about me I've always kind of had missionary work in my blood I was born in Africa oh our parents my parents were missionaries and fact I barely escaped with my life I was only a baby at the time it was a coup the government came into the hospital over you know massive massacres parents barely got out of course baby need really got out and so in my mind I always knew someday in one capacity or another I wanted to be a missionary and so through medical through actually high school and even college I knew I wanted to be a physician one got a little and by God's grace I got into law. And when I started medical school I sought to really try my best to be involved in different mission trips but it was an Intel really during late medical school and early residency that I began to put into practice some of the things that I was learning as I was reading the Spirit of Prophecy. Right so one of the 1st things that you put into practice Well the very 1st things I put into practice was actually being Isaiah 58 people I actually literally drove around with a few friends of mine we would drive around San Bernardino and pick people up homeless people bring them meals and then take them to church and so from there I began to realize there was more I could do a medical student I know a little bit about medicine not a lot. And little bit and so I began to try to help their their physical needs while I was continuing provide them you know other ways you know food and clothing and those kinds of means that as we were also present a spiritual needs to know and as I got further along in my career I realized that there was even more I could do but not just me individually I wanted to open up to the church at large and a lot of praying and from there God started something called loudly to start something called right arm of love we actually provided housecleaning I had just barely finished my internship many young people listening right now if you think you're in like you're not done with your training and can't do anything don't don't even listen to that that's just a temptation and I was I hadn't even finished internship so I didn't even have my license and God said do this thing at the Arizona State Fair and so that 1st year over a course of 2 and a half weeks we provided health screening at the time for almost $3000.00 patients and so from there God taught me mass scale health a few well but I wanted to do more than health screening I wanted to actually provide people with the training that I had been provided more than you know nursing is wonderful praise the Lord for nurses but you know as physicians we know how to do even you know a little bit more than that I want to be able to have our practitioners be able to offer those and so we continue to expand and from there I began to do health lectures God provided open doors again no license and I mean one of the governor of the state of Arizona I was interviewed on N.B.C. C.B.S. N.B.C. actually at. Me to be their medical correspondent and again I didn't even have my license yet so guy on his Providence did provide me with my education and yes I'm a board certified O.B.-G.Y.N. today but anyway long story short God God led me into pathway to health and that's what we're doing now so really for your medical missionary work started at the same time as your own medical career basically and a group together. And that's really powerful story especially you know not even having your license yet and you were doing things for a lot of people how did the idea come to you to be able to do it on a massive scale for the with a lot more people and you know some people may have heard of the ministry that you currently work with pathways to health could you tell us a little bit more about how it started so your best pathway to hell really started kind of the idea dream if you will about 2013 but again it even started before then when we began to do these health events at the Arizona State Fair I believe God was training me how to do mass scale numbers of patients with lots of different people under the auspices of the 7 am church so that was my goal was to really revitalize medical missionary work within our church I feel like sometimes as physicians and providers we've kind of gotten a little sidetracked and this is an opportunity to do this or how it came about was I was the brand newly elected president of some organization called Pacific Union a Aside from chapter of Agnes Lehmann services summit astri's and one of our speakers stood up and showed us a video of an organization that's not even Christian and they provide free health care some minor health things and some dental work. And they basically said at the end of it you know what advantage it's nice that you're meeting together once a year for your meetings but what are you doing for the people around you and it was like a bolt of lightning went up and down my spine and God was like do this and I had a baby a nursing baby and 3 other little children in addition to my nursing baby who was only 2 and a half months at the time and I was a practicing on the July ad and I'm like God I don't know how to do this this is the United States is not Africa this is not you know wherever this is C.N.N. States we have a lot of licensing issues and I can't just do this in the United States and God was like No you do this. And so with lots of fasting and lots of praying at all hours of the night literally 3 o'clock in the morning many nights in a row God I don't know how to do this tell me what to do I don't know what to do and he created an organization that literally came out of nowhere and it was all of us working together 7th am and us Christians working together in our various aspects I mean we had plumbers we had electricians running the the plumbing and the electricity we have people that walk patients from location to location of course we have the physicians and the dentists and the nurses but all working together to provide on a massive scale a whole person care pastors working alongside labor so uses for a whole person cure a lot talking about you know plumbers being able to pastors being involved whole person care it's not just someone who's a medical degree right absolutely absolutely in fact 80 percent of our volunteers for our organization are non-medical. And so they can do all kinds of things we do all sorts of things besides the medical I mean we have what we call the Titian Barber services when people get free haircuts we have people who run the clothing department and then distribute in fact in San Antonio we had a huge section of men's suits Men's Wearhouse had donated a whole bunch of 390 sit and we were able to get those out and you should have seen them and they were so happy for the 1st time in their lives many of them had never had a suit before ever and they had this nicely fitted tailored suit themselves and we have legal services and we have children services and you name it whatever actually what happens usually is someone will call in or write in and say hey I'm this that or the other do you have any role for me and I'm like yeah why not praise the Lord let's go and so that's usually how our new department start well so you've been running since 2013 we began planning for our 1st event yes and 14 yes in 2013 we began planning for 14 what are some of the stories that you're How. Had some of the highlights from the last few years well actually I was just telling this one the other day it actually comes back to the men suit we had again the Men's Wearhouse donating the suits there in San Antonio there was a young man he came in and he had been living with a woman for some time and his reason for not marrying her was that he didn't have a church to get married she stated so anyway didn't have a church and he didn't have the money to buy a suit or a taxi to the case maybe well the pastor after he got his dental work and got his hair cut actually let him over he starts talking to him a little bit about his situation and courage in him to marry the woman if he felt like this is the woman that want God wanted him to marry there was he needed to you know separate and follow God's plan so the pastor is talking to him and he finds out he's concerned because he doesn't have a men's simply because you know what I have just the thing for you he walks him over gets him to the tech the men suit you and it just so happens that there was only one tuxedo left in the whole area and it fit the man perfectly and so then the young man said Well you know I I don't I don't have a dress for my wife though or my soon to be you know the old saying wife you know that that might be a problem and the guy goes let me see about that THE MONEY TALKS the tailor and the tailor says you know what I have this one wedding dress and I'm not sure what in the world to do with it and Paul says dress not sure if it's a wedding dress and it just so happens to fit the bride perfectly so now he has a taxi to go he has a wedding dress and then the guy goes as one last thing he had is this issue was well I don't have a pastor or a church to get married he goes you know what you are just in the right because I'm a pastor right here I have a church and of course I'll be happy to officiate your wedding and sure enough praise the Lord the couple did get married with the pastor so you know there's just a lot and we don't know we don't know this side of heaven we don't know what impact that right warming in the long term for so many people. And I don't think we can judge any of that although praise the lord we've had hundreds of baptisms in San Antonio I think there was 135 that just was a direct result of pathway but we we can't judge events based on an immediate response these kinds of things can sometimes take a lifetime and we really won't know this side of heaven what the results of what we do every time you organize one of these events there are things that could go wrong and time what is a miracle that happened for you and one of these events where you thought that something would work did. Well your husband can tell that I'm sure a lot of those stories to. Eric's worked with us 3 years are a very grateful for that but you know I actually think back to pathway Phoenix and we just felt really impressed that we wanted to be offering actual major surgeries on the floor you know we had done some minor surgeries under the light a cane and those kinds of things but we wanted to actually have conscious sedation offer hernia repairs I mean my goal is to actually on the floor to be able to to offer full surgical procedures but that that requires a little bit more than well right now so in order to do conscious sedation which is basically where the patients are asleep and they are you know they were able to operate on them we needed to have a vehicle or at least an R.V. It sort I still we can do cataract surgeries we could do hernia repairs and different other things there on the floor that vehicle would have like all the equipment that you need it has your link they really just in an enclosed environment and then we hear one of the sterile You know the story or seizure and well we prayed about it we saw these vehicles we couldn't find any anywhere we kept they kept saying all we wish you know for this or that now the reason we wish it would've worked out but it's not going to work out come down literally to the day we're setting up the event and come to find out we didn't just get one R.V. We got 2 R.V.'s that literally came from. No where and I believe they came from God and because of that we were able to do cataracts we ended up being able to do actual hernia repairs on the floor of that the next convention center we were doing scopes of the uterus or hysteroscopy cystoscopy they even did a mastectomy on the 4. Partial nest active missions but that you know God is so good and when we I think if we let him we're we're just never able to see what he has in store for us so yes there's many many other instances like that this is just powerful just hearing some of these stories which I'm sure just like a little piece of what you've experienced every single time you have a path is a moment when is the next Progress event and how can a young person who may not have medical experience how can they get involved Well those are excellent question so the very next pathway is a pathway Fort Worth and that will be at the Will Rogers stadium September 19 to 21 so just a few weeks away right now and we're looking forward to young people in particular being involved and young people can volunteer everywhere I mean of course you know you can let's say you're going into nursing school or you're going into to hygiene or dentistry or whatever or wherever you'd like to volunteer You're welcome to assist in but if you're not interested in the medical areas there's tons of other places you can volunteer you can volunteer in spiritual wildness or chaplain see they can volunteer in something called Patients system transport or you watch Lee walk patients from location to location another area where millennial is in particular and young people you know coming up have a real talent and that is in social media and communication there's a huge communication department we need we need a lot more volunteers in that area to just flooding not just the community know but actually the whole world to know what's taking place right there in Fort Worth as an example of what they can do 7 they are going to Christians can do when we partner together when we work together a lab or deadly around the world now what about those people who can't make it or maybe they live in a part of America is too far away for profits event that have the money to get there or maybe live in Europe or St Louis or another country. How could they maybe start a similar event or do something in their community for promoting this whole person care Well absolutely Well 1st of all go to God because he'll tell you what he wants you to do and don't be surprised if he tells you to do something that you think you can't. Because he has their plan and we do and we just can't limit it but the next thing I would recommend is try to get together with as many people as you can and don't limit yourself don't limit yourself to oh I only think this way and that group of people things that way and thereby we can't work together let God be the judge of that and you'll see beauty in the unity and that's I think that's my biggest biggest kind of little soapbox if you will is that we need to all come together under the beautiful unity of being Jesus hands and feet and when we work together God bless us. So basically it's really if you could be someone else to start an event like this or do something different medical person care is about getting together not limiting God and removing Exactly. Thanks so much for sharing just a brief picture of pathways to help I really appreciate what you've done and how you've been promoting and pushing these events around America and we also appreciate that you are able to come here and share if someone wants to get in touch with you is there a website that they can go to to find out more about Absolutely they can get a pathway to help if they want to volunteer specifically pathway to health volunteered at a large that's half way to help volunteer dot org Thank you very much thank you time thank you so much we appreciate Dr Lewis and everything that she is doing for Christ to hear more episodes don't forget to follow us on i Tunes or go to the Web dot org slash beyond to find out more.


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