Ministry hosted by Robertson County Baptist Association draws nearly 300 attendees in Springfield
By David Dawson
SPRINGFIELD — The remote medical clinic that was hosted by Robertson County Baptist Association on Aug. 17 did more than just meet physical needs.
It provided an opportunity for spiritual healing, too.
The event, held at the Springfield Center, was a one-day clinic that offered a variety of medical services — ranging from eye exams to dental needs — at no cost to the participants.
The RAM (remote area medical) clinic also included a “counseling area” where those in attendance could ask spiritual questions and/or get connected with churches in their area.
By the time the one-day clinic closed, 299 people had been medically treated, and six professions of faith were made.
Robertson County Baptist Association director of missions Robert Tyson, who serves as the point man for the ministry, said the event was a success on every level.
“Our goal is to build relationships with our community,” he said, “and in turn, to find out where they are, spiritually, and then see what we can do to help them on that journey.”
Churches from all across the county — spanning multiple denominations — participated in the event. This year’s clinic featured more than 350 volunteers, including about 90 medical professionals.
“They are just fantastic people,” said Tyson. “I can’t say enough good things about them.”
Springfield Baptist served as the host church for this year’s clinic. The church provided lunch for the volunteers, and was used as the “home base” for volunteers during their break times.
David Evans, who was called as pastor of Springfield Baptist in July, said he was amazed by the sacrificial attitude of the volunteers.
“As a participating pastor, I was blown away by the willingness of the churches to do whatever it took to serve the community,” said Evans. “Particularly, I was blessed to see the number of Springfield Baptist Church people stepping up to volunteer their time, talents and abilities to serve the community.”
This was the second year that Robertson County Baptist Association has hosted the clinic. Matt Browning, a Robertson County doctor and a member of Springfield Baptist, helps organize the medical side of the clinic, which treated roughly 180 attendees in 2018 and grew considerably larger this year.
Tyson said the idea for hosting the clinic came to him two years ago as he was seeking the Lord’s guidance for ways to reach the lost in Robertson County.
“I’d been praying that God would direct me to an event where we could help the churches impact the community,” said Tyson. “And He put this on my heart.
“I had heard about health fairs, and I knew that, overseas, they went a little beyond (the normal health fair) in terms of medical treatment and eye glasses and things like that,” he said. “So, I started looking into ways that we could do something similar here. The goal was to find out who, in our community, was lost and who was unchurched and needed the Lord.”
This year’s event had a tremendous response, with some attendees arriving on the night of Aug. 16 to get in line for the clinic, which opened the following morning at 6 a.m.
Reservations were not taken, but attendees were given a “ticket” with a number on it when they arrived. The tickets helped identify the specific needs of each attendee. When an attendee’s number was called, they were taken into the Center for their respective treatment.
Volunteers began passing out tickets at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning. By 6 a.m., 175 tickets had been given out, Tyson said.
Some who attended the clinic were given eye exams — and if prescription lens were needed, they were provided to the person within about 90 minutes of the exam, Tyson said.
“We were able to make the glasses right there on the spot,” said Tyson.
Other attendees received free dental work, including fillings for cavities, teeth extraction, and “pretty much anything a dentist can do,” said Tyson.
The clinic had pharmacists on hand to assist with prescriptions. There were also 30 translators on site to help with the non-English-speaking attendees.
Although the “counseling area” operated separately from the medical side — in accordance with certain HIPPA rules and guidelines — the attendees who were interested in talking about spiritual matters were able to do so. Tyson estimated that roughly 80 individuals met with counselors during the day.
Evans said the effectiveness of the clinic went beyond eye glasses and dental work.
“The best thing was the concern for the spiritual welfare of the local community,” said Evans. “They were concerned about the physical welfare, yes, but their goal was to see their lives surrendered to Jesus.
“The church wanted people to surrender their life to Jesus” said Evans, “so they were willing to do whatever was necessary to see it happen.” B&R