Free Clinic Creates Community Bridges

On July 10, 2022, LifeBridge Church in University Place, Washington, hosted its first free physical therapy clinic with the support of Triumph Physical Therapy, who made the event a reality.

There were 37 patients scheduled for the clinic that morning. Though it was expected that a portion of patients would not come, the incoming stream of patients remained steady from start to end.

Cheiryl Legaspi, clinic head director, said, “I was able to stand back and [look around]. The rooms were full of meaningful conversation and interactions between volunteers and patients.”

The stories that resulted were priceless. 

One patient shared, “My sister was a patient at your free Dental Clinic. She called me last month all excited about it. Then I saw your physical therapy clinic. I called her and said, 'I am going to a clinic put on by the same church!'" She also said she will be inviting her sister to join her in visiting LifeBridge Church.

One patient noticed that the majority of LifeBridge volunteers were young adults, and said, “At first, I thought it was just Xander and Michael from Triumph Therapy! Now I see it is a whole church! I met all of these wonderful people of the church, and it was just amazing how upbeat and nice all these young people were and also some older people who attended.”

Xander Legaspi, host physical therapist, was injured the week prior. He was unable to take part in treating patients. However, another therapist came through to fill the three-man team, and the clinic was able to run at full capacity as planned.

To start the day, Dustin Serns, LifeBridge Church pastor, who is well-known in his community as someone with a unique ability to elevate thoughts and uplift others, shared a worship thought and prayer to set the focus on each person who would enter the building that day.

One couple had been patients at several LifeBridge free health clinics in the past two years. They have had a lot of life challenges but are taking steps forward to improve their situation.

“We recognized them and were excited to see them," Serns shared. "They said, ‘We keep wanting to go worship with you guys sometime.’ We said, ‘No matter how long it takes, know that you guys are already family to us.’ ‘That’s exactly what it feels like!’ they responded. ‘We keep telling everybody, ‘If you are looking for a church, check out LifeBridge Church!’"

The volunteers desired to offer patients meaningful experiences, aiming to meet not only a physical need, but emotional and spiritual needs, too. They hope to shine the love and light of Jesus to others who need Him, just like they do.

Patients commented and expressed relief after their treatments.

An ongoing patient at Triumph Physical Therapy was struggling for insurance coverage approval for a bothersome episode of vertigo that had been plaguing her for weeks. After treatment, she said, “The help was fantastic! We started the maneuver and [the vertigo] happened, and then we finished it and when we tried to do it again, it didn’t happen! Success!”

As another patient checked in at registration, a volunteer asked, “How are you doing?” She responded, “Not well. My house recently burned down, but this free physical therapy clinic is the best thing that has happened in my life in weeks!”

Another patient shared, “Thank you for keeping us company in the waiting room. I’ve had a great experience and I really would like to come to LifeBridge someday.”

One volunteer was a patient at the dental clinic in June. She signed up for LifeBridge announcements, and when hearing about the physical therapy clinic, she was eager to sign up. Her dedication to serving alongside a group still new to her was inspiring. She recognized a shared higher purpose and settled into her role, giving 100%.

God can bring individuals and communities together when His mission is being pursued with intentional love by inclusive members.

LifeBridge Church was recently planted by a group of about 20 young adult professionals. They had a vision for what God could do in this community, and they want to see it through. Since early 2020, LifeBridge has hosted seven free health clinics, including multiple dental and vision clinics and one physical therapy clinic.

To date, they have been able to bless the community with $260,000 worth of healthcare services for nearly 500 community members. They plan to continue making a difference through service and to “live a life that changes others forever.”

To date, they have been able to bless the community with $260,000 worth of health services for nearly 500 community members. They plan to continue making a difference through service and to “live a life that changes others forever.”

Featured in: September/October 2022