LifeBridge Church's ninth Mega Health Clinic shone as a beacon of hope on Aug. 26–27, 2023. It not only bridged the healthcare gap, but also ignited a powerful spark of inspiration within the community.
The clinic offered a diverse range of healthcare services including medical services, dental treatments, vision care, chiropractic care, physical therapy, free haircuts and more. 572 patients registered and received 1,871 services, totaling $283,063.41 worth of care.
LifeBridge Church has always been driven by a profound commitment to serve its community. The concept of the Mega Health Clinic was born from this vision, and it rallied together church members, local healthcare professionals and volunteers who shared the common goal of making a positive impact through compassion and faith.
Dustin Serns, LifeBridge Church pastor, shared the vision for these clinics, saying, "One of our key goals is to give everyone at the clinic a taste of heaven. Patients are ministered to physically, emotionally and spiritually, and volunteers from the community often gain a new perception of what the church can be. We work to build personal relationships with them and continue journeying with those who are receptive."
Within the medical area of the clinic, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers passionately offered check-ups and vital health assessments. In a fully equipped dental section, dental cleanings, fillings and extractions were offered. Vision specialists provided free eye exams and prescription glasses to those in need. Chiropractic care and physical therapy sessions were tailored to individual needs.
Isaac Peterson, volunteer chaplain, shared a story about Maria, a patient who came in to receive vision care and had canceled all her plans for the day so she could be sure to be seen. After being seen as a patient, Maria asked if she could volunteer for the rest of the day.
“I was notified and got to talk with Maria about her skills and found out that she would be very impactful as a translator! The registration staff was very excited to have her, and Maria was excited to help wherever needed. I was so encouraged to see that her reaction to being served was to pay it forward and serve others," said Peterson.
Walter came to Mega Health Clinic unsure whether he could trust the event because it was sponsored by a church. From his first interactions all the way to the end of his time at the clinic, he felt kindness and community with everyone he spoke with.
He received a dental cleaning on Saturday, and came back to receive a medical health screening on Sunday, where he was able to receive help for a rash he had for three months on his foot. As a result of the physical healing he experienced, he also chose to come to a LifeBridge Church worship gathering the following week for the first time.
While checking out in the chaplaincy area after receiving care, one patient began asking questions about why she was going through suffering. She felt God was punishing her, and she wondered what she did to deserve it.
After listening to her struggles, the chaplains opened the Bible to the story of Job and helped her see that God was not causing or wanting her to suffer. They made clear God's character of love and how He will permanently remove suffering from the universe while maintaining freewill to love. "This totally changes my paradigm," the patient shared. She was in tears and had finally found peace. The patient left the clinic that day having received not only dental care, but a new picture of God.
Toward the end of the day, a mom and her three kids also came through the checkout area and sat with Amanda Sanders, one of the checkout chaplains. The kids were all talking excitedly about the services they had received, and their mom was brimming with gratitude.
Sanders asked the family if they would like to pray with her before they left. Suddenly, the excitement faded, and the kids looked quietly over at their mom. Almost apologetically, she said, "We would like to, but we don’t know how to pray." Sanders looked over at the kids and asked, "Would you like to learn?" Their eyes lit up as they all emphatically nodded their heads.
“Ok, tell me, if you call your best friend to tell them about your day, what would you say to them?” Sanders asked them.
The two youngest kids’ eyes lit up, and the young girl said, "Yes, I like to tell my friends about what I did during the day." Sanders nodded and said, "Exactly! That’s what it’s like when you talk to Jesus. You can talk to Him just like your friends. Want to try it?” There was a resounding "Yes!" from everyone.
Sanders began to fold her hands and bow her head, then realized that this was probably unfamiliar to them as well, so she looked up and said, “I like to close my eyes and fold my hands when I pray, but tell me, what do you like to do when you talk to your friends?”
The littlest boy spoke up, “I would do it like this!” then folded his hands and proceeded to twist his arms around each other. “Alright, let’s do that!” The entire group twisted their arms up just like the littlest had shown, and they joined together to tell Jesus all about their day at the Mega Health Clinic.
This two-day event brought together people from diverse backgrounds to create a profound positive change in the community. The true impact of the Mega Health Clinic extended far beyond statistics. It touched the lives of every person who walked through its doors, offering them not only healthcare but hope, dignity and a renewed sense of belonging. It also extended an invitation to connect with LifeBridge Church, a place of faith, community and compassion for those in the Tacoma area.
As the LifeBridge team reflects on the success of the Mega Health Clinic, they invite you to join them in their mission at a LifeBridge Church worship gathering or at their next dental clinic on Jan. 26–27, 2024.
If you share their passion for serving the community, making a meaningful impact and connecting with a community of faith, you are welcome to volunteer and share with your friends! You can find more information at LifeBridgeway.com/health.
Additionally, if you would like to contribute to these ongoing efforts to provide healthcare access to those who need it most, please consider donating at LifeBridgeway.com/give.