As medical costs continue to skyrocket, and rural areas continue to run into healthcare provider shortages, more and more North Carolinians are left with limited means of treating their medical and dental issues.
Recent reports show 20 North Carolina counties have relatively few primary care doctors — three have none.
Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM), is helping fill the gap. Through mobile medical, dental and health screening units, volunteer doctors and nurses are able to share the love of Christ by meeting individual’s physical and spiritual needs. Every patient is able to receive free health services from licensed professionals, while also hearing the good news of the gospel from pastors, chaplains and other volunteers.
“I’ve been volunteering on the buses for many years and it’s a wonderful gift to the communities that really treat a lot of folks who don’t have the money or the access to dental care,” says Dr. Howard Weeks, a dentist from Spring Hope, N.C.
Heather Montgomery, a volunteer family nurse practitioner nurse from Oxford, N.C., also sees the value in these ministries to not only to ease physical pain, but also as a means of opening doors to share God’s love to a hurting world.
“It’s God’s calling on our lives to serve others and we’re just the hands and feet of God, so that’s why we’re here,” she says.
In 2017, the medical and dental ministry provided 170 days of service in 160 locations across the state treating more than 3,200 patients, while the health screening ministry visited 17 counties and treated nearly 500 patients. And while each patient left with their physical needs met, more than 25 of them left professing faith in Christ for the first time.
Use of the medical and dental buses is coordinated through N.C. Baptist Men, also known as Baptists on Mission. Gifts to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) help keep these mobile units on the road, ministering to those in need across the state.
As of July 2018, a new mobile dental unit was introduced, providing even more patients with the latest in dental care. “We are so excited about this new truck and how it will help us provide excellent medical and dental equipment to treat some of the greatest needs of people in our state,” said Richard Brunson, executive director of Baptists on Mission. “God has provided this truck and may it be used to His glory!”
“Everything that I have comes from the Lord,” Weeks says. “I need to be able to give back and this is one very, very small way that I’m able to give back not only to God, but to my community and those around me.”
Your gifts to the NCMO help provide relief for the moment and hope for the future.