MCO Update: Thanksgiving Outreach 2013

by Holly Favino December 4, 2013

On November 23, just before Thanksgiving, Medical Campus Outreach (MCO) hosted a successful neighborhood medical outreach in North Philadelphia. We partnered with a church that serves as one of MCO's Summer Medical Institute (SMI) church partners for the past two years, Lighthouse Family Community Church in north Kensington.

38 health care students and clinicians participated, wearing scrubs and warm jackets for the chilly weather. Many from the church participated as well. Some went out with the teams as interpreters for Spanish speaking homes, and others worked to provide the entire group with an outstanding community Thanksgiving dinner afterward, complete with two kinds of cooked turkey, traditional beans and rice, and gourmet desserts.

The dozen teams knocked on 256 doors, performed 43 blood sugar and 47 blood pressure screens, and prayed with 47 families and individuals. Most striking is always the debriefing time after the outreach when students and church members share about their experiences in the neighborhood. Many were moved by the community's willingness to open doors to them and receive prayer and invitations to come to church. As one student said, "Going out today reminded me of the bigger picture of why I'm in medical school, which can be easy to forget when I'm surrounded by my academic life."

Please keep Lighthouse's pastor, Abraham Oliver, in prayer as he began treatment for recently diagnosed esophageal cancer the week after the outreach.  He thanked the students afterward, and shared with them, "Thankfully this church isn't built around me, but is built around Jesus Christ." And please pray for the work of MCO as we strive to  build laborers on medical and healthcare campuses across the city for the lost world to the glory of God.

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