October 2, 2006
“When I was a student I didn't know who to ask about medical missions,” says Dan Bivens.
The 1995 OBU graduate was part of a team of panelists helping current students gain better insight into medical missions during the university’s Global Outreach Week this fall.
Panelists included Bivens, director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Medical Missions Response program; Steve Hollingsworth, president of His Healing Helping Hands International Ministries; Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of OBU’s School of Nursing; and two resident physicians from the medical missions group In His Image, Dr. Val Tramonte and Dr. Matt McClure.
Answering students’ questions, the panelists were able to shed light on current global opportunities, as well as the nature of medical missions career work.
“Some nations do not allow missionary visas,” said Bivens. “Western healthcare is at the top of the list of ways to be in these countries for legitimate purposes.”
The panel advised students to build long-term strategies to help balance the workload of school with the call to serve.
Bolhouse, encouraged students to participate in short-term mission trips to better understand the commitment of being a medical missionary.
In addition to overseeing an OBU academic area which annually sends medical missions teams around the world, Bolhouse has researched the lifestyle of missionary families.
“One of the things I’ve found in almost every missionary family I’ve observed is they were involved in a campus ministry. Another thing that was common to each family is that they had taken mission trips. In sociological terms, it’s like a rehearsal because they are trying out that role of missionary.”