GO Week Imitates Christ by Emphasis on Medical Missions

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Ron Washer, a GO Week workshop speaker, speaks to students about medical missions and education (Photo by Prince Sarnicula)

Last week was Global Opportunities (GO) Week at Bob Jones University. The central theme — “Moved with Compassion” — focused on medical missions and came from key passage Matthew 9:35–38.

Global Opportunities Week, a tradition at BJU, is all about fulfilling the Great Commission. “It is an opportunity to envision how God can use your passions and the skills you are attaining to make His name known around the world,” said Katie Hickey, office administrator in the Center for Global Opportunities.

GO Week Focus: Medical Missions

The main speaker for GO Week was Dr. Tom Kendall Jr., a missionary stationed in Togo, West Africa, who is a hospital administrator and chief of surgery.

Recently, BJU has become focused on medical missions. The 2021 Bible Conference fundraiser was Hope Christian Health Center in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa. The project is the brainchild of Dr. Bernard Kadio, BJU health sciences faculty member.

The Importance of Medical Missions

Kadio started getting involved in medical missions over 20 years ago and recently has seen an explosion in interest in medical missions. “I’m thinking that God is raising a new type of missionary (to address) a new type of need in the world,” Kadio said.

Kadio has effectively served through a blend of physical and spiritual ministry. “We cannot just jump on this spiritual need and be blind to the physical need of the people, because that’s actually missing what Jesus himself did,” he said. While Jesus didn’t run a hospital in Côte d’Ivoire, he often used healing in his ministries, healing the physical ailments of individuals in the crowd before preaching.

While doors have been closing for traditional missions, Kadio has started seeing doors open for medical missions. “Medical missions is becoming one of the keys to open the doors in the mission field,” he said. “The Lord is telling us that we have to be the leader because something is coming.”

The Center for Global Opportunities decided to focus GO Week on medical missions. “I think God is doing something here, because it’s not just Bob Jones University that is focusing on medical missions. Other universities are picking it up,” Kadio said. Christian hospitals and medical projects have started emerging all over the world. “It’s a movement, a wave that we’re seeing,” Kadio said.

Update on Hope Christian Health Center

At GO Week, Kadio gave an update on Hope Christian Health Center. The Center now has a design team, has done a land survey, knows where the physical buildings will be built, is working on a website launch and has had over 20 BJU students become involved in the project.

While working on assembling the physical building, Kadio is also working on assembling a team of people. “We want student ambassadors that are going to talk about the project (for) when we have moved on to other phases because we need people (and) any kind of help we can get,” Kadio said. He has already had a few BJU students offer to be an ambassador but is still looking for about five more students. “We want (students) from all (of) the majors on campus, as diverse as possible,” Kadio said. He is also working on assembling a team to pack a storage container with medical equipment next semester.

“Get involved,” Kadio said. “We expect students to get involved in such a way that (Hope Christian Health Center) is the legacy of Bob Jones University.”