Marla A. Matime
On Thursday, March 23rd, and Friday 24th, the Mt. Rubidoux Seventh Day Adventist Church hosted “Impact Your Health Riverside”, through the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, also known as AMEN. Although the Affordable Care Act was passed under President Barack Obama’s administration, approximately 40 million people in the United States still are unable to afford healthcare.
During the two-day clinic, residents of Riverside and surrounding areas were provided free medical, dental, and vision care along with other services, such as chiropractic services, massage therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hair-cuts from local barbers and stylists, and even legal advice from local attorneys. Medical doctors, dentists, dental hygienists and students, optometrists, nurses and nursing students, as well as medical doctors and medical students, and approximately 500 non-medical-volunteers, came together to provide their services for free to the community. I spoke with a woman named Laura, who came for medical and vision care and received a free hair-cut as well. She told me that she was very grateful to have been given the opportunity to come and receive care, as she had been unable to do so for a very long time.
Later in the day, I had the chance to speak with occupational therapist, Tiffany Richardson, who is also a member of the Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church. I asked her how she felt about the event turnout on the first day, and her response was, “I believe that once we begin to have these clinics for the community, it will gain traction and more people will come to receive the care that they need. Since this is the first major event on this scale, people will take notice once it is held around the same time every year. Then, organizers can see the need of the community and begin to plan more events throughout the year if the demand for them is increasing.” I also had the opportunity to speak with one of the pastors of Mt. Rubidoux, Pastor Baron Savory. I asked him what services he believed to have been more in demand. He said, “I feel as though more people were coming for vision care than any other. They had to turn people away because there was just not enough time to see everyone who came for that specific service. I was shocked at how many people actually need their vision needs met.”
AMEN considers this a mission of the church and actively recruits volunteers from the Adventist community. Volunteers are expected to pay their own transportation to the site and lodging for the weekend, but they are fed during their shift at the clinic.
Providing care to those in our community is what the Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church feels passionate about doing. Through organizations such as the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, and other mission driven organizations, Mt. Rubidoux is able to connect with people from all ethnic, racial, gender, and disability backgrounds to provide them with the care that they desperately need.
The Mt. Rubidoux SDA church is focused on going beyond the walls of the church to satisfy the needs of the community whether they are members of the church or if they have never stepped foot inside of a church. The church’s motto is to Love, Grow, and Serve. And impact initiatives, such as the mega-clinic, help the church to achieve its vision.
To find out ways to serve Riverside and surrounding communities through a partnership with the Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church, please contact the church at (951) 276-8374 or email the church secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how to get involved with the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, you can contact the AMEN organization at (530) 883-8061, email them at email@example.com or you can visit their website for upcoming events at https://amensda.org/.