These verses from Matthew 22 are printed on the t-shirts of volunteers at Grace Clinic in central Ohio. But they don’t just wear the words; they live them.
Grace Clinics of Ohio, Inc., operates two, faith-based free medical clinics in central Ohio that are open to walk-in patients. Formerly called Grace Clinic of Delaware, it opened its first location in December 2006 and a Columbus location, Hardin Clinic, in May 2011.
Sponsored by Grace Church, a Grace Brethren church in Powell, Ohio (Rick Nuzum, pastor), Grace Clinic strives to “use medicine as a vehicle to share our love for Jesus Christ.” Most volunteers are trained to share their “faith stories” and develop boldness in sharing the gospel.
“Patients get to observe Christians at work,” explains Colleen Pavarini, board chair at Grace Clinic. “We don’t bludgeon them over the head with tracts and the gospel but we offer the opportunity to pray and get connected with a local church. It’s very obvious that we are faith-based.”
Their testimony doesn’t just extend to the patients.
“Many of the volunteers come from various Bible-based churches in the area. However, if a volunteer has not made a salvation decision, working alongside those who have provides a unique opportunity to see Christ in action.”
“We think that some of our volunteers may come to a saving knowledge of the Lord just through their service at the clinic,” said Pavarini.
Grace Clinic of Delaware hosts a clinic on Wednesday evenings in downtown Delaware and Hardin Clinic is open on Saturday mornings in the Linden area of Columbus. Its reach is quickly growing. Since September, Grace Clinic has gained a new executive director, Erica Wood, established an oversight council and two operations councils, and received medical malpractice coverage through a federal government program that helps free and charitable clinics. They are growing in other ways as well: due to their success, five other independent clinics have been started after receiving assistance from Grace Clinic on policies, procedures, and organizational structure.
“You get to the point that you want to serve with excellence,” noted Pavarini. “We’ve seen God’s hand in everything.”
Their goals for the future?
“Expand the types of services we provide,” said Pavarini. “Work more closely with local churches to connect patients so that they can be discipled and encouraged. Provide quality medical care. Change lives. Give hope. Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.”
To learn more about how to pray for or contribute to Grace Clinics of Ohio, Inc., visit graceclinicweb.org or their Facebook page. To donate to Grace Clinic, click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a note of encouragement or let them know that you are praying for their ministry!
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.