San Bernardino Free Health Clinic
Two days after and two miles away from the deadly San Bernardino shootings, over 500 students, medical professionals, and community volunteers served the greater San Bernardino Community by providing free dental, vision and medical care at Loma Linda Academy. Over 800 community friends caught in a gap of need were treated, prayed with and loved without an agenda.
The response from the community was summed up succinctly by one man who received glasses for the first time. After experiencing the transformation of being able to see clearly, he looked up and said: “Who are you people?!”.
Service elicits just that kind of response–Who are you, Why are you helping me? What motivates you to go out of your way for me?
What a perfect opportunity to share about the ONE who went and goes out of His way for us. And those are exactly the kind of opportunities that other-centered, practical service provides.
In San Bernardino, besides vision, dental and medical care, community members could choose from other free services including lifestyle counseling, emotional health counseling and a robust feet ministry (United Feet Ministries) that included a foot soak, foot massages, a goody bag and prayer for those that wanted it. Campus Hill, ReLive, UREACH and Advent Hope provided meals for all the volunteers. Mt. Rubidoux had professionals involved and delivered snacks for our community friends coming to the clinic. Our volunteers came from near and far (Ohio, Utah, Arizona, Texas) and represented many of the Southeastern California churches. Entire Loma Linda University medical and dental school classes participated wholeheartedly and the pharmacy department donated a basic dental pharmacy for dental patients supported in part by Pharmacy residents. An awesome group of La Sierra students spent their weekend serving along with a devoted crew from Loma Linda Academy. The Youth Department of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventist supported over and beyond the volunteer children’s program. Pacific Health Dental and the local Dental Assistant Program sent volunteers, and there are even more local organizations asking to be plugged in for next year. The SACH clinic will be providing any needed follow up care, and additional community resources were present to facilitate in the gap of need. Besides initiating and deepening community relationships, more than a handful of our community participants requested personal Bible studies and asked to be directed to a local Seventh-day Adventist church.
Without question, the clinic-mission model is one whose impact is just beginning in San Bernardino and is in complete synergy with our church mission, our educational mission through Loma Linda University and La Sierra University and the local academies, and is enhancing of our personal spiritual refreshment and revival. As one volunteer put it, “I need this, when can I be a part of a clinic-mission again.”