San Bernardino Community and Loma Linda Chinese Churches Collaborate Health Clinic

Posted on Jan 19 2018

More than 700 patients were treated at a free health clinic when the Loma Linda Chinese church and the San Bernardino Community church partnered together to serve the San Bernardino community Nov. 10 and 12.

Members at the Loma Linda Chinese church wanted to provide free health care to their community, but they did not know where to start.

“We’ve hosted a lot of free health screenings over the years,” said Kazar Ackerman, associate pastor. “But this time we wanted to do more than just diagnosing. We hoped to impact the community by actually treating health issues. We also wanted to be free to share the gospel while doing so.”

Over lunch one day, Ackerman discovered that Jerrold Thompson, Sr., pastor at San Bernardino Community church, was working on a similar idea. The two chatted about their shared vision, discussed venue possibilities, and agreed to combine efforts for a large-scale community clinic on the campus of the San Bernardino Community church. Eventually, Yen Ang, event coordinator, asked the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN — to provide medical and dental professionals.

People of two different cultures—Chinese and African American—worked together through challenges to organize the clinic. Ackerman and Thompson noticed a spirit of unity from the volunteers to put cultural differences aside, see each other as God sees, and successfully organize the clinic.

More than 400 volunteers from both congregations and the community collaborated for a wide variety of treatments, including: medical, dental, and vision care; legal services; mental health services; physical therapy; chaplaincy; and lifestyle and nutrition education. Providers from the county and private organizations gave free support at the clinic.

According to Ackerman, this event connected organizers to many other churches and organizations that became involved in the free clinic, and now the opportunity for more health clinics and community services will be available in the future. Leaders are also discussing how to host similar activities more frequently as a result of the overwhelmingly positive experience.

“I believe this collaborative model should be integrated across North America,” Thompson said. “Pastors of all ethnicities and backgrounds should share their mutual service visions and partner together to benefit their communities and build up the kingdom of heaven.”

To watch a video of the November community health clinic, visit here.

Sarah McDugal