Approximately 3,000 people have walked through the doors of Medical Missions for Christ in Camdenton since it opened seven years ago. What started as a way to give back to the community has grown into a ministry that meets the needs of hundreds of residents each year.
"I don't think anyone anticipated it would be as big as it is now," Director Carolyn Stoner Bowling said. "I don't think anyone anticipated how great the need would be."
Bowling found her way to Medical Missions for Christ after she had lost her job in 2010. She had moved back to her hometown of Macks Creek to spend time with her ill father years before. She first came to the mission to find out about volunteering. Little did she know, a grand plan was already in the works.
A few days later, she was hired as the director. Bowling's background in business and organization has helped the mission grow since she came on board.
"Medical Missions for Christ Community Health Center is established to provide primary health care to the community in a manner that demonstrates the love of Christ regardless of the patient's ability to pay," states the center's mission statement.
Serving Miller, Morgan and Camden Counties, the mission operates solely on donations and grants.
"We try to be really good stewards of the money we are given," Bowling said.
Monetary donations, medicinal donations and volunteers are what keeps the mission going.
"We couldn't do it without the volunteers," Bowling added.
Bowling's passion for her job is evident. She views her job as much more than where she spends her time on a daily basis; for her, it is a ministry.
"How many jobs are out there that witnessing is encouraged?" Bowling asked. "We are very complex beings. We aren't just a broken toe, arthritis in your elbow or a diabetic."
When patients first apply to the mission, the staff and volunteers listen to their story. If a volunteer notices that there is more going on than what meets the eye, they are encouraged to offer encouragement and prayer to the person in need.
"We try to treat things medically, but we know that is only part of what they are going through," Bowling said.
The clinic offers primary health care, basic dental care, eye exams, prescription assistance programs, nutrition and weight loss classes, diabetes management training, chiropractic care and more.
Volunteers are always welcomed. Doctors, nurses and dentists are very much needed at the moment, but other non-trained volunteers are always welcomed to help with office needs, as well.
Medical Missions is hosting a Trivia Challenge to raise funds for the clinic on October 12. First Baptist Church of Camdenton located at 186 South Business Route 5 is hosting the event at 5:30 p.m. Food, a raffle, door prizes and much more will be at the event. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Page 2 of 2 - Clinic hours vary depending on needs. To find out more about the clinic, call 573-346-7777 or visit www.medicalmissions4christ.org.