A legacy of physical and spiritual impact

Former medical missionary reflects on unique impact of medical missions

Healthcare mission opportunities are opening doors to a hurting world and granting access to unreached peoples and places in unique ways. Healthcare professionals, healthcare students, church leaders or individuals involved in mobilizing healthcare professionals can find out more about the International Mission Board’s growing involvement in medical missions by attending MedAdvance 2022.

The conference will provide opportunities for networking with other healthcare professionals, meeting healthcare missionaries, and learning how to pair healthcare training with a love for international missions.

MedAdvance 2022 will be held June 23-25 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia. Registration is open now.

The focus of the 2021 MedAdvance conference was the growing healthcare strategies of the IMB. This included the newly formed health strategies advisory group. The way the ABCs of healthcare missions (Access, Behind Closed Doors, Caring for Needs, Disciple Making and Empowering the Church) aid in the core missionary task was also highlighted, presented the importance of healthcare mission strategies.

MedAdvance is a place for people like Dr. George Faile III to reconnect to old friends and connect to new service opportunities. Faile is a former medical missionary who returned to the field as a volunteer.

Faile III was interested in medical missions from an incredibly early age. In fact, being a medical missionary was in his blood. As the son of Dr. George Faile II, he grew up on the mission field.

Faile II was one of the founders of the Baptist Medical Centre of Nalerigu, a joint effort of the Ghanaian Baptist Convention and the IMB (Foreign Mission Board at that time) in 1958.

As the center was being built, Faile III would often watch his father work in mobile clinics in the 1950s. While observing, he developed his heart for medical missions. Accompanying his father to his weekend preaching engagements fueled his love of adventure.

Faile III explained that growing up, his family served in Tamale, Ghana, and there wasn’t yet a hospital. He remembered his father going to the middle of [the bus station] and setting up a mobile clinic to see patients. After the hospital was completed, Faile II spent the next decade watching his father visit patients and operate.

“I think seeing what my dad was doing, seeing how much it was appreciated, how much he was needed,” he reflected, “I was interested from an early age in medicine.”

After graduation from school in the United States, Faile III spent time as a Journeyman in Korea. He returned for a brief time to the Baptist Medical Center as an anesthetist. After completing his medical degree, Faile III and his wife, Elizabeth, came back to the center to serve as career missionaries with the IMB.

They spent the next 20 years sharing the love of Christ with people as they demonstrated the love of Christ through medicine.

In December 2021, Faile III returned for two weeks to give the doctors at the center some respite.

“You stay here awhile, and you just see that there’s no end to [the need].” He said that “seeing the needs that were here and realizing that you had skills and abilities and personality to meet those needs,” is what kept him in Nalerigu for 20 years.

The fact that we tell people about how God loves them and sent Jesus for their sins, and but then we demonstrate that love through our physical actions of healing. To me, that’s a good feeling that we can do that,” Faile added. “We can provide both the physical healing and an opportunity for spiritual healing at the same time.”

Visit imb.org/event/medadvance-2022 to learn more and register for MedAdvance 2022.