A leading international Chinese Christian ministry is on the way of fulfilling its great dream to build the first Christian medical center in response to the pressing need of the Chinese community.
The Herald Christian Health Center in Los Angeles is spearheaded by the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC). Located at a building across the street from the CCHC Los Angeles branch office, the 15,000 sq. ft. center costs 1.82 million. The transaction will be completed on Feb. 15 following 8-month of negotiation. The next step is to fundraise for the refurbishment fee and initiation funds for starting the operation.
"The Health Center is going to be equipped with three basic medical units and two dentistry rooms to provide a wide range of health care services. Standard body check, scanning for cancer and professional medical consultant service will be offered. Patients are required to pay an affordable charge of $20- $30 for each visit," introduced Rev. David Lee, the director of the Health Center project.
Apart from providing medical care by the medical profession team to satisfy the physical need of the patients, the Health Center is also built for an evangelistic purpose to touch many souls. A team of so-called "Gospel Ambassador" will be serving in the Health Center. Not required of any professional skills, the team will help patients access various medical services in the Health Center, talk to them, pray for them and share the gospel with them, according to Lee.
Lee stressed that in order to ensure evangelism will not be intervened, CCHC has avoided apply government funding. Also in the name of the Health Center, the word "Christian" is especially used to emphasize the religious agenda of the Center.
With an aim to provide basic medical care for some Chinese immigrants who have low income and unable to afford personal insurance, the Health Center is blessed with the promise of the God after CCHC co-workers prayed and successfully went through various trials by faith.
Lee shared how the idea of Health Center was initiated and come till this point. Since CCHC L.A. center was founded 13 years ago, it has been serving the Chinese community closely according to their needs. According to Lee, it is very rare to see Chinese people who are lack of food to eat or clothes to wear in the United States, yet medical care and care for the second generations are usually their two main concerns.
Even back in 11-12 years ago, some Buddhist organizations have started a medical center to provide medical services for the Chinese community. CCHC therefore feels a strong burden to take up this commission because there are many more medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and dentists in the Christian churches who are willing to serve the Lord with their special gifts. However, due to high operation cost, a medical center can just remain as a dream for CCHC, Lee said.
Through CCHC’s Herald Cancer Care Network, CCHC has met many tragic cases where Chinese people discover their sickness only at the very late stage. Most of them are immigrants who are not financially strong to afford personal insurance and are lack of the awareness to their health.
According to Lee, the dream began coming true as L.A. County Health Department arrange a meeting with CCHC. Representatives from a few hospital attended and they all showed willingness to support opening the Health Center.
CCHC has then found an ideal place for building the Health Center in short while, however it was too expensive. In an attempt to seek the will of God, CCHC co-workers prayed that if they could gather 10 thousand dollars and find 10 medical professions who are willing to serve in the Health Center in 10 days, then CCHC will carry on with the project, Lee recalled. Eventually, at 10:00 p.m. on the eighth day, the 10-10-10 promise was fulfilled when the tenth medical worker promised to serve in the Health Center.
CCHC thus stepped forward in the project with greater courage. While the remaining cost required for opening the Health Center is still very huge, Lee said that CCHC is seeking another promise from God to overcome this obstacle. CCHC prayed for 300 donors or donor units, as each donor or donor unit offer $2000 every year in a five-year period, a sum of 3 million funds can be fulfilled.
Now around 140 donors or donor units were found, according to Lee. CCHC wishes that the goal of 300 will be achieved by the grand opening of the Health Center in one and half a year time period. A donor wall will be constructed in the new Health Center, listing the name of these 300 donors or other names these donors would like to honor. Lee said the 300 donors are just like the 300 soldiers at Gideon in the Bible.
A fundraising event is going to be held on April. 1 in L.A. Participants will look for someone to sponsor them to complete a 2-miles walk. On May. 6, a dedication service for the Health Center will be held. After the dedication service, another fundraising evening will be organized as well.
"This project is a pilot program. There are many Christian organizations which would like to walk on this path of providing medical care, but many of them do not know the way. As CCHC tries to open the path first, we hope that many others in the United States will be inspired to walk together on this path," Lee concluded.