AMEN Port Orchard Serves Community
Adventist and community volunteers came out to support Kitsap Peninsula residents at the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN) Port Orchard, Wash., clinic on Aug. 17 and 19, 2018. AMEN clinics help communities by providing residents who have limited or no insurance with free access to medical, dental and vision care that otherwise might be too expensive or too far.
Gary McLean, veteran and Port Orchard resident, says that, even though he has free access as a veteran to health care, the travel cost is too much for his monthly budget.
“I pay $1,000 in rent a month, and I only earn $1,097 a month,” says McLean. “I can’t afford the gas and toll fee to drive to the Tacoma Veterans Center.”
In the last few years, Jennifer, a longtime resident of Port Orchard and AMEN volunteer, has seen her community change and develop a need for health care and resources.
“I’ve lived here for close to 30 years. In the last few years especially, I have begun to see more and more people living on the streets,” says Jennifer. “This clinic is a great way to help the community.”
Along with general health care, residents were also given free access to physical therapy, massages, lifestyle and spiritual coaching, haircuts, and local community resources.
“It’s an honor to be able to serve at the clinic,” says Xander Legaspi, a physical therapist volunteer. “We know that we are serving people who don’t have good health care and are having to sacrifice their own health to provide for their family. I can see they’re so appreciative of what we are doing for them.”
Before the clinic began, AMEN Port Orchard contacted 75 optometrists, with no success, to provide vision care. The night before the first day of the clinic, Oswald Rondón, an optometrist from Montana, called and said he just needed three things to be able to volunteer. It wasn’t long after this conversation took place that all three conditions were met and he was able to volunteer with his son. A second optometrist from Oregon also volunteered on Sunday.
“I’m doing God’s work,” says Rondón. “Jesus healed more than He preached, and this is part of God’s working ministry.”
By the end of the weekend, the AMEN clinic had served 97 dental patients, 94 vision patients, 66 medical patients, 161 physical medicine patients and 208 residents who received individualized lifestyle coaching and spiritual support and prayer from a clinic chaplain. In total, the AMEN Port Orchard clinic served 257 residents.