We would like to take a moment to highlight one of our most tremendous and impactful volunteers……YOU!
Everyday at the clinic, we witness phenomenal men and women who give of their time, talent and resources to care for and serve others in need. The Bible rightly notes that a cheerful heart is good like medicine (Proverbs 17:22). I often think this scripture captures the heart of what we see each day in our exam rooms, dental chairs and counseling rooms.
We are an extension of joy; a heart that is happy and full of hope, and it is a powerful thing. We know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We have bore witness to it time and time again. Each of our volunteers serve as a reminder, encourager, and champion that God can bring joy to replace sorrow, suffering, and fear.
If you have spent any time at the Refuge Clinic, you know that it is an extremely common practice to hear laughter and cheers…and we would have it no other way. Each of you as volunteers are the best kind of medicine! We love you! We appreciate you! And you fill our hearts with joy!!
“Yes ma’am, all our services here at the Refuge Clinic are free of charge.”
“We do it because we love you and want to help you in any way that we can.”
This is a common conversation I have with patients when they ask how much they owe for their appointment. They’re truly stunned, and often speechless, when they hear that they don’t pay a dime to see a doctor. We operate with an unconditional nature.
It often opens doors to introduce the very reason we exist- the love of Jesus. We want to meet our patients where they are, and show them this intense, real, and unconditional love. The same love that radically changed our lives is available to everyone if they’re willing to accept it. That’s why we go above and beyond to make sure their every need is met. If we don’t have the answer or the solution, we don’t stop until we find it.
Many times patients’ eyes fill with tears and they find themselves lost for words. They express their gratitude over and over, and explain to me how much it means to have people who truly care about them. We want to see our patients succeed and love walking alongside as they reach the goals they’ve set for themselves. We walk with them through the tough valleys of their life, and celebrate with them when they reach the horizon – and that’s the sweetest part of being here at the Refuge Clinic.
The more people around to celebrate, the better! We always welcome new volunteers with open arms. Whether you’re a doctor, dentist, or not medically trained at all, we would love for you to serve alongside us. Join us in reaching hurting people around our community.
Our volunteers are truly amazing people! Last week, Cady highlighted one of our dental volunteers who heard God calling her to buckle her seatbelt because He was about to take her on a ride! We are so glad that folks are so tuned in to hear God speak to them and not only ‘hear’ but take action!
Emily was also one who took action when Refuge started some 10 years ago. She was in school studying dietetics at the time and volunteered with us as a Nurse Assistant to get her feet wet in the healthcare field. She had always wanted to be a part of healthcare to help people and so when the opportunity of the clinic came available – she jumped right in. She took patients’ vital signs and made herself available to the nurses to assist them in any way she could. I love that she found a way to serve even though it may not have been what she may have planned for herself at that time.
Fast forward to today and some words from Emily!
“At the time, the Refuge Clinic planted a seed in me, allowing me to see how God can use us to love on His people through various healthcare professions. I knew that once I finished school and delve into my career I would come back to do what I love and help anyone I could. God had placed it on my heart to begin serving again. I had clearly heard His voice, however I kept putting it on the back burner. One day during the church service, the staff mentioned how they were looking for individuals to serve at the Refuge Clinic. I knew it was God speaking to me again so I took the step! I became a Registered Dietician (RD) so that I could help people. Food is unavoidable. We all need food to survive. Unfortunately, this topic can be confusing. It is my goal to be able to teach as many people as I can how to utilize food in the best way possible to take care of their bodies and have a healthy relationship with food. I would eventually love to become a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), as the prevalence of diabetes continues to increase. Being able to serve others through my passion of being an RD is a dream come true!”
For several years we have been collecting names of patients who were in need of help from a Registered Dietician and have been patiently awaiting God to provide one. Emily heard His call and joined the Refuge team this year! She has already met with one patient and has agreed to have 2 clinics a month to serve and lead folks to better health through nutrition. We are so grateful for folks like Emily who choose to serve God through the use of their skills and knowledge to help others!
One of my favorite parts of talking to our volunteers is finding out how they got involved with the Refuge Clinic- every volunteer has an amazing story about how they found us! I recently met with a new dentist who was interested in serving with us. This dentist attends Southland and had been thinking about volunteering with the Refuge Clinic for over a year, but had not taken the step to get engaged. She was attending Southland’s Sunday morning service a few weeks ago, and as she sat down to prepare for worship, she had the feeling that she was in her car and needed to buckle her seatbelt. Her first thought was, “What a strange feeling to have in church?!” She quickly shook away the feeling- maybe she needed more coffee, or more sleep!
The service began like most other weeks- a couple of songs, some announcements, the norm. But during the sermon, Jon spoke about the need for doctors, nurses, and specifically dentists to serve at the Refuge Clinic and she felt as though God was speaking straight to her! She could almost hear him saying, “Buckle your seatbelt and hold on tight! I’m about to take you on an amazing adventure!” She knew immediately that God was calling her to step out of her comfort zone and see what the Refuge Clinic was all about!
Who do you know that you can invite to buckle up and go on an amazing adventure? Invite them to learn more about who we are and what we do at the Refuge Clinic! The best recruitment tool we have is YOU!
Several months ago, we blogged about a few patients who received their new smiles in the form of custom made dentures after a long stint on our denture waiting list! Even after delivering eight sets of dentures in one day, we still faced the reality of well over 100 individuals waiting for their turn as well. Some of our patients have waited three years for their dentures, and we just couldn’t stand for that!
This month, our Board of Directors decided to take a step of faith and address this ongoing need. As a result, our Board approved eliminating the wait altogether and committed to providing a set of custom dentures for each name on the waiting list!
While we are so thrilled to soon be rid of that pesky waiting list, doing so requires a significant financial commitment- $40,000 to be exact.
Here’s where you come into the picture. Thanks to our fantastic local partners, Refuge Clinic is provided each set of dentures for approximately $200. Would you prayerfully consider financially sponsoring a set of dentures for one of our awesome patients? Your partnership of $200 will directly provide a patient with the new smile they have waited so long to show off!
Partner with us here, or check out the Donate tab on this page. Or if you have any questions, feel free to reach out- we’re always happy to chat!
“As I’m nearing graduation, I’m spending some time looking back and thinking about all of the things that brought me here and have directed me to where I’m going. The Refuge is definitely one of the main ones. From you all I have learned what practicing medicine should be about, what selfless care for others looks like, and what working as a team to serve God and one another can do for a community. I’ve learned that I wouldn’t be satisfied if not constantly pursuing these standards, and that knowledge has guided my choice to pursue a nontraditional path to being a doctor. Now, I can’t imagine taking any other route.” Jenna Przybylowski, Agriculture Biotechnology Senior at UK
It is incredible to see the way God uses The Refuge Clinic to be a part of the stories of our volunteers. So often it’s a place in their story where dreams in their hearts are confirmed, refined, or even shifted. I have learned over time that while God will lead us to people and to places, He is ultimately leading us to Himself. He is leading us to a deeper understanding of who He is and who He created us to be.
Jenna is one of many students who found a home at The Refuge Clinic serving alongside staff and volunteers to generously extend hope to our friends in the community. Many students, professionals, clinical, non-clinical, people who love people, and people who want to see the Kingdom of God expanded have found a place to serve and thrive at The Refuge Clinic. Are you looking for a place to serve? A place to build relationships, and generously extend hope? We would love to hear from you!
“God has given you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4:10
If this is you (or if you have a few questions), reach out! Feel free to give me a call at the number below, or shoot me an e-mail!
We love to celebrate around here! If you’ve spent any amount of time with our team, you know very well that celebrating the big and small things of life is something we do every single week! Birthdays, good reports from doctors, getting A’s on tests, and even the sun coming out unexpectedly on a gloomy day! We celebrate it all. However, what we love to celebrate most is the new life and hope our patients get to experience through the love and acceptance they receive from the care and services received here at the clinic.
2016 was a year full of celebrations. We saw a 20% increase in the number of medical clinics hosted and a 30% increase in dental clinics! All of this is attributed to the awesome volunteers we have coming in each and every week to serve this community. We added 7 new medical and dental providers in 2016 which vastly increases our reach in the community.
In addition to the increase in our medical and dental clinics, Refuge also began providing psychiatric care to our patients for the first time. This has been a long-term goal of ours to be able to care for our patients in the area of mental health and thanks to some wonderful volunteers, we were able to see this come to fruition. We’ve already seen 50 patients walk through our doors and receive the healing care being offered by these special volunteers.
As 2017 rolls out before us, our team continues to hope and envision even more for the future of this ministry. We are excited to see all that God has in store for our patients and our community in the months to come!
“This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us be glad and rejoice in it!” Psalm 118:24
If you spend enough time with me, at some point you’ll undoubtedly hear me mention my “favorite dead guys.” Usually this is greeted with a raised eyebrow or two by whomever I’m speaking with, but I promise it has good intentions! My “favorite dead guys” are usually warriors of the faith who came before me- guys like Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers and especially C.S. Lewis.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to walk a group of awesome high school students through C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and man what an experience it’s been for everyone! Last night, we read over this gem:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Jesus really didn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation with regards to His life.
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” – John 8:58 (NLT)
When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” – John 9:35-37 (NLT)
Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” – John 14:6-7 (NLT)
By claiming Himself to be God, Jesus ensured no one could get away with simply acknowledging Him as an elite teacher, or selfless individual, or even as the moral standard. If one makes such a claim, we then must accept the whole of His words, or reject the entirety of His words. We then must decide whether Jesus was not speaking the truth and was a liar, was a lunatic and should be completely disregarded…or He in fact is Lord.
And if He is Lord, this demands an entirely different response from us. As Lewis says, if He is Lord, our only response should be to fall at His feet and bring him the worship and glory He so deserves!
So today, find a comfortable couch and a good cup of coffee and spend some time with Him. Be still and silent and allow the God of the universe to remind you of His presence!
The Refuge Clinic has partnered with the Kroger Community Rewards program and we need your help!
Each year, Kroger donates a portion of sales from registered Kroger Plus cards to non-profits and charities, and The Refuge Clinic has been added to the list of eligible organizations! Simply enroll your Kroger Plus card in the Kroger Community Rewards program, select The Refuge Clinic as your organization of choice, and go about your regular grocery shopping!
2016 has been an amazing year at The Refuge Clinic! Thousands of visits and appointments. Hundreds of patients seen. Dozens of volunteers serving. And while the numbers are truly amazing, the life change for each individual who walks through our doors is why we’re here!
In November alone, eight patients received new smiles in the form of custom made dentures! The joy which overflows in their hearts can now be expressed outwardly, and one patient was eager to show it off as soon as she received her dentures! Stories like this are made possible because of your gifts!
Yet, there are still more than 100 names on a waiting list to receive their new smiles, too.
On this #GivingTuesday, we ask that you prayerfully consider financially partnering with us at The Refuge Clinic, and perhaps even as a volunteer! Because of you, we are able to provide for not only the physical health of members in our community, but also to connect our patients with the ultimate Healer for their lives!