KEDIRI, Indonesia (BP) – Southern Baptists have a long history in medical missions and have continued to bring hope and healing during the COVID-19 crisis. Field workers around the world use hospitals and clinics as ministry centers to serve communities and offer physical and spiritual healthcare.
In 1957, three Southern Baptist workers – nurses Ruth Ford and Everly Hayes and Dr. Kathleen Jones – founded Kediri Baptist Hospital in the city of Kediri on the island of Java in Indonesia. In 1972, Southern Baptist doctors opened Imanuel Baptist Hospital on the island of Sumatra. Since then, Baptists have opened two more hospitals and two clinics in other Indonesian cities.
Throughout the decades, Indonesian staff, nurses and doctors have served alongside Southern Baptists as they increased their own responsibility.
Since the late 2000s, the hospitals and clinics have been under the leadership and direction of the Indonesian Baptist Convention, and convention leaders have carried on the legacy of ministry through medical care. The first Indonesian director of Kediri Baptist Hospital was Dr. Sukoyo Suwandani in 1989.
Southern Baptists have made a renewed commitment to partner with Indonesian Baptists, both during the COVID-19 crisis and in community outreach. This January, with funding from Southern Baptists, the Eternal Peace Primary Care Clinic opened in a village near Kediri.
The idea for the clinic came through conversations Christian worker Jacob Stanley* had with the staff at Kediri Baptist Hospital and local churches. They discussed how their partnership could expand medical services into communities.
Part of Eternal Peace Primary Clinic’s mission is to care for its community, share a message of hope, and be a channel of God’s love for Indonesians. Stanley and his wife, Julie*, moved to the region in 2017 to partner in medical ministry. Stanley said part of their role is to support, train and encourage the doctors, nurses and chaplains.
“In this city, we’re standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us,” Stanley said.
The majority of patients in both Kediri Baptist Hospital and Eternal Peace Primary Clinic are Muslim. More than 82 percent of Indonesians are Muslim, and the area around Kediri is 99.5 percent Muslim.
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Source: Baptist Press