By Dr. John C. Van Nuys
On Thursday our community made a giant step forward in faith when the ribbon was cut on the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic, which will soon begin operating a free medical and dental clinic at 816 South Mill Street in Crawfordsville.
The Free Clinic is the latest incarnation and mission of the Christian Nursing Service to make sure that all receive the care they need. Following Thursday’s ribbon cutting, the Free Clinic began its capital campaign to fund three major objectives: First, to remodel the Mill Street location from a bank branch office to a medical clinic; secondly, to raise the funds needed for the first years of operation; and thirdly, to establish an endowment to ensure the ongoing funding of the clinic.
While major donors are doing what only they can do, you and I need to do what only we can do, which is to give generously and sacrificially to ensure that the Free Clinic is established.
The spiritual writer Frederick Beuchner defines the Biblical term sacrifice as giving up something important for someone more important. I have also read that a leading indicator of spiritual maturity is a willingness to be inconvenienced for the Gospel.
Most of the miracles performed by Jesus involved acts of healing. I can think of no better way to follow Jesus than by helping him continue to heal folks today who are hurting and unable to afford the care they need. To that end, I encourage you to give generously and sacrificially to help the Free Clinic dream become a reality.
If your church does not have room in its budget to make a gift, host a pitch-in supper with a free will offering to go to the Clinic. Instead of a big office Christmas party this year, how about planning now to host a more modest one with the difference going to the Clinic? There are many creative ways to find opportunities to give.
I encourage your congregation, business, organization, and family to find a way to bless the Free Clinic. Talk to your pastor, manager, club president, or spouse about getting involved. To make a pledge or to donate, contact the Montgomery County Community Foundation, either online at www.mccf-in.org, in person at 119 N. Main St., Crawfordsville, or by mail at P.O. Box 334, Crawfordsville, IN 47933. To learn more about the free clinic visit www.mcfreeclinic.org.
I love the story of how a pastor once gave an appeal from the pulpit for mission giving only to be met after worship by an exasperated church member who complained: Give! Give! Give! That’s all I keep hearing around here!” To which the pastor replied, “Thank you. I have never heard a better definition of the Christian life than what you just said.”
Give a sacrificially generous gift to God through the Free Clinic. It will bring great joy to God, to our neighbors who are hurting, and to you.