Back on the Homefront: Greg and Christina Miller’s Update February 14, 2019
The couple, still in their teens, expected their first child in 4 months. She had a urinary infection since last year, back when she had m
edical insurance, but she feared the prescribed medication would hurt her baby. Now her condition was much worse. She had moved to San Bernardino, had no access to medical care, and now had chest, stomach, and back pain. Her partner looked like the healthy one at first, but his young lungs already showed wheezes from a decade of smoking and his blood pressure was too high – he’d need daily medication before age 20 if something didn’t change. These two came to Cornerstone Community Health Free Clinic on 3rd Street after the evening church service and warm meal. They sent their bags of groceries home with his mom and settled in to talk to the team. Volunteers, a mix of nurses, physical therapists, a pharmacist, and the students they mentored welcomed the couple and started caring for them.
Greg and I established this clinic as a partnership for the 3rd street church and its food pantry outreaches. With lots of help, we incorporated it as a nonprofit in 2013, and administered it for four years before going to Malawi. Now our colleagues are tirelessly carrying on the work to make sure that healing is available right where the most vulnerable city residents come for food each week. Last night, there were 30 medical and pre-medical volunteers, outnumbering the patients on that rainy night. For the couple we met, the Free Clinic was a place to receive affirmation, safe medication, reassurance, preventive advice, and prayer for their future. For the student volunteers, it could be the beginning of a calling into service, as it had been for the cohorts of students who came before them. And for me and Greg, Cornerstone Free Clinic was the beginning of partnership in ministry as a couple.
Even now, as I work from a distance to apply for grants to improve community well-being in Nkhoma, I use skills I learned from grant writing at the Free Clinic. Leadership on 3rd Street taught me how to mentor and coordinate volunteers, skills that are already allowing me to help plan for the future in my new position at the hospital. And Greg and I are now connecting with leaders of Community Health Evangelism (CHE) programs in Malawi, trying to solidify a vision for how pastors can bring sustainable health improvements and spiritual renewal to their villages, just like Cornerstone Free Clinic improved the health of the church in San Bernardino. It feels like we’re living on two continents. We would be overwhelmed by the need and work to be done if not for those of you standing beside us. Just like a big team is needed to continue the work at the Free Clinic, so partners like you are essential in creating the foundation for God’s work of healing in Malawi. We thank all of you for your partnership as you pray for us and equip us to carry out good works that we’d never have the strength to do on our own. This month, please join us in prayer:
- That Thoko and Nixon will be able to attend and gain vision from the CHE training in Zomba
- That Ishmael will be able to find a new place to safely keep our dogs
- That God will continue to raise up partners to fund our return to Malawi and ministries there
Thank you for your support,
Greg and Christina