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MedAdvance 2023 poised to change more lives

For those with a passion for healthcare and a calling to missions, the International Mission Board has avenues of service ready to fill. The IMB is hosting MedAdvance, a conference for those interested in using healthcare strategies to open doors to a hurting world and gain access to unreached peoples and places in unique ways.

The conference will be at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, Aug. 3-5.

Joshua, Jessica, Ellie, Hudson, and Harrison Cobb pose for a family photo. Photo Provided

Joshua and Jessica Cobb can recall how the trajectory of their ministry changed because of a MedAdvance event just a few years ago.

They knew they were going on mission with the IMB. On a vision trip to England, they felt the Lord pulling their hearts there. But as a trained psychiatrist (Joshua) and biblical counselor (Jessica), they weren’t sure how what they were trained to do and passionate about doing would fit in their greater calling to reach the nations.

The family had already run into numerous hurdles trying to get to the mission field. By the time they attended MedAdvance, they were discouraged. But as the week went on, they networked and asked questions.

They took advantage of opportunities to meet one on one with healthcare missionaries at mealtimes, and they plugged into breakout sessions where they learned how God is using healthcare strategies to reach the nations.

“Is there a need for us? Is there a use for us?” they asked.

“The overwhelming answer was ‘Yes, absolutely. There’s a huge need, we see a huge opportunity, and we’re so interested in you,’” Joshua reported.

Joshua continued, “Not only was it an incredible conference, but I came out more equipped, encouraged and just feeling so much closer to the Lord.”

The Andrews’ national partner, Moises, was concerned for his father’s physical and spiritual health. He asked the Andrewses to visit his father. Moises’ father, a Togolese village leader, came to know Christ through IMB medical missionaries caring for his physical needs as well as his spiritual condition. IMB Photo

Eventually, they reconnected with the leaders in London at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had brought mental health into focus in Europe. The Cobbs joined the team in London, providing help and encouragement through a church plant and a local organization.

The Cobbs officially serve as health strategy coaches for the IMB’s European affinities.

Another couple, Brennan and Isabel Andrews, knew they were going to the nations as medical missionaries. He’s a general surgeon, and she’s a physician’s assistant. They even knew where they felt called to work, a hospital in Togo. They did not know if they could serve that hospital through the lMB.

That all changed when they attended MedAdvance. They met with IMB leadership and missionaries and learned of the vast opportunities available through the IMB’s medical strategies.

“In the course of one MedAdvance, we kind of got everything figured out,” Brennan said. After that, they were set to fulfil their seminary requirements to go long term with the IMB, and they headed off to language school.

For a couple of years they served in Togo, Brennan at the hospital in Togo and Isabel as a physician’s assistant. They’re now in Paris, doing more language studies after Isabel delivered their baby boy earlier this year. They’re eager to get back to Togo, focusing on extending the hospital’s reach into the unreached people groups who have little access to medical care or the Gospel.

Join hundreds of healthcare professionals, students and church leaders at MedAdvance 2023:

  • Connect with IMB missionaries and leaders for networking and questions.
  • Discover how God is at work as healthcare missionaries share stories from around the world.
  • Learn how you can serve God’s mission at home and overseas using your God-given talent, skills and experience in the healthcare field.

Register for the conference and find out more about how you can be a part of providing help and hope to those who have never heard the gospel. Learn more about last year’s MedAdvance. Discover how your gifting can fit into healthcare strategies.

Follow us on social media to hear more about how God is using missionaries to further the Revelation 7:9 vision through healthcare strategies.

Myriah Snyder writes and edits for the IMB.