Medical Mission Work-- 'Love in Action'

Vic in China

"Medical mission work has been very aptly styled "Love in Action." It is the Gospel of love practically illustrated."
Omar Kilborn, Heal the Sick.

Medical missionaries help to break down prejudice and suspicion, gain access to people across society, winning friendship and good-will.

... "The patients in the hospitals are kindly treated. ... The medical missionary is able to relieve pain, to prolong and in many cases to save life. ... The ministerial missionary proclaims from the pulpit the love of God for man, manifested in the great sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ our Saviour. The message is not always understood. ... Just across the street, ..., is the mission hospital, where every week a practical illustration of the same message is being given upon the bodies of scores and hundreds of Chinese. The hospital is complementary to the church." 
Omar Kilborn, Heal the Sick.

Hymns would be sung in the hospitals, prayers said and tracts handed out. Most importantly, the missionaries gained the trust of their communities through their medical ministry.

There were two additional parts to Medical Missions in China: the medical care for members of the missionary community, and teaching "the science of medicine to young Chinese Christians in Mission Medical Colleges."
Omar KilbornHeal the Sick.

The Missionary Outlook, September 1903

"... The aim of the medical missionary is to work out the Gospel of God's love through caring for and healing the body, and to lead those he helps to the Great Physician of their souls. His medical knowledge is the weapon he uses to break down superstitions and prejudice, and prepare a way for truth which shall make free.We can not over-estimate the value of medical missions; they are the key to homes and hearts of thousands."

Sources:
Omar Kilborn. Heal the Sick, Toronto: The Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, The Young People's Forward Movement, c1910.

Alvyn Austin. Saving China: Canadian Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom 1888-1959. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, c1986.  

Omar Kilborn on the city wall of Chengtu, showing with houses and mission hospital in the distance. Credit: Kilborn / Walmsley Family.

Omar Kilborn on the city wall of Chengtu, showing with houses and mission hospital in the distance. Credit: Kilborn / Walmsley Family.

R.G.  Kilborn, after the Riots, 1895 Credit: Kilborn / Walmsley Family.

R.G. Kilborn, after the Riots, 1895 Credit: Kilborn / Walmsley Family.

Dr. William Service performing surgery in an operating room. Credit: Service Family.

Dr. William Service performing surgery in an operating room. Credit: Service Family.

Chinese doctor practicing medicine and Chinese couple with baby Credit: Bridgman Family.

Chinese doctor practicing medicine and Chinese couple with baby Credit: Bridgman Family.

Doctors with a patient Credit: Best Family.

Doctors with a patient Credit: Best Family.

Rongxian County Renji Hospital Staff, May 28, 1940 Credit: Bridgman Family.

Rongxian County Renji Hospital Staff, May 28, 1940 Credit: Bridgman Family.

Fred Johns on Famine relief, 1911 Credit: Johns Family.

Fred Johns on Famine relief, 1911 Credit: Johns Family.

Fred Johns Famine Relief work, 1911 [1] Credit: Johns Family.

Fred Johns Famine Relief work, 1911 [1] Credit: Johns Family.

Fred John's Famine Relief work, 1911 [2] Credit: Johns Family.

Fred John's Famine Relief work, 1911 [2] Credit: Johns Family.

Entertaining a group from the famine camp just before they broke up camp & went back (C.A. Bridgman) to their own chores. Credit: Bridgman Family.

Entertaining a group from the famine camp just before they broke up camp & went back (C.A. Bridgman) to their own chores. Credit: Bridgman Family.

Entertaining a group from the famine camp just before they broke up camp & went back (C.A. Bridgman) to their own chores.(back of photo) Credit: Bridgman Family.

Entertaining a group from the famine camp just before they broke up camp & went back (C.A. Bridgman) to their own chores.(back of photo) Credit: Bridgman Family.

Picnic on the lawn of the missionary from the famine relief camp, [1937] Credit: Bridgman Family.

Picnic on the lawn of the missionary from the famine relief camp, [1937] Credit: Bridgman Family.

Miss Holt and Miss Rouse & the 6 Chinese children who were in the famine camp (1936 last year) & Some of the babies from the famine relief camp Credit: Bridgman Family.

Miss Holt and Miss Rouse & the 6 Chinese children who were in the famine camp (1936 last year) & Some of the babies from the famine relief camp Credit: Bridgman Family.

Miss Holt and Miss Rouse & the 6 Chinese children who were in the famine camp (1936 last year) & Some of the babies from the famine relief camp Credit: Bridgman Family.

Miss Holt and Miss Rouse & the 6 Chinese children who were in the famine camp (1936 last year) & Some of the babies from the famine relief camp Credit: Bridgman Family.

Famine Camp Sufferers, [ca. 1937]. Credit: Bridgman Family.

Famine Camp Sufferers, [ca. 1937]. Credit: Bridgman Family.

Dr. Kilborn account of Medical Work in Chentu, September 1897 http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.8_05961_17

"Appendix 4: Good Investments" from Kilborn, Heal the Sick