May 16, 2024

Our Ultimate Healer

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Show Notes

Samaritan’s Purse has numerous medical ministries—from providing cataract surgery to operating a hospital in the midst of a war zone. Through each project, medical staff are reminded that God is our ultimate healer. He can heal physically and, more importantly, spiritually. Our skilled medical personnel do what's possible, but God does the impossible.

First, Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse takes listeners to some of the most remote places on Earth where our cleft lip and cataract teams are changing lives. Bethany Densham, program manager, grew up on the mission field and discovered a passion for medicine and ministry at a young age. Kristy asked her to share stories from her recent trip to South Sudan where the team completed 397 cataract surgeries in less than a week. These patients often travel from far and wide carrying with them the hope that this surgery will restore their eyesight. On the final night of the trip, Bethany felt prompted to pray for patients who were still journeying to the clinic.

“The night before our last day of surgery, I woke up probably about three or four in the morning. And I just had this huge burden to pray for those patients that were traveling so far, that they would make it in time because I thought, how discouraging that would be if you turned up the day after the team left.”—Bethany Densham

On the final day of the trip, a patient in the operating room began shaking violently. Bethany and her team checked to ensure there was nothing physically wrong with her. Then, they began praying. This eventually calmed her down, and she was able to lie still for surgery. Bethany reminds listeners that there is a spiritual realm with activities occuring at the same time as actions are taking place in the realm we can see with our eyes.

Peter Holz, an emergency medical response specialist in our international health unit, has served on many Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs). He joined the DART roster when a colleague that he was serving alongside at a clinic in Guatemala encouraged him to apply. Since then, the Lord has transformed how Peter uses his gifts and passion. On countless deployments all over the world, Peter continually witnesses how the Lord equips him and his team to share God's love with people who are at their lowest.

God puts desires in our spirits, like Peter’s desire for adventure. Prior to being a part of DART, Peter sought his adventure in mountain biking or travel. It took time for Peter to realize that he should lean into the desires God put in him, and now, he is doing something he is proud of for God.

“And once you just say, ‘Yes, Lord,’ it's amazing how exciting life can get.”—Peter Holz

Dr. Bob Spencer is a retired cardiologist, who practiced for more than 30 years in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. He has worked in many Samaritan’s Purse partner hospitals and also served on disaster responses. Kristy recently spoke to Dr. Bob when he called in from the field. Dr. Bob got his medical missions start when he met a cardiologist attending Prescription for Renewal, a world medical mission conference that is held each year. This cardiologist recruited him to go to Tenwek, a mission hospital in Kenya.

One night during rounds, Dr. Bob spoke with a patient who had been resuscitated from sudden death. This patient said that he saw bright lights and then it was really hot—he did not want to go back to that place. From then on, Dr. Bob viewed his job differently. It was not only his role to address the physical, but the spiritual as well.

“It really impressed upon me about how important it is to go back to those patients. If the Holy Spirit is calling me to say, don't just meet their physical needs, meet their spiritual needs, to turn around and go back then and have that conversation.”—Dr. Bob Spencer

Pray for Samaritan’s Purse medical staff and volunteers faithfully serving all around the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to prompt them to meet spiritual needs in the midst of meeting physical needs. If you’d like to keep up to date with more stories from On the Ground, please visit