By: Whitney Knight
A new partnership between MACU, Butterfield Memorial Foundation and Crossings Community Church is helping give Pastoral Care students an unparalleled opportunity to minister to patients at charitable clinics. The partnership helps fund two to four paid internships a year at Crossings Community Clinic in Oklahoma City.
The clinic helps treat uninsured and otherwise underserved patients by offering medical, dental and vision healthcare. “Butterfield Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with MACU and Crossings Community Clinic to pilot an internship program to equip students with the necessary skills to provide spiritual care to patients in a Christian-based, charitable clinic setting,” said Dierdre McCool, Vice President of Butterfield Foundation.
During the course of their internships, MACU students will have the opportunity to visit with patients and family members as they come to receive care in the clinic. This includes listening to them, offering spiritual resources and providing encouragement and prayer. Students will also serve at the Crossings Community Center, which is located in the same facility.
“By the time our students have completed their Practicum courses, they’ve had the opportunity to care for people from all walks of life and learn how to navigate the hospital environment. Working in the clinics will give them the wonderful privilege of expanding their care in a similar environment, but one that is medical ministry focused,” said Ministry Professor Justin Key.
Students will not only get to continue caring for people but will also learn a model of ministry that they might get to replicate and implement in the future.
“Furthermore, the interaction and fellowship with administrative and medical staff who are of the same mindset as it relates to serving will be a significant blessing and contribution to their overall training,” Key said.
MACU student Savannah Balute is the first student to take part in the internship. She said that when Key brought her the opportunity to serve at Crossings Clinic through the Butterfield Foundation, she knew she had to take it. “Practicum has taught me that you do not need all the answers and fixes to people’s problems. Instead, it’s about trusting the Holy Spirit and His guidance,” Balute said. “I’m excited and honored to take this opportunity to reach even more people with God’s love.”
She said as a ministry major at a Christian university, it’s very easy to be in what she describes as a “Jesus bubble,” surrounded by other believers. Her time serving as a chaplain has challenged her and helped connect her with those who are from very different places, backgrounds and beliefs. “It has pushed me to be able to connect with different people, believers and unbelievers, and show all of them the love of Christ in different ways,” Balute said.
If you would like more information on how you can support this new effort, please contact University Advancement at 405- 692-3134. All checks directed to the Pastoral Care Scholarship will be added to this fund. You can also visit give.macu.edu to give online. Every dollar helps train a student to care!