When Dr. David Warkentin, founder of Verve Wellness Center went to Africa on his first medical mission in 2015, he didn’t realize that it would become a specific passion. In his third medical mission to Africa, he is again instilled with how much love and hope there is in people who are possession-poor and often struggling with medical ailments.
Helping Those Who Have Great Medical Need
Those in Gambia needing medical attention often mobbed the group of 6 doctors and 6 support staff as soon as they left their bus to take a short walk into the clinic. Those who waited numbered in the hundreds. Some of the medical issues that the staff saw included waterborne illnesses (mostly treatable with antibiotics), burns and other injuries, thrush, ringworm, obstructed bowels, hernias, scoliosis, and skin infections. The medical mission arrived in Gambia with 1500 pounds of medical supplies and what was not utilized during the nearly two-week mission was left behind with a supervisor so the people could continue to benefit from it.
This mission was also a little more personal for Dr. Warkentin as he got to do some chiropractic work. “There was a lady who was scared to death to get adjusted… In the end, she gave me a testimony on camera,” says Dr. Warkentin. “For two years, she had gone to doctors in excruciating pain.” After the doctor did an adjustment to her middle back, her pain disappeared and the woman was thrilled. Much of the day-to-day hard, physical work and labor the Gabian poor do often causes back and neck pain, and sometimes even dislocations what can last for years. While there, Dr. Warkentin was able to put a man’s shoulders back into their sockets, instantly relieving pain and improving his range of motion dramatically.
Diplomacy and Acceptance
Dr. Warkentin was encouraged that the predominately Muslim people of Gambia were warm, polite, and accepting of assistance from those in the Christian-based medical mission. “The Muslims in these countries, for the most part, are extremely friendly,” says Dr. Warkentin. “Everybody gets along. Whereas some people in our country think Muslims are the anti-Christ. They’re not.” He does feel that the moderate Muslims should step up and say something to denounce Muslim extremists who maim and kill, but his own experience with Muslim people has been nothing short of positive.
Dr. Warkentin and the Lighthouse Medical Mission Staff with Gambian President, Adama Barrow and His Wife, Fatima Barrow
During the medical mission, Dr. Warkentin and his team were invited to visit with Gambian President, Adama Barrow and his family. The president and his wife were extremely grateful to the medical mission doctors and staff. One of the days, one of Barrow’s two wives came to the clinic outside of Bajul, Gambia to see first-hand the care being given to the country’s people. “We were the first U.S. delegation that had come to Gambia to help,” explains Dr. Warkentin. For a day before and at the end of his mission with Lighthouse Medical Missions, Dr. Warkentin was able to spend a bit of time relaxing on beach at Casa Blanca, Morocco.
Dr. Bob Hamilton of Santa Monica, CA founded Lighthouse Medical Missions 19 years ago. To date, the organization has completed 25 medical missions.
This summer, Dr. Warkentin will again travel with a medical mission to Kenya, and return in the fall to Uganda. Some areas are more dangerous than others, and the group does travel with security. But for Dr. Warkentin, his focus is on helping the poorest of the poor, who he helps every time he goes out on one of these often life-saving missions.
Verve Wellness Center has been an East Valley destination for those seeking expert and personalized medical care in a beautiful and upscale environment. In addition to chiropractic and massage treatments, patients will find doctors in family practice, internal medicine, interventional pain management, Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, general dental, cosmetic dental, oral surgery and endodontics and prosthodontics. In total, there are 14 doctors in various fields of healthcare and support staff, where “East meets West,” working in unison to better help the patients they treat.
Rounding out the Verve Wellness Center of services is a Class C surgical and pain center located on Broadway and Power in Mesa. Verve Wellness Center is located at 4824 E. Baseline Rd., #140, just west of Higley Road in Mesa. Visit www.vervewellnesscenter.com or call (480) 969-4040 for additional information or to schedule an appointment.