‘Agape Number 12’ shares value of free clinic


Editor’s note: A group of caring volunteers have form the Agape Health Service free clinic on North Street with the mission of sharing the love of Christ by providing free health care to those without insurance. The clinic is just getting started, so far is only open once a month and has only been open a couple of months. With growth and more volunteers and contributions, the clinic is expected to provide more services.
As to whether the clinic will achieve that goal, read the comments below provided by one of the patients whose name, understandably, is not included:

“Realizing you need help is easier than mustering the courage to seek it. As a single woman with a part-time job and no insurance, it’s a difficult task to overcome pride and drop the self-sufficient act in order to admit you need help.
With their mission statement in mind, “To share the love of Christ by providing free healthcare to those without insurance,” I showed up at the new Agape Health Service Free clinic at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to see if they could indeed help me. My nerves were rattled, my fears overwhelming and with a deep breath and prayer I took my place in line.
My first clue that this was no ordinary “free clinic” was the basket on the porch full of waters and juices for anyone waiting that may be hot or thirsty. Who does that? Could these folks really care that much about our little group of need? I was anxious to find out.
Inside as I sat looking at my laminated card that read, “Agape 12” I started taking notice of the little things happening inside the clinic. Laura, who I took to be a volunteer like all others helping inside, was not only assisting people in the sign-up but offering more water and juice to anyone who needed it. She also took the time to stand before us all and recount the mission statement to ensure us that we would not be rushed out, that would be cared for, listened to and should we feel the need for prayer we would be welcomed to the back.
Eric, a young man fittingly wearing a power lifting champs T-shirt, was assisting in keeping everyone quenched of thirst and running errands in the clinic for other volunteers. The ladies behind the desk were all smiles as they greeted folks with questions and never once did any volunteer show a single inclination of wanting to be anywhere other than where they were, helping us.
The waiting room was full of diversity but the volunteers didn’t seem to notice that. A tattooed man and his family sat waiting while he and his son exchanged hugs between bouts of brotherly teasing. Another woman sat with her bible in tatters smiling at everyone and laughing heartily anytime a funny comment was made and another woman who reminded me of myself sat quietly, patiently waiting. I wondered if she too felt the pressure of past judgment and fear.
They came out and sat with us, chatted with us and laughed with us. As we went back one by one they cared about our problems, they understood our need and by the grace of God they took the time to help us.
I walked out that day with a new realization. We were all the same in the eyes of the Agape volunteers. Holding true to their mission, they did not see us as helpless or hopeless, they saw us as they saw themselves, made in His image and worthy of care and love. I am forever grateful to have experienced the blessing they have offered.
The clinic is open the second Saturday of each month. For more information visit www.apagehs.org.”