By Sonya Campbell
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - Faith has been an integral part of the Body of Christ Community Clinic in Belton since its inception, according to Carolyn Insall, executive director.
She should know. She was part of the planning team before it was created.
"The clinic was started on faith by just planting the seed of our community's need by a small group of individuals," Insall said. "The Lord took it from there and started opening doors. We prayed for a facility for the clinic and God gave us Helping Hands Ministries in Belton.
"They had recently stepped out on faith and purchased an old Dollar General Store, which had lots of space to grow. They offered to lease the clinic 20 percent of the building on the back side. Designs were made, God opened the hearts and pocketbooks of the community to provide the funds to begin the construction, and the clinic was born.
"Every time there was a need, we prayed and God met that need. All furnishings, paint, flooring, decorations, equipment and initial supplies were donated. There was very little that we had to purchase to start operations," Insall said.
The clinic's doors opened June 10, 2010, with four operating medical rooms.
Within a month, it had two functional dental operatories and the staff began seeing dental patients.
As far as expansion, Insall said, "That is a God question, as He leads, we will follow. We have no space in our current building for physical expansion. We are, however, looking at the potential for offering different services, including diabetic education classes or other services possibly on a different night.
"We have a chiropractor who is interested in volunteering his services. We have been given optometry chairs and would like to offer eye care. For both of these, we are constrained by space."
Often asked what the clinic needs, Insall says operating funds.
She also noted, "We have a prayer closet that is in need of Bibles for our patients."
Body of Christ Community Clinic is a nonprofit organization and is supported by 13 churches from Belton and Salado, as well as a host of volunteers.
"We are funded by contributions of member churches who are asked to give a percent of their annual budget. We also receive contributions from individuals, businesses, organizations and corporations," Insall said.
"Each week, one of our member churches is responsible for bringing a light meal for the volunteers because most come straight from work. They also provide a devotion for the staff just before the evening clinic begins. The host church is encouraged to interact with our patients, to pray with them and be encouragers," she said.
In regards to the volunteers, she said their mission is to carry out the compassionate healing ministry of Christ by providing personalized, quality health services to the medically underserved of the greater Belton area.
Those they provide care for are the uninsured and under insured people in Belton and Salado.
Eligibility requirements include income below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Index Level, with no insurance coverage for the required services.
"We schedule 108 patients per four-night month. We sometimes go over this amount because of an urgent situation that needs immediate attention. Emergencies are sent to the local ER," Insall said.
Demand has grown since the clinic opened.
"The first night we opened we saw three medical patients, the following week we saw 10. Since then we see the maximum number we can handle for our hours of operation," she said. "We offer medical services, both acute and chronic needs, and dental services including fillings, extractions, and hopefully cleanings in the future. There are other areas in which we would like to expand, but are waiting on God to open those doors."
On average, about 20 volunteers assist patients at the clinic.
They include medical providers, dental providers, nurses, dental assistants, medical technologists, pharmacists, social workers, a translator and receptionists.
"The staff receives many blessings in seeing lives changed both medically and spiritually. Those coming through our doors will find a warm and loving spirit from the many wonderful volunteers who have such a deep love for those in our community with medical, dental and spiritual needs," Insall said.
Volunteer receptionist Barbara Roquemore of Salado thoroughly enjoys working at the clinic.
"I absolutely love it. It's fulfilling. It's rewarding. We are trying to meet the medical needs of others who are so less fortunate. At the clinic I know I am doing it unto the Lord as his servant and that's all the reward I need."
The clinic's dental director is Dr. Howard Lufburrow, owner of Salado Smiles.
He's been a volunteer at the clinic from the start. Asked why, he said, "Because of my faith and what I feel with my profession, I have a responsibility to give back. It's an opportunity to give back to the underserved in the community."
He hopes others will come forward and volunteer, as well.
"We really need registered dental assistants," Lufburrow said.
Orientation and training is required to become a volunteer.
For more information, go to www.bodyofchristclinic.org and complete the volunteer information form.
The clinic's hours of operation are 6 to 9 pm. Thursdays. Those needing an appointment can start calling at 3 p.m. Thursdays to schedule one.
The clinic is at 2210-B Holland Road.
For more information, call (254) 939-0305 or go to www.bodyofchristclinic.org.
Contact Sonya Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7585.