Q: I'm an Adventist and am finishing my translation studies major at UNASP-EC (Adventist University of Sao Paulo, Brazil). While reading the book "Christian Service," I felt God’s call to become a missionary doctor. I want so much to take medicine at an Adventist university, but I don’t have the resources. Is there some way that the General Conference could help me? I want to work the rest of my life as a missionary doctor wherever God calls, helping people not just physically, but mentally and above all, spiritually. — Merlin, Brazil
A: Merlin, it’s wonderful that you want to serve God as a medical missionary! There is such a need for dedicated, compassionate, energetic, trained workers in this field.
While the General Conference (GC) doesn’t provide financial aid for students, we do offer — in partnership with Loma Linda University — the Deferred Mission Appointee (DMA) program.
A DMA is a medical or dental student at Loma Linda University who is willing to accept a mission appointment in exchange for amortization of student debt over the span of mission service.
This allows medical and dental students committed to overseas mission service to pursue their professional education with financial stability, knowing that their student loans will be repaid as they are serving in the mission field.
In addition, if accepted into the program, DMAs will be given a Loma Linda University-sponsored stipend to cover room, board, and personal costs, as early as the start of their sophomore year.
After a DMA completes dental school or medical residency, they are placed in one of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's many health care facilities worldwide.
For more information about the Deferred Mission Appointee Program, visit http://bit.ly/DMAprogram.
For those students who are not going to attend Loma Linda University, you may wish to check with your division's Secretariat or division's Health Ministries department to find out if there are any provisions made for assistance in exchange for future work commitments. If the Lord wants you as a medical missionary, He will help you find a way to accomplish your goal to follow in the steps of the Master Physician.