by Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — "When we began CURE, we thought we can't just take care of the physical, because we can get the child up and walking until the Lord calls them home, but if they're not spiritually ready, then we have not completed what God has called us to do," said Sally Harrison, who, with her husband Scott, founded CURE International.
CURE International specializes in helping disabled children with preventable and treatable birth defects and is intentional about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as part of its healing ministry. CURE hospitals have performed more than 128,000 life-changing surgeries. And last year, CURE staff led more than 12,000 people to faith in Christ.
The Harrisons visited Truett-McConnell's campus for the celebrative ceremony that named the college's World Missions Center for the couple, Aug. 29.
Accompanying the Harrisons were Keith and Pam Kelly, whose generous gift to TMC afforded the honor for the Harrisons. The Kellys recently joined the board of CURE, and Keith is a TMC trustee.
Truett-McConnell College President Dr. Emir Caner introduced the Harrisons, who related highlights of the spiritual journey that established CURE International.
A surgeon by profession, Scott Harrison has ministered in both government and mission supported hospitals, but observed little difference among them.
"I realized that, although mission hospitals have been spectacularly successful for 100 years, they are tragically underfunded now," said Scott, noting that CURE began "with the idea that fifty percent of everything had to be spiritual ministry."
In 1998, the Harrisons founded CURE International's first hospital in Kenya. The first two patients were teens. Both accepted the Lord and returned to their village to share the Gospel. Four months later, they returned to the hospital, hoping that someone would visit their village. That evangelistic excursion to into that village was CURE's first such Gospel outreach.
"I think that was God telling us, 'It's okay. You don't have to do that much. I'll take care of all of this for you,'" said Scott, who added that at the end the year, CURE had performed 985 operations and led 965 people to Christ.
Now, CURE International has 10 hospitals around the world. To date, the hospitals have treated 1.6 million patients, performed 128,000 surgeries, trained 5200 professionals, and led 122,000 people to Christ.
"It was a long journey. We started with a model that we felt was key for the world we live now," said Scott, who added that the organization is modeled as fifty percent spiritual and fifty percent medical.
"It sounds so artificial to say fifty percent spiritual [and] fifty percent medical," Scott said. "They are synergistic. Three-quarters of the miracles that Jesus did were healing miracles. There must be some synergy there or he wouldn't have done it that way. So we know we're following what in fact Christ would have us do, and the results seem to indicate that we need to keep doing that."
World Missions Center Director Ed Pruitt said that he was pleased that TMC was naming the center after the Harrisons who "realized God had a plan and purpose for their life."
"They followed that plan and purpose, and were faithful to it, and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ has been honored, exalted, and magnified globally by the hundreds of thousands," Pruitt said.
(L-R) Randy Manery, Dr. Emir and Hana Caner, Mrs. Sally and Dr. Harrison, Dale Branter, Pam and Keith Kelly