As a physical therapy (PT) student, I fully intended to graduate from school and work my way up the professional ladder. I imagined participating actively in our professional organization, working and gaining experiences in a variety of areas of PT, and eventually securing a leadership position within the field.
What I didn’t know is that God had other plans for sending me to PT school. Just a few months into my first job, I knew God had more for my life. Instead of hungering to learn more about therapy, I couldn’t get enough of Him. If there was a Bible study, church service, outreach, retreat, or anything else, I was there. Without intentionally thinking about it, one night I stood up at a meeting and proclaimed, “My purpose in life is to share the love of Christ with others.” I sat down wondering what just happened.
Missions seemed the direction, but doing what? Did it even involve physical therapy? I participated in and served in all kinds of mission trips and church roles, even considering nursing schools as most medical missions groups said PT was not needed on the mission field.
In July of 2005, I timidly stepped off a plane in Guatemala to help a missionary nurse train some of their local workers in basic PT skills to help children with disabilities in their area. Without any previous pediatrics or teaching experience, I managed to stay one step ahead of our students. The last day of our training, watching the staff work with these children and hearing the appreciation of the families who had been told there was no hope, I saw God’s purpose for me as a PT. This year we will celebrate our 10th anniversary in Guatemala.
I realized I could go serve as a PT in one country and serve a few people. It would be a good thing, but if I trained others I could multiply the work. Serving this basic need is a great way to share the love of Christ with others.
From these experiences and others, Therapy Clinics International (TCI) developed. TCI is a group of missions minded professionals crazy about partnering with people to change their communities. We make disciples of Jesus Christ by providing community based rehabilitation, mental health and Bible school training. We also host short term missions teams and host DPT students.
As an ordained minister with CMN, I have open doors with many pastors and other leaders. This allows me the opportunity to establish the Bible schools, participate in the graduation services, and even share at their church services. Through these relationships we develop connections for our physical therapy and mental health training. Today we serve in the DRC, Guatemala, Thailand, Uganda, and the USA. If you would like to know more about CMN, click here.
Jennifer Hoines, PT, DPT
Director/Founder/President, Therapy Clinics International