By the grace of God and undergirded by its supporters the HCFI will become a prayerful evangelical fellowship with trained people implementing Christ’s Great Commission within the Healthcare Field.
To prayerfully implement the Vision by encouraging member organizations and HCF staff members in their endeavour to:
- Evangelize, disciple and train healthcare staff
- Witness in word and deed to sick and dying people and their relatives
- Train, equip and disciple HCF staff members
- Communicate effectively with supporters
- Mobilize and train members of local churches
Put in other words, HCFI strives to inspire and equip Christians serving in healthcare to manifest Jesus Christ in their daily life and work.
The following strategic considerations form the basis for the existence of the HCFI:
- The ministry of Jesus Christ was directed to the whole man – spirit, soul and body. He commissioned His disciples to continue this ministry in His Name. Christian healthcare workers appropriately trained in evangelism and undergirded by a regimen of prayer are strategically placed to respond to the spiritual needs of their patients. Therefore Biblical Christian Healthcare is promoted by HCFI / HCF and cognizance is taken of major trends influencing the Health Fields.
- More people pass through the hospitals and other healthcare facilities of the world each year than through its churches. While in hospital people are often in a condition of mind and heart to more readily listen and respond to the Gospel message. Medical science also recognizes that the patient’s peace of mind may contribute greatly towards his physical recuperation. The HCFI / HCF ministry is therefore directed at Health Field staff, local churches and through these groups to patients and their relatives.
- In countries where churches are forcibly closed, hospitals are still indispensable and their doors are ever open. In peace-time or in war-time, the Body of Christ continues to function in these places of healing and refuge. The unique skills of Health Field professionals often open national borders that are normally closed to others.
- Health field believers, having responsibility and authority in their professional capacity, also need to accept spiritual responsibility for their place of work. They can then act in their God-given authority to actively seek the extension of God’s Kingdom there.
It was during the terminal illness of their father that Francis and Carl Grim recognized that patients have spiritual needs in addition to their physical and psychological needs. If healthcare staff were inspired and properly equipped, they could play a key role in ministering to all the needs of their patients.
On Christmas Eve 1936 their aged father passed into eternity, and they looked upon this period as the birth of Healthcare Christian Fellowship. It was an example of life out of death and subsequent joy for many around the world, born out of the sorrow of a broken-hearted family. Constrained by God, the first steps were taken for the formation of a Fellowship which was later to become a worldwide movement known as International Hospital Christian Fellowship – now known as Healthcare Christian Fellowship International.
Pioneering journeys to Europe, the Middle East and Africa were undertaken by the founder Francis Grim, from 1951 onwards, and then from the ’60’s, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States and Canada.
In the follow-up of this pioneering phase, international conferences became a regular feature, linking believers worldwide in a fellowship of prayer and care. Later, training centres were established for the ever growing number of nationals whose hearts were captured by the vision.
The Lord has blessed the ministry by spreading it to more than 80 countries around the world. The HCFI headquarters is based in Benoni, South Africa.
The Doctrinal Basis of the HCFI shall consist of the essential beliefs of Biblical Christianity, including
- The unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead;
- The person of our Lord Jesus Christ as very God and very Man, born of the virgin Mary, His real and sinless humanity, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven;
- The Divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Holy Scripture in all matters of faith and conduct;
- The guilt and depravity of human nature in consequence of the Fall;
- The substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His resurrection, as the only way of salvation from sin through repentance and faith;
- The necessity for the new birth by the Holy Spirit and His indwelling in the believer for sanctification and service;
- The personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the judgment to come for the just and for the unjust;
- The resurrection of the body and eternal life;
- Hell as a place of eternal punishment for all who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ;
- Heaven as a place of everlasting blessedness for all who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.
In brief, the HCFI places a strong emphasis upon the Deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement; regeneration by the Holy Spirit and His indwelling fullness in the believer for personal victory and fruitfulness; the supreme authority of the Scriptures and the importance of personal and group evangelism.