Heartview Chaplain Returns from Mission Trip
Posted 1/13/12 (Fri)
Greg Runyon, pastor of Bismarck/Mandan’s Antioch Centre and Heartview’s chaplain, returned on November 8th from a 20-day mission trip to Thailand and Nepal. Since his first mission trip in 1985, Pastor Runyon has been to 19 different nations.
The purpose of the trip was to train national Christian leaders in the two countries. “These were the church leaders from the villages,” Pastor Runyon explains. “They are the ones who are willing to do the hard work, if somebody shows them how. Some of the village leaders were literally weak when they arrived,” says Runyon. “They traveled many miles on foot to attend. In all, approximately 50 leaders attended Pastor Runyon’s training series, which covered Biblical principles, church leadership practices, and general encouragement.
According to Pastor Runyon, alcoholism and drug abuse is rampant in Thailand and Nepal, along with many Southeast Asian countries. There is minimal treatment available. “I visited one program run by monks,” says Pastor Runyon. The people needing help knelt on mats on a concrete floor with a hole in the middle. They were given herbal detox drinks and in about 90 seconds, they began projectile vomiting. After that, they went to another room to recover. The program included no counseling or spirituality – just this old tribal remedy.”
Pastor Runyon often shares his stories with the patients he sees at Heartview. “I was born to do mission work. Everybody has to find their purpose.
I try to help our patients find out who they are and understand their purpose. We talk about core values, life experiences and motivational gifts. Where these three areas overlap...that’s key to defining who we are.”
Beginning with his first mission trip in 1985 when he lived in the jungles of Southeast Asia, Pastor Runyon is living out his passion. He also spent time in Singapore and in the Philippines before returning to the US to pastor churches. He continues to return overseas once or twice per year – sometimes alone and sometimes with a team. “You are never the same after you’ve been on one of these trips,” he shares. “It brings a new and bigger world view.”
Pastor Greg Runyon accepts the gift of an official Nepali hat from a conference attendee.
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