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2004 Conversations


2003 Conversations


Joy Williams: Rooted in Grace (December 29, 2002)

Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)

Ralph Carmichael: New music for a timeless message (December 15, 2002)

Roger and Greg Flessing: Media, ministry and society's ungodly messages (December 8, 2002)

Rick Salvato: Meeting medical and spiritual needs around the world (November 24, 2002)

Asa Hutchinson: Drug Enforcement's top officer (November 17, 2002)

Bill Bright: 'Not I, but Christ' (November 10, 2002)

Ray Berryhill: Living by faith (October 20, 2002)

Owen C. Carr: Reading through the Bible 92 times (October 13, 2002)

Curtis Harlow: Combating campus drinking (September 29, 2002)

Wes Bartel: Making Sunday count (September 22, 2002)

M. Wayne Benson: The Holy Spirit knocks (September 15, 2002)

Dr. Richard Dobbins: Understanding Suffering (September 8, 2002)

K.R. Mele: Halloween evangelism (August 25, 2002)

Roland Blount: God makes a way for blind missionary (August 18, 2002)

Cal Thomas: Finding a mission field (August 11, 2002)

Lisa Ryan: For such a time as this (July 28, 2002)

Dallas Holm: Faith and prayer in life’s toughest times (July 21, 2002)

Paul Drost: Intentional church planting (July 14, 2002)

James M. Inhofe: Serving Christ in the Senate (June 30, 2002)

Karen Kingsbury: The Write stuff (June 23, 2002)

Michael W. Smith: Worship is how you live each day (June 16, 2002)

Wayne Stayskal: On the drawing board (June 9, 2002)

Fory VandenEinde: Anyone can minister (May 26, 2002)

Thomas E. Trask: Pentecost Sunday (May 19, 2002)

Stormie Omartian: Recovering from an abusive childhood (May 12, 2002)

Luis Carrera: Beyond the Shame (April 28, 2002)

Tom Greene: The church of today (April 21, 2002)

Philip Bongiorno: Wisdom for a younger generation (April 14, 2002)

Deborah M. Gill: Christian education and discipleship (March 24, 2002)

Norma Champion: Becoming involved in politics (February 24, 2002)

Steve Pike: A candid discussion about Mormonism (February 10, 2002)

Raymond Berry: More to life than football (January 27, 2002)

Sanctity of Human Life roundtable: Doctors speak out (January 20, 2002)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: Ministering in the military (January 13, 2002)


2001 Conversations

 

Meeting medical and spiritual needs around the world

Physician Assistant Rick Salvato is a veteran member of the Assemblies of God’s HealthCare Ministries medical team. Prior to his ministry career, he played professional soccer with the New York Cosmos. He recently spoke with Scott Harrup, associate editor, about his involvement with HCM and that organization’s international impact.

PE: Was medicine a lifelong dream?

SALVATO: I’ve always had a desire to be in the medical field, particularly a desire to work overseas in disadvantaged areas. When I became a Christian, God refocused that desire to not only bring physical health but also spiritual healing to people. Shortly after I got saved, toward the end of my medical training, I visited some friends who were working in a clinic in West Africa. During that visit the Lord directed me toward medical missions. I joined the first HCM team in September 1986 for a two-week trip to Paraguay. I’ve been with HCM ever since, ministering in more than 170 countries.

PE: How did you come to the Lord?

SALVATO: It was a long process. My older brother, who now pastors a church in Pennsylvania, came to the Lord about a year before I did and was the most instrumental in sharing Christ with me. I had picked up a lot of the skepticism of the 60s and 70s against organized religion. Being scientifically minded, it was difficult for me to accept something on faith. But I realized that what the Bible said was reality and that God was faithful. I accepted Christ on July 6, 1976, and it’s been a great experience ever since.

PE: Describe your responsibilities with HealthCare Ministries.

SALVATO: I’m in charge of our Emergency Response program, responding to natural disasters, wars, famine or any kind of emergency situation overseas. I’m also very involved with our HIV/AIDS program as well as doing our regular short-term medical teams.

PE: Do any specific trips or people’s needs stand out?

SALVATO: Somalia was one of the most atrocious situations I’ve been in. People were starving to death in the midst of a war and no one was doing anything. But God was working in the midst of that. The refugee camps in Zaire and Tanzania following the holocaust in Rwanda also come to mind. It makes you wonder how people can survive without a relationship with the Lord.

PE: What difference does Christ make in those situations?

SALVATO: When you deal with people who have been kicked out of society and told all their lives that they don’t matter, and you see them encounter the reality of God, you see them realize for the first time that they have dignity and value. It is such a transformation. Regardless of their material circumstances they now have something that means so much more than anything else we could give them. To me, that’s what the gospel is all about.

PE: How are you involved in ministry in the U.S.?

SALVATO: My work with HealthCare is strictly overseas, but I’ve had the opportunity to serve with Convoy of Hope and other stateside ministries, and they are doing a tremendous job of helping people on the edge of poverty. When HealthCare was headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., my wife, Ana, and I started a ministry to migrant workers. That eventually became a church, El Calvario A/G.

PE: Anything else?

SALVATO: It’s hard to just tell someone about the world’s problems. But once you make a trip overseas and interact with people and sit and hear their life stories, it makes it real to you. I would encourage people to get overseas, or even here in the States to get out in areas where people are in need. Sit and interact with them and hear their cry. It will change you.

E-mail your comments to pe@ag.org.

 

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