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Medical Missions: Community Health Evangelism

Bringing life-giving change by training local people to share health care and the gospel with their own communities.

Just imagine you lived in a place where there were no hospitals or clinics! Picture how helpless you would feel when your loved ones are sick. All over the world millions of people are living without access to health care. Most of these people are also living without knowing who Jesus is.

In these places, where physical needs and spiritual needs are so great, Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is an outreach ministry that can effectively address both physical and spiritual needs, and bring change.  In CHE (pronounced “chay’) people are trained to be CHE volunteers who visit their neighbours and pass on simple, but life-saving, messages of health, along with the simple but life-saving messages of the gospel. 

Chris and Nadia Low are Pioneers workers who live in Yida Refugee camp in South Sudan where over 50,000 displaced people live from many tribal and religious backgrounds. Nadia, a medical doctor from NSW, has started a CHE project in partnership with the Nuban refugee churches. She has trained over one hundred Community Health Workers and they are making a difference.

In December last year, I joined Nadia in Yida to help teach a five day CHE training for 40 people – church leaders from the refugee churches, pastors and community workers - with the goal of training more CHE trainers.  Despite the long hot dusty training days of forty degree heat, it was an immense privilege to pass on simple but profound new ideas, and see refugees eagerly interacting with the principles of CHE – community ownership, teaching not doing, prevention not cure, development not relief, servant leadership, multiplication, local resources, integrating physical and spiritual ministry.

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The stories of the impact of CHE in just one year were remarkable to hear!

Mary is a refugee. She loves Jesus. Mary has been trained to be a volunteer Community Health Evangelist. Every week Mary visits ten to fifteen homes in her neighbourhood, sits down with other women, drinks jebena (spicy coffee) or chai (spicy tea) and shares a health message. She also shares a Bible story. In six months she has led five women to the Lord and started two women’s’ discipleship groups!

One of the mothers that Mary visits shared how hard it used to be when her children got sick with diarrhea. She could only try to go to the clinic for help, but it was very hard. Then Mary visited her as a CHE volunteer, and showed her how to make Oral Rehydration Solution with some water, sugar and salt; she showed her how and when to give this to her children. Now, when her children get sick this mother can look after them better and they have not needed to go to the Clinic. She feels proud she has learnt how to care for her family better.  CHE has brought the women in the community together, so they are talking and learning together about healthy family life, and learning about Jesus.  Through CHE, people are coming to know Christ and coming into the church.

The great thing about CHE ministry is that anyone can do it – you don’t have to be a doctor or nurse! But doctors and nurses in mission also find CHE a really effective way to partner with communities that have tremendous physical and spiritual needs, training and discipling and bringing much needed practical care in the Name of Jesus.

'Jesus went through all the town and villages. He taught… He preached… He healed… He felt deep concern for all the people' (Matthew 9:35-36).


- Judy Fitzmaurice

If you would like to find out more CHE and how you can get involved short-term, mid-term or long-term, contact one of our Pioneers team here [x]

For more 'Medical Missions'  read here
[x]

18/02/2018 9:00:00 AM | 0 comments

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