Summer/Fall 2015

"But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found." - Luke 15:32

So many people assume that if they do not do anything that someone else will take care of things.  While we serve a mighty God who controls everything, He invites us to be a part of the process.  Sadly, there are few people that give to support God's work internationally.  According to research done by Global Impact as well as Giving USA, we know that only 4-6% of the money raised in the US goes beyond our borders.  However, you can be a part of that exception.  Read on to learn how the local leaders are transforming their communities with the resources you helped provide through Sustainable Med.
Celebrations and Observations in Africa
Our team was blessed to connect with many of the local leaders who are working hard to change their communities since our last conference in Africa.  Here are  few of their amazing stories that we heard during our time with them:

The medical center team, led by Dr. Stephen Mwatha, has been working in conjunction with the Interdenominational Pastors Coalition (19 senior  pastors overseeing 98 churches) and the community health workers  to lead the flight against Neglected Tropical Diseases in Tawa, Kenya .  Together, they constructed massive pit latrines  in two of the local schools to help eliminate intestinal worms by preventing the exposure to the eggs of the worms as they are passed through the stool of infected individuals.
Foot infested with Jiggers
No jiggers
Child's foot free from Jiggers
While this effort and many others were impressive, the most powerful story came from a village in the mountains outside of Tawa.  Hundreds of school children here were ravaged by Jiggers, a sand flea that burrows into the skin that leads to social isolation from those "cursed" with this parasite as well as pain and disfigurements when left untreated.  The coalition team designed a plan using the skills and resources available locally and others provided through partnership with Sustainable Med.  In two months, all of the hundreds of children were free from Jiggers except for one family that needed some additional intervention.  Watch and listen to the children sing their victory song. (Note: what sounds like "Conga" in the song is "conquer")
Victory Song
Victory Song
Friends and family
Life.  That is the one word that stands out from our time in Rwanda.  The country is infamous for the genocide in 1994, but God has given such beauty and opportunity to this nation that is being redefined by reconciliation and not war.  The bonds of family and friends grow strong here, and they serve as the backbone for the holistic healing and community living that is ridding entire villages of both hopelessness and disease.
Proud homeowner
The picture above of this proud widow and homeowner with her new latrine is the result of relationships.  Dr. Wasswa knows well her community in Mpigi, Uganda, and thus she understands how and where to make the biggest impacts in their fight to rid the community of intestinal worms through the grant she received from Sustainable Med.

We were also encouraged by the partnerships in Kyankanwanzi between the medical team and the local parish.  In addition, we were blown away by the incredible need in Maracha where over 500 people endured blistering heat in hopes to receive the Word of God as well as medical attention from Ricky Reward and his team.
Sustainable Med Conferences
We had been encouraged by the conferences in 2014 in Kenya and Uganda, but we left excited after the conferences in 2015.  They were all highly conversational and filled with excellent comments and examples.  The material just came alive.  We conducted an advanced conference for about 30 people each in Kenya and Uganda to further equip those who attended last year.  In Rwanda, we extended our introductory conference an extra day to allow for translation.  Yet, the language barrier seemed to melt away for the over 40 participants who not only listened but quickly created solutions for their communities to eradicate those neglected diseases holding their neighbors in poverty and despair.  They plan to use this as a platform to share the love and good news of Jesus in real and tangible ways.  
Special Thanks
Pastor Biswa
We were honored to be joined in Rwanda by one of the top leaders in northern India,  Pastor Biswa .  We are excited to see what doors God will open with the man who quickly attracts so many people with his genuine love and compassion.  
Also, thank you to Burnham Ministries International, who introduced us to Pastor Biswa.
Team pic
We could not have done this without an incredible team.  Thank you all.  
US Based Team:  Alex Levit, Selin Mariadhas, Kathy & Kurt Schibler, Carol & Mark Snyder, David Snyder, Brian Waltz
Africa Based Team:  David & Prim Mayengo, Stephen & Anitah Mwatha, Emmanuel & Esperance Ndolimana
We are always seeking to improve our material and add elements that are requested from those participating in the conferences.  Thanks to Jamie Easterling, Kathy Eten, and Tara Browne, we were able to add a module on leadership styles and approaches.  Little training is available throughout many parts of Africa on this topic.
Donor Spotlight
The Impact of Monthly Giving
Like most nonprofits in the United States, most of our giving comes in annual gifts and our largest gifts come through this method.  While there are nearly 100 people who now financially support this ministry, there is one group that is making a special impact... the monthly donors .  This group contributes an incredible 11% of our annual budget.  Not only are these gifts a huge emotional lift during the lean season of giving, but they provide sustained support that is crucial during the times in the middle of the year when we are putting on our conferences and giving out grant funds.  

A special salute to these monthly donors:
  • Brian & Kate Fey
  • Fred & Mary Gjondla
  • Hope Church
  • Daniel & Alice Ross
  • Jonathan & Jessica Snyder
  • David & Jen Snyder
  • Urbancrest Baptist Church
The group is small now, but their impact is tremendous.   Join them in making a sustained and substantial impact.

Raised as of October 1, 2015 - $125,531  (2015 Budget - $243,000)
Nov 11 event
Thank you to so many of you that made our first annual event such a success in 2014.   You raised over $40,000.  This year, we have more supporters and we hope you will bring a few of your friends so that we can raise $80,000 to go towards the program grants for the local leaders and scholarship for future medical professionals in these nations.  

Free to attend and free parking available at STIR and the Montgomery Public Parking lot immediately adjoining the property.
What do these four churches have in common?
Thriving churches that love Jesus and are impacting their community?  True, but they are also the first four churches to be a part of the reciprocal element of Sustainable Med.  We have known from the start that we could bring knowledge and resources to impact the Kingdom of God in financially poor communities, but we also knew that God is doing a powerful work in the communities we were reaching.  God is impacting these people in ways not seen in the US or western Europe.  So, we are bringing key leaders over each year to share some of what God has done and is doing in their part of Africa, Asia or South America.  These are not fundraising efforts ( see above for that event).  This is about blessing the Body of Christ here in the US.  
This year, Emmanuel and his wife, Esperance, will be sharing in various ways with each of these church communities in whatever ways best advance what God is doing in that church.  Some interactions will be live while others will be taped.   Look out for these messages in the coming months.  
What else can I do to get involved?
Whether you have limited abilities to give financially or if you have given and are looking for others ways to connect deeper with this ministry, God can use you in powerful ways!
  • Pray - prayer always changes things.  Join our prayer team.
  • Volunteer - social media, administrative, curriculum development, and more for as little as a couple of hours.
  • Network - Emmanuel needs an entire ecosystem of resources as he begins his role.  Key areas include: water/sanitation, power, construction, agriculture, grant writing, and medicine
  • Mentor - dozens of medical students in Ukraine as well as currently practicing medical professionals in Africa and Nepal are looking for mentors to guide them in their development.  Size of the group and time is based around your preferences.  Sign up
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