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Marc with kids
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!""    - Isaiah 6:8

"The world has chosen to neglect our brothers and sisters.  Let us choose to do something different".  I love the line from the end of our Sustainable Med Intro Video.  What is even more incredible is how many doctors, pastors, nurses, and community leaders have answered that call from Isaiah.  "Here I am Lord.  Send me".  So many could easily leave their countries and find higher paying jobs in other nations.  Yet, they choose not only to serve their people but to go to the hard places that no one else will go.  They see the true identity of NTDs, which "are not neglected diseases, but diseases of neglected people."  But, they have chosen to love these people extravagantly while navigating narrow mountain trails or crossing flooded rivers.  Sustainable Med is not the hero, but God working through these leaders brings salvation for the body and soul.  
Save the Date:
Students Becoming Masters
Dr. Mwatha (top); Pastor Kioko (left); Dr. Julien (right)

The DNA and even name of this ministry is rooted in sustainability and replication.  It is this desire for things to thrive and flourish - not just survive.  Yet, any teacher or coach can tell you that it is both thrilling and uncertain when the student takes control.  These competing emotions swirled in our minds during the first two conferences conducted completely by the local leaders where we only observed.  One occurred in Vihiga, Kenya and the other in Gisenyi, Rwanda.  Yet, any anxiety quickly turned to joy and jubilation as these local medical and faith leaders frequently showed not only competency over the material but often mastery.  In fact, several of the presentations were better than we have ever heard from anyone on the subject materia l such as the presentation on Ascariasis (intestinal roundworms) done jointly by Pastor Etienne and Dr. Thierry.  It was wonderous to watch the collaboration and complementary approaches between many of these presenting medical professionals and pastors, just like they do in the field as they bring hope and health to their communities.  

Ghana conference
Ghana Conference 2017

Quotes from the Conferences
In addition to the conferences in Kenya and Rwanda, we were blessed to also visit Ghana and Zambia for the first time with the Sustainable Med team.  We were thrilled to have 34 medical and faith leaders at the Ghana conference from four different nations (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Ivory Coast), and we welcomed 23 medical and faith leaders at the Zambia conference from two nations (Zambia and Malawi).  Here is what a few of them said about their experiences:
  • "In my previous update, I shared the following prayer item, 'Please pray that God would continue to show us how we can keep our alumni engaged in advancing the gospel long term.' I am delighted to share that God is answering that prayer. On the 13th & 14th of July, the Navigators Zambia hosted a workshop in partnership with Sustainable Medical Missions, for medical professionals and Christian leaders. The turnout was great; 16 out of the 25 participants were Navigator alumni.  It was exciting to hear some of the participants share sustainable and biblical solutions to problems that plague our rural and poor communities--particularly Neglected Tropical Diseases that can be fatal but preventable as well as ... lack of clean water, and sanitation." (Mutinta Selinga, Zambia)
  • "It must be said that the conference in Ghana gave me a different way of seeing the world. It challenged me on many things. I remember when I left the university, I joined my first job was devoted to work and to serve my nation, my community. But with the lack of equipment of our clinics, we doctors witness helplessly the death of the sick. So I had resolved to reach the capital where I can practice being a doctor. But the conference in Ghana calls me to stay there and think to do something to improve the conditions of supported patients. It is the latter who most need us.  I confess that I fully endorse the vision of sustainable medical mission. I have already exchanged conversations with the pastor my church." (Dr. Palenfo Balifa, Burkina Faso, translated from French)
Zambia conference
Zambia conference 2017


Scaling Up
We are constantly amazed by the capabilities and dedication of those leaders connected with Sustainable Med.   Incredible stories are coming from our leaders at the Centers of Excellence.  Not only is training flowing from these sites, but they are attracting the attention of the major influencers in their regions.  The heart and mission is for the neglected, but these business and political leaders have the connections to help move things to larger scales in their communities.  One leader from Northeastern India, who was trained at Cambridge, excitedly told our Center of Excellence leader in India, "We were looking for something like this." 

Read below about what is flowing out the Centers of Excellence sites as they multiply throughout their communities.
India soccer
Reaching the lost through football
India is known for its famous Cricket teams, but football (soccer) is extremely popular in many regions as well.  The Center of Excellence site in Siliguri, India heard about the impact of this approach in Rwanda and replicated this in a rural community near them.  They hosted a two day soccer tournament for 16 local teams.  They had also had two stations for sharing both about preventing and treating NTDs as well as sharing the Good News of Jesus.  People from all different backgrounds attended this event, but they were able to provide the material in 6 different languages.  Their community was so enthusiastic about this that they begged them to do this again next year.  Wisely, they did request to add a tournament for women as well.

The Gospel in 6 different languages

Dr. Thierry
Multiplying in schools
Dr. Thierry (above) and Pastor Bertin have been faithfully working together in Goma, Congo through the Center of Excellence there.  Their faithful work recently attracted the attention of a local business man, Prosper Tuombe, who had a heart for serving the children in their community.  He had started a school, St. Paul, for students in 1st-6th grade.  However, he saw the work being done to address the health needs and spiritual needs by these Sustainable Med partners, and he felt it was a perfect fit for his school.  All of his staff there will be trained on our material, and they will be actively working to address NTDs and other neglected conditions in the over 300 students.  Their plan and hope is that the kids will educate their parents as well.

School in Congo
St. Paul school in Goma, Congo

On the Ridge of Accra
Young boy in Ghana with early Trachoma

On the ridge above the city of Accra, Ghana, we were able to witness something amazing when we were brought by our local partner, Sam Boateng, into a village.  First, we observed many local people working hard moving sand and other items to the back of the school where we saw them working together to build a pit latrine.  A grant from Sustainable Med had been used to buy what material could not be sourced locally, but the labor and much of the material was provided by the local people.  It was humbling to see them working hard in careful stewardship with the resources God had allowed us to provide. 

Second, we were allowed to meet some of the students as "friends of Pastor Sam".  As we greeted over 150 students in this small school, our gaze fell upon one student with a swollen eye from the early stages of the NTD, Trachoma (the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world)  The young man explained to us," my eyes are painful. I have a headache. I cannot sleep. I am sad." (translated from local language into English).  Yet, this experience reminded us of God's eyes for the one in the midst of the many.  He has such incredible love and attention for each and every child.  Thankfully, Pastor Sam and the local leaders were able to be God's hands and feet, and he is currently being treated (see above) in order to prevent the loss of his sight.  

Pit latrine
Pit latrine being built by the local people

Save the Date (Nov 7)
Stay tuned for more details and invitations to our 2017 event " Ignite".  It will be held at the Centennial Barn in Cincinnati, OH.  The food will be a selection of savory pies to start (and salad for our gluten free friends) and sweet pies for dessert from the famous and incredible "O Pie O". 
Join Us

(2017 Budget - $365,000)

What do your dollars support in our budget?
  • Program seed funds to local leaders
  • International training conferences 
  • Medical scholarships for the future leaders 
  • Centers of Excellence (support and replication sites) 
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 other 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 - Our India Director, Biswa 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 African nations, India, 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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