Smiling children

"Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom, which he promised to those who love him? " - James 2:5

It is such a common idea for those that are involved in ministry to say how they had "received so much more than they ever gave."  This was certainly the case this year, and James even points to one of the mysteries as to why this is true.  The powerhouses of faith are so often found in places with limited resources.  These leaders in God's Kingdom are the ones responsible for so much of the amazing things you will read below.
Life From a Father's Death
Mugwa (left) with his friend, Moses
Mugwa is a 10 year old boy who lives in Rugerero Village in Rwanda.  The Sustainable Med team was able to meet Mugwa and his father during their recent trip to Rwanda.  His father was suffering from the advanced stages of Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis), a parasite that infects over 250 million people in the world each year.  Unfortunately, the years of damage had left his liver so scarred and swollen that it was beyond the care of modern medicine.  

Sadly, we learned that Mugwa's father died one month after our departure due to internal bleeding from complications of this disease.  While Mugwa was deeply saddened by the loss of his dad, his death was not in vain.  Mugwa had learned about Bilharzia at his local church, which had partnered with Sustainable Med.  His culture taught him that if water was moving it was clean.  But, he had learned that the river water his family had been using was infected with the Bilharzia and several other parasites.  Now, if someone offers him a drink or food made with the water from the river, he will not consume it.  He tells them, "I do not want to have my belly burst like my father."  He also shares this knowledge with his friends in the community to protect them from his father's fate as well as teach them the truth about this disease that is not caused by witchcraft as many often believe.

Invest in a life like Mugwa's
Highlights and Lesson Learned 2016
baptism and jiggers
Highlights from 2016
It is amazing how God worked through you   to make all of this possible
  • 49,122 children, women, and men freed from Neglected Tropical Diseases and given the hope found in the Gospel.  (And this is just from the five sites receiving grants.  Many thousands more were helped by the other conference participants and partners).
  • 142 current and future medical and church leaders trained across 3 continents: Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda), Europe (Ukraine), and Asia (Nepal, India)
  • 3 medical school scholarships given to future leaders studying in Kenya, Uganda, and Ukraine
  • 5 sites throughout Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda received the first program grants from Sustainable Med to create permanent pathways for health and healing based on their own applications of the Sustainable Med teachings, like Zero in on Zero.
  • Emmanuel Ndolimana, from Rwanda, joined as the African Director for Sustainable Med to provide direct support, networks and relationships needed for our partners to carry out the plans they designed from their training with Sustainable Med.
  • Over 100 donors and 300 other supporters joined us just as you have to make all of this possible.
Lessons learned from 2015
God continues to move and guide us through experiences and your insights
  • Do not underestimate God.  I know this sounds obvious and a bit overused, but we were blown away by so many things God did through our work together.  For example, we should have anticipated this, but we were shocked when our African Director told us the biggest issue we are facing in 2016: "Where to put all the people that are being saved?  The local churches connected with Sustainable Med are running out of room."
  • Strong local leadership provides exponential, not incremental, returns and outcomes.  Locations with this in place outperformed all others by a huge measure.
  • Satan has tried to convince many in Africa that they are not able to deal with problems in their community and that help must come from western nations or people.  Yet, this lie is being exposed, and incredible new solutions and innovations are emerging.
  • Solar panels, solar generators, battery powered projectors, business class laptops and 4G LTE modems are very powerful and essential tools for this ministry.
  • Yet, some of the best solutions to solve problems for the communities are also very inexpensive and low tech such as creating clean water with simple sand and charcoal filters and then placing the filtered water in clear containers in the sun for at least 12 hours.
  • Check and see if anyone is boiling potatoes in the hot spring before you touch it.  If they are, do not put your bare skin in it.
ukraine and latrines
Crossing the Great Divide
Emmanuel speaking to the high school students at Hope Church
We mentioned in the previous newsletter our desire to see if this ministry could  really be different.  Could we establish real relationships with those that have partnered with Sustainable Med?  Would it be possible for those from other nations with less financial resources to bless those in the US?

Emmanuel and Esperance (Hope) crossed the great divide of the Atlantic Ocean to come and bless those in the US with the story of God's amazing work in their lives.  They did not seek any support.  They just came to minister to those in this nation, which often sends so many missionaries and resources to Africa.  CHCA, Crossroads, Hope Church, Montgomery Community Church, and Urbancrest Baptist all opened their doors, and God used this to touch so many lives with the story of His love and forgiveness.  

Watch Emmanuel's story given at Montgomery Community Church ( click on sermon for Nov 15.  His story starts at the 30:45 mark)
November 3rd Celebration
2015 Fundraiser
What an event!  I know that all who went agreed that God moved in a special way that night.  The food and fellowship were incredible on that warm fall evening, but it was the presence of the Holy Spirit and witnessing God's Kingdom come to life in new and special ways that really made an impact.  

We were also blessed to have Emmanuel and his wife, Esperance (Hope), fly in from Rwanda to join us as well.  They shared about the amazing story of pain and forgiveness that God had weaved in their lives.  And, they shared of the great hope that is sweeping across their community as they partner with you and Sustainable Med.  

While the real power is the hearts and souls of people, we were blown away by the response of those attending.  Nearly 100 attended that night and so far 94% made a commitment to support the ministry of Sustainable Med and raised an incredible $68,152!

Special Thanks
It is always a team effort to do any events like these, but we wanted to extend an extra level of gratitude to a few unique individuals:
  • Matt & Shellie Byers who graciously donated the use of their amazing event space at STIR once again
  • Kathy Eten for helping coordinate the event as well as supplying the incredible desserts.
  • Garnish Catering for their outstanding food and service
  • Carol Snyder and Erin Murray for taking care of so many of the countless details from name tags to printing to set up and so much more.
Join in the Story
This story begins with you.  There is nothing we have done or will do without the support, love and prayers of those who want to invest in the global community of God's Kingdom.  You have made and will continue to make a permanent mark on history.

Raised as of December 14, 2015 - $213,505  (2015 Budget - $243,000)
2016 Script (Plans)
  • 3 conferences: India/Nepal, Rwanda, and Ukraine
  • Full deployment and equipping of Emmanuel as African Director
  • Increase program grants to $40,000
  • Increase scholarships to $6,000


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 - 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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