Core Value: Long-Term Solutions

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By John Payne, M.D.
Global CHE Network Representative Council Member

In the late 1980s villagers in central Zaire (now D. R. Congo) came to Medical Ambassadors missionaries asking if the missionaries would teach them how they could help themselves. They had seen missions come, do good things for people, and leave. When the missionaries left, all the good things left with them.

The Medical Ambassadors missionaries suggested a 2-point solution

  1. Local people needed to be in charge – to set their own priorities and to use their own resources.
  2. The Gospel needed to be preached—service to God would put the goals into focus and provide the power to achieve them.

The villagers liked the idea. They chose their leaders; the leaders chose the community goals– sanitation, water purification, and agricultural advancement. They chose volunteers and trained them to reach these goals, all the while sharing Jesus’ teaching of loving their neighbors as themselves. These volunteers then went hut to hut, spreading what they had learned. Within a year, the results were so evident – healthier children, cleaner streets, happier people – that neighboring villages started asking if they could be trained too. By 1997, the one village using the CHE strategy had become 56 thriving villages.

But could such growth be sustainable? Civil war broke out and all the missionaries were evacuated. For four years, Medical Ambassadors was without contact with these communities, aside from being able to send a small amount to money to the trainers. At the end of these four years Medical Ambassadors revisited to discover that 56 villages had become 113 villages using CHE strategy. Malnutrition and infant mortality rates had been cut in half. Bible study, prayer, evangelism, and church giving suggested the spiritual maturity of the new believers to be the best outside evaluators had ever seen.

Since CHE was introduced to this region, outside missionaries have since been sent elsewhere. Aside from small amounts of outside funding, the locals of central Zaire have been equipped to find and sustain their own long-term solutions. Today, nearly 700 villages in that area are proving the effectiveness and longevity of CHE strategy. This is the power of local leadership equipped with the remarkable strength of the Holy Spirit.


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Dr. John Payne is a physician who served in the field of family medicine for many years before becoming a missionary. Since 2005, he has worked with Medical Ambassadors International: first, as Regional Coordinator for in East Africa and now as President/CEO. John and his wife Madelle work hand-in-hand at Medical Ambassadors; their two children and four grandchildren serve the Lord in various ways across the world.

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Representative Council Posts: Dayo Obaweya


True Transformation in Africa

By Dayo Obaweya

“God has blessed Africa with an abundance of human and material resources.”

I have heard this rhetoric used all around me. Yet, we have not been able to utilize this abundance to bring about transformation. There seemed to be a disconnect between the  resources and the people. This inconsistency brought a swarm of questions that would lead me into a 25-year journey for understanding:

  • What resources does Africa have in common with the rest of the world? How does the rest of the world use its resources differently?
  • What about the beliefs and culture of my people could be responsible for this inconsistency?
  • How might God be leading us to create lasting change?

In my search for answers, I visited several communities to study what resources were available and how those resources were being used. I eventually discovered what I believe to be the root cause of the problem– a separation between the physical and spiritual ministry in most communities.

In the course of the search, God led me to CHE. When I went through CHE’s Training of Trainers, a veil was removed from my sight. This is the tool! I knew I was being called to bring CHE into my community. Immediately, my ministry partners and I began to mobilize people of all kinds to engage their own communities. We engaged not only churches and individuals of influence, but also reached out to marginalized groups like children,  women, and impoverished individuals. Soon, the CHE vision spread surrounding communities.

A recent visit from a partner church in the US helps show how far God has brought our ministry in these communities. Here are some highlights from this trip:

  • The team spent several days with the orphans at City of Refuge Ministries, enjoying arts, games, sports, and bible studies with themuntitled
  • In Avehime, 270 children came to our first Children’s Camp—almost 3 times as many as we expected! Team members led them in both spiritual and physical lessons—from Bible stories and memorization to fitness and music lessons.
  • Many of the mothers of these children were led through Women’s Cycle of Life training and were taught some basics of business and accounting.
  • In Kotokor, the team led our interns in lessons about health, sewing, carpentry, and cooking. Moreover, they were taught the importance of living a celibate lifestyle until marriage—this is especially unusual in an area with a 95% teen pregnancy rate.

Through steps like these, our communities began to see true transformation— our available resources were being used produce sustainable change and to build relationships with Jesus.



After being introduced to CHE in 1999, Dayo Obaweya has been working to implement wholistic ministry throughout West Africa. He currently is the Regional Coordinator of Medical Ambassadors International for West Africa.

Learn more about Dayo’s work and impact here.

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Core Value: Integration and Wholism

By Ron Seck

How incredibly wholistic the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is!

Community Health Evangelism seeks to minister to the whole person: body, soul and spirit. When CHE does so it follows in the work of Jesus, the Apostles, and God’s eternal resurrection

When Jesus entered into the world, Greek thought ruled the culture. To them, the body was the worthless, defiled cage that imprisoned the immortal spirit. To discard this wretched, sinful body at death was the great, final liberation of the spirit. For a pure spirit to return to a physical body after death would be utterly foolish. The only eternal thing was the spirit.

Jesus’ bodily resurrection turns this whole way of thinking upside down. For forty days after his death, he walked and spoke and ate with his followers. He invites a doubtful Thomas to reach out a hand and touch his wounds (John 20). His resurrection shows that salvation belongs to both the spirit and the body.

When the Apostles preached Jesus’ bodily resurrection, they were declared a wholistic salvation for those who put their trust in Christ. They preached with such spiritual power that thousands were being converted, day-by-day. But the same awesome power was also manifested in incredible physical ways. As Acts 4: 33-34 records, “God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.” We witness here the physical integrated with the spiritual: the Church’s ministry to the whole person.

Lastly, at the final resurrection our immortal souls will be reunited with our physical bodies and we will live forever in a new heaven and earth. The final chapters of Revelation offer a vision of completed spiritual reconciliation and physical restoration. How incredibly wholistic the redemption of our God is!

Integration and wholism are core values of CHE because of their prevalence through the whole New Testament. We preach the bodily resurrection of Jesus, God’s salvation of the whole person through faith in Christ, the wholistic Kingdom that is now and not yet. We minister to the whole person—to the spirit and to the body. And we do so in order that there be no needy persons among us.



Ron is a member of the Representative Council and is the Central European Coordinator for the Global CHE Network. 

He and his wife Jeannie work as the North American Baptist Field Directors for Hungary.
Visit Ron’s Blog to learn more about his ministry.


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Collaboration: The Next Frontier in Missions

By Terry Dalrymple

“The next great frontier in mission is collaboration.
Anything less is arrogance.”
Geordon Rendle, President, Youth For Christ International

We are living in a unique time in history in which we have the ability to connect, communicate, and collaborate globally in ways that were impossible in the past. This opens doors to ministry that are unique to our generation – opportunities that did not exist at any other time in history, but have been entrusted solely to us to steward for God’s glory.

Defining Collaboration

Collaboration can be hard to define. I find it helpful to think about collaboration in terms of different levels of joint action that are all part of the process of collaborating:

  • Networking: Exchanging ideas.
  • Coordination: Exchanging information and linking existing activities to achieve better outcomes.
  • Cooperation: Sharing resources in order to create something new or to achieve a broader impact.
  • Partnership: Working jointly to accomplish a shared vision and mission.

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For our purposes, we will define collaboration as “deliberately working together to accelerate the advance of the Gospel and to accomplish what no one of us could do alone”.

Benefits of Collaboration

Collaboration definitely takes energy and effort, time and resources. Before we will wholeheartedly invest in collaborative efforts, we must be convinced that it will produce a better result. We must answer the question, “Can we do more through collaboration than we can do alone?” Below are some demonstrable benefits of meaningful collaboration:

1.  Strengthening individual ministries and producing better outcomes through:

    1. Sharing information and ideas
    2. Avoiding duplication of effort (reinventing the wheel)
    3. Identifying best practices
    4. Learning from each others mistakes
    5. Sharing staff and expertise

2.  Achieving new things together:

    1. Accelerating work in a geographical area by coordination, cooperation, and partnership.
    2. Strengthening the credibility of our witness through expressions of unity.
    3. Exerting greater influence and mobilizing others to join the cause by speaking with one voice.
    4. Fostering creativity, gaining perspective, and creating joint solutions to achieve important outcomes.

Collaboration is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. In order for collaboration to have the intended result of strengthening our ministries and multiplying our impact, we must seek out collaboration with those who share our core values and a commitment to our cause.

Building Collaboration

How do I go about building meaningful collaboration? Here are some logical steps:

  1. Make yourself visible and promote your vision
  2. Connect with people who share your cause
  3. Exchange ideas and share information
  4. Discover what you can do together that you cannot do alone
  5. Form partnerships and take joint action

Applying what we have learned

If you are reading this blog, it is likely because you are a member of the Global CHE Network and are committed to the wholistic transformation of villages and slums worldwide.

Your Global CHE Network Service Team has been working hard behind the scenes to help facilitate meaningful collaboration between members. We have reached a milestone in that effort.

Early in 2015 we launched a new interactive website that provides opportunities for those who join to make  their ministries visible, connect with people who share their vision and core values, exchange ideas and share information, discover what we can do together, and take joint action.

The new site allows you to build a profile online, promote your ministries, build strategic partnerships, exchange ideas, explore opportunities, gather resources, and even offer your services to others.

Get started collaborating today!  Here is your direct link to the page on the web site where you can register and build a profile of your CHE work.

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Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly with God

The prophet Micah builds a case against Israel: “Hear, O mountains the LORD’S accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the LORD has a case against His people, He is lodging a charge against Israel.” (Micah 6:2). He speaks of the ruin they are about to bring upon themselves by their sin. Micah prophesied judgment against the people of Israel because of their idolatry (Micah 1), and against the rulers in Judah because of their injustice (Micah 2,3). Micah described the ultimate triumph of God’s mercy and compassion when Israel is purged of idolatry, peace and justice are restored, and the promises to Abraham are fulfilled (Micah 4,5; 6:18-20).

Micah asks and answers a simple and straightforward question:  “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). God expects those who walk with Him to do justice and love mercy.

How do we integrate justice and mercy with our faith and ministry in our world today? What role does the church play in bringing about justice for the oppressed and compassion for the sick and hungry? What specific actions can we take that will have the greatest impact? What can I do personally? As Christ followers, we want to explore these ideas in depth and search out practical ways to make justice and compassion an integral part of our walk and witness.

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The Great Commandment and the Great Commission

Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. He proclaimed forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in His name. He also brought good news to the poor, recovery of sight for the blind, freedom for prisoners, and release for the oppressed. Followers of Jesus cannot separate evangelism from social action, righteousness from justice, faith from repentance, or concern for the salvation of souls from concern for those who suffer.

Jesus commanded us to love God and our neighbor. This is the great commandment. He illustrated love for neighbor with the story of a man who overcame his fear and prejudice to save the life of a stranger who had been beaten and left for dead.  Jesus also commanded his followers to proclaim the good news of salvation through faith in Christ, and to make disciples of all nations. This is the great commission. Our responsibility is not to choose which of Jesus’ commands is most important, but to commit to obey everything Jesus commanded. 

If the tendency of the last generation of evangelicals was to neglect the great commandment to give priority to evangelism, this next generation might be tempted to neglect the great commission while giving priority to the great commandment. In today’s postmodern culture, it is perfectly acceptable to serve the community but religious views are, and must remain, a private and relative matter.

As the pendulum swings one way and then the other, our challenge is to hold to the middle, and make it our aim to be faithful to everything Jesus commanded.

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A Thanksgiving Blessing for those who Hurt

I was reading of Jesus walking on the water in the Gospel of John this morning, and my eye caught a phrase I hadn’t noticed before. John says “Then some boats for Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.” (John 6:23). The people’s recollection of the feeding of the five thousand was not that Jesus asked the Father to multiply the loaves and fishes, but that He gave thanks for the little bread they had before they ate. The people remembered the thanksgiving as the time of provision.  

Thanksgiving is an expression of trust. It not only looks backward to what God has done, but forward to what he will do. Gratitude recognizes God as the giver of every good gift, and rests with joy and peace knowing that his past gifts are proof of his present love as well as His future provision. When the good things in our life seem small and the problems look big, that is the time more than any other that we need to give thanks.

There are many who experience the Thanksgiving holiday with a great sense of loss,  grieving separation from loved ones through death or alienation or lacking the abundance that the day symbolizes.

Here’s the point: Jesus was experiencing life that way when He gave thanks and broke bread. Angry Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to kill him (John 5:16-18); his half brothers wished harm on him and were about to encourage him to go to Jerusalem where they knew the Jewish leaders laid wait (John 7:1-5); He did not have enough food to feed the crowd gathered at his table.

Still He gave thanks.

Jesus connects the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand to a promise when He says “I am the bread of life”. Jesus is our one essential for life and well-being. We will still struggle against the torrents of the storm that threatens to consume us, but we know that He can calm the storm and take us safely to shore.

The Lord’s supper is often called the Eucharist, a time for thanksgiving. It is a memorial to what Jesus, the bread of life, has done for us. It is a symbol of his presence with us, and a promise that we will eat with him at a table he is preparing for us in the new earth.

 Perhaps you find yourself where Jesus was today: rejected by those you love, lacking abundance of food, isolated, or hurting. This day is an opportunity for you to be like Jesus and give thanks for the little that you have. God will honor that trust, give you His presence, and walk with you into the future.

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