Our MISSION to heal, teach and SERVE those in need in a Christ-like manner translates our VISION: Christ-centered healthcare teams proclaiming God’s love to all the world through healing and teaching into tangible and measurable outcomes.
Service means more to us than what healthcare workers do for individuals and for communities.
Christianity teaches that humans possess something of the image of God and are His representatives on earth.
Jesus Christ teaches that the poor embody Him (Matt 25: 34-36) to the extent that kindness to the poor is kindness to Him and gifts to them are a loan to God.
Jacob Sarug circa 451- 521 restates the idea of the embodiment of God in needy people in this way:
“The soul does not have anywhere to sow justice if the poor not are serving as the soil (on which) to sow”….“You sow here on the land of poverty and your seed is placed in the hands of the Lord, according to His promise. (In the case of) the person who gives to the poor when he asks, it is to God himself that this person lends, as it is written (Sirach 35: 11-12)1
Some of the earliest theologians like Basil bishop of Caesarea circa 360 had laid foundations for beneficence through the care of the underprivileged and diseased. Speaking to “disciples of God”, Basil saw coming alongside the needy for their good with one’s resources as a personal daily discipline. He advises that the disciple:
“Train himself daily in the perfect commandment itself –not neglecting the one in need but assisting the needy one from his possessions lest they fail utterly to obey the Savoir”2 .
To serve in a Christ-like manner we acknowledge the image of God in every person regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, faith, lack thereof, or other distinguishing characteristic. We are free to heal and teach everyone not because of his or her needs, or even because of our resources, but because of their God given value. This belief infuses reverence into our service. We are servants of the Maker of the recipients of our good works.
Christ’s volunteerism is our benchmark. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…..No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down….”3.
Those who have participated in EMAS teams all over the world have reported how deeply satisfying it is to affect another life through acts of kindness and have the reward of gratitude from the served.
Hip replacement surgery is Service, we restore the proper functioning to what God values by replacing worn out parts; physiotherapy is maintenance of the same.
Providing mobility (transport service), for a child in Myanmar becomes a holy duty, similar to and as important as attendance to other religious duties commonly performed at Sunday services. These are our sacred works consecrated through prayer, months before and during their actual execution.
Training doctors for Haiti and D R Congo, and nurses for Cambodia will bring health to thousands perhaps millions for years to come. If done by Basil’s disciples of God who practice “the perfect commandment’” while on their own way to becoming perfect, one can understand why Paula Fuller says “ we are God’s chosen strategy for the world”4
Being perfect or mature is to imitate Jesus.5
We begin 2020 with these twelve opportunities for service:
- Teaching at School of Nursing in Cambodia.
- Teaching at Medical Universities in China
- Teaching at Medical University in Cambodia
- Healthcare in rural Haiti
- Healthcare in urban and peri-urban Haiti
- Training traditional birth attendants in Haiti (requires French or Creole)
- Healthcare in rural Zimbabwe
- Dental Care in rural Zimbabwe
- Dental Care in Mexico peri-urban (Pediatric)
- Healthcare and Dentistry in Uganda
- Medical Education in India (ongoing from 2015)
- Teaching at Medical Universities in DR Congo(requires French)
To learn more about these opportunities contact me, here.
1 Jacob of Sarug Homily on Love of the Poor (ed. Bedjan II, 828-34), extract unpublished translation by Sebastian Brock
2 Holman, Susan R., et al. “De Beneficentia: A Homily on Social Action Attributed to Basil of Caesarea.” Vigiliae Christianae, vol. 66, no. 5, 2012, pp. 457–481. Accessed 14 Jan. 2020
3 John 10:11,18, & John 15:13
4 Paula Fuller. Participating in God’s Mission. Quoted from “ The Kingdom Life” Navpress 2010 p.195
5 John 13:12-17 & Ephesians 5:22
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.