EMAS Canada is made up of, mostly, healthcare professionals who do life-long missions through long-term teams, but are unable to live overseas for extended periods of time.
Most EMAS teams begin as working groups exploring opportunities for service.
The Gambade Medical Clinic Project in Haiti has taken four years to develop three functional units into a team for medical education, evangelism, and construction. Starting in February, 2013 many hours were spent listening to village elders and opinion leaders, who prioritized their needs and donated land for the project. This was their long-term commitment to one another.
Over the past four years the project group has conducted multiple exploratory missions, prayerfully evaluating their observations and filtering these observations through the counsel of local health officials and experts. The project is gaining clearer definition with time. The group members progressively identified specific areas of specialized functions including design and construction of a clinic, the training of village Health Agents, and relevant ways of presenting the gospel.
Members have been added to the group with complimentary skills and gifts matching the needs.
The transformation from a working group—whose results were the sum of individual contributions—into a high-functioning long-term team whose output is greater than the sum of individual contributions is a long-lasting ongoing process. This requires long-term commitment to one another within the team and to our overseas partners.
The project’s motto “Forming Partnerships for Lasting Impact” speaks of an intention to stay for the long run; completing the building is foundational to our ongoing commitment to a lasting relationship with the people of Gambade. After training the village Health Agents, equipping and staffing the clinic, we will come alongside to provide supervision and ongoing training of local staff.
More Than Short-Term Missions
To make a lasting impact on the health of 20,000 people in rural Haiti requires more than can be achieved through short-term medical missions. This project is designed to respond to the year-long medical needs by upgrading the skills and knowledge of local health workers and providing a readily accessible base for their supervision, motivation, and the replenishment of supplies. Furthermore there are components to the project that will influence their health by improving agriculture, food security and hygiene, through health education.
EMAS has proven the value of long-term projects for education medical aid and service through short-term missions, but it takes an unswerving resolve to fulfill our mandate: to heal, teach and serve those in need in a Christ-like manner.
Our God has been faithful, our teams have been faithful stewards of what God has initiated. In Hebrews 3:1-6, we note in verse 4: “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”
Following the example of Christ, China West team, served for more than two decades to provide lasting healthcare resources in Ningxia.
The investment in strong relationships with our partners is crucial to achieving lasting impact and this takes time. Our overseas partners are most receptive when they know they can trust us. We make that possible by keeping our promises, sending the same people repeatedly to the same location.
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.