Greetings from all of us here at Medical Ambassadors International. May this New Year be one full of hope and God’s presence for you and your family.
We have a story from the Philippines of how in the face of adversity, CHE practitioners persisted to look for new avenues of hope, and how when one door closes, they continued to look for new doors to open.
There are many heroes in this story – the Pastor, his wife, and the community. Each of them was willing to think beyond what they were familiar with and explore other options. And the results? Please read the following story…
Cebu Island is a province of the Philippines. From the metropolis of Cebu City and the beaches of Mactan to the blue waters of Kawasan Falls, it is easy to see why Cebu Island is one of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations. Summer is the busiest and most awaited season of the year. Locals rely on summer tourism to sustain themselves financially.
When the COVID-19 lockdown hit Cebu Island in 2020 tourism came to a halt. Most of the community lost their jobs and source of income. One pastor of a local church, who practices Community Health Evangelism (CHE), had the opportunity to put into practice some of the principles they had been learning. For example, one of the CHE core values is local ownership. CHE teaches communities to identify and solve their own problems, rather than promote cycles of dependency due to outside aid.
The pastor shared that his wife had the idea to help people “find their daily bread” rather than sit back and wait on aid. It began when the church provided a small capital investment to a couple so they could start a fish business. They taught them to be diligent and resourceful. The couple set aside a portion of their profits and gave it to the church as their offering. The pastor shared, “We praise God because they are now learning to become good stewards of little things that God has entrusted them.” Their small business has begun to expand from a few kilos of fish every day into a volume of orders.
The pastor shared other stories about unceasing provision. He said, “During this crisis, people put their hope in the government and other rich personalities, but we put our hope in God. As the Psalmist says, ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ We are so grateful to God for His sustaining grace and rich generosity.”
The people in the community are beginning to marvel and have inquired about their faith. Others are now praising and following Jesus because they have experienced the love and goodness of God.
We are very grateful to you for all that you do in supporting our international ministry. Your regular support makes it possible for us to enable our field partners reach out to communities and countless people to receive saving faith in Christ Jesus through Holistic transformation. Such is the power of your partnership with us.
I Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” The challenge is that we are encouraged and persist even when available options seem to be running out. Nothing done for the Lord is ever in vain.
Let us persist with hope, and not miss walking through new doors that our Lord opens for us.