Annual Report

President’s Annual Report

For the past thirty-six years God has been quietly using Medical Ambassadors in his process of gradually changing individuals, families and communities. You and many people like you have been participants in this effort with God. I want to convey what he has been doing through you, so we can praise him together as a team. Here are some examples of what God has done.
This process of change has been quiet in many places where the Gospel of Jesus is not welcome. Because of your prayers for people in these hard places, the Holy Spirit is motivating many to change and protecting them when they do. Change often starts with health and “moral values” training for children. The changed lives of children make their parents more open to the work of God’s Spirit.
In some places, the effects of the Community Health Evangelism (CHE) strategy have been anything but quiet. Local television in the Congo carried the story of kids teaching their peers, and even their parents, how to wash their hands more effectively. Your contributions resulted in highly acclaimed disease prevention.

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In wonderful contrast to programs started by some other groups, MAI programs in Haiti made people feel more independent and more capable of carrying out their own plans. During the post-earthquake cholera epidemic, the Haitian Public Health Department recognized CHE as one of the most effective ways to limit the epidemic. Thank you for supporting empowerment in a place where there so much dependency.
Of course public health is only one benefit of CHE. That is because MAI defines “health” as harmony with God, harmony with your neighbors, harmony with yourself, and harmony with God’s creation, the environment. MAI trainers describe ways to create harmony, then listen to the priorities of local people. Their priority may be reducing their poverty, or their hunger, or their ability to read. I think you “get it” that focusing on people’s own goals is ultimately the most sustainable way to help them.
As you know, complete harmony must include harmony with God. MAI has found truths about God are communicated more effectively in stories than in outlines. In places that are resistant to using the Bible, people can be very open to “stories from the Holy Books.” And where people read with difficulty or not at all, stories beautifully communicate the spiritual realities that can change their lives. Discussion questions help people process and apply what they have heard.
You have shared our conviction that well-trained teams of national workers are the best people to reach their neighbors with God’s message of hope and change. Thank you for your support of that vision.
Because you have been part of MAI’s team, because you prayed or gave or volunteered, individuals and their families have been equipped to have a better life through Christ-centered health and development. They have found the true abundant life that comes from Jesus. Thank you!

John C. Payne, MD


MAI: The History

At Medical Ambassadors International we build relationships with the world’s most vulnerable people and together we work to heal communities both physically and spiritually.

In 1975, as South Vietnam was falling, a man name Dr. Raymond Benson was on the last airlift from the roof of the American Embassy. Dr. Benson’s vision was for Christian medical professionals to establish clinics around the world. His hope was to heal people both physically and spiritually. Out of that desire, Medical Ambassadors was formed.

While Dr. Benson was correct in his assessment of the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world, he did not anticipate that the same people would keep coming back to the clinic with the same preventable illnesses. It became clear that this clinic-based model was not sustainable. In fact, we were creating a culture of dependency within the communities we were trying to help.

In light of this, Medical Ambassadors transitioned to a new model. Instead of going into a community and giving free care, we entered bringing only questions.
[read more="Read more" less="Read less"]Instead of giving the communities what we thought they needed, we asked local leaders, “What do you need to be happy and healthy?” We let their answers guide our focus and started developing lessons on those topics. In time, the available lessons included far more than only health topics. Depending on what the local leaders determined their communities needed, there were teachings on how to work together and solve problems, teachings on agriculture, literacy, family relationships, micro-enterprise, coping with disability, and more.

The genius of this approach was that the education could be replicated at the grassroots level, neighbor to neighbor. Instructors teach learners who become instructors who teach learners who become instructors who teach learners—well, you get the idea.

Certainly, there were still physical needs requiring professional medical attention— clinics and hospitals continue to be essential. However, 70-80 percent of people in these clinic lines could now be helped at the community level.

This development model became known as Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Evangelism…because seamlessly woven into the lessons of health are basic biblical truths: You can be clean on the inside as well as the outside. You have great value because you are wonderfully and beautifully made by God.
We are proud to be a work in progress. We are committed to learning from the communities we work with and listening to God. We deeply desire to align ourselves with his plan and power.[/read]

Board Chairman

The Board’s primary responsibility is to always act in the best interest of the ministry (the Corporation). Its duty to the ministry should be greater than even its duty to MAI’s Executive Committee, administrative staff, Regional and Area Coordinators, and donors. Although this principle seems somewhat of a paradox, it is not only supported by corporate law, but also by common sense.

I want to sincerely thank you for your faithful prayers, personal involvement and financial support of Medical Ambassador’s International (MAI), as we seek to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Your partnership has been a tremendous encouragement to all of the members of the MAI team.

Community Health Education/Evangelism (CHE) is now in 90 nations, serving over 2,010 communities, with more than 2,700 trainers and 13,550 volunteers, touching the lives of better than 550,000 people.

As an organization we continue to demonstrate strong financial controls, spending below our annual budget and having over five years of top ratings from our audit firm (CapinCrouse, LLP). In addition, MAI has received an outstanding four-star ranking (highest level) from Charity Navigators (U.S. leading charity evaluator).

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Our God is doing a wonderful work through MAI. As we educate some of the poorest people in the world, they gain a sense of ownership, which promotes self-sustainability. Because they also learn about God, the transformation is both physical and spiritual The stories of the African chief who helped his people reduce the incidence of malaria and of the beaten wife who found Jesus to be the source of love, chronicled in the summer Healing Lives magazine, are examples of this wholistic, life-changing work. We seek to follow God and his Great Commission by healing lives and transforming communities.

This is made possible by your partnership with MAI and the Lord. To Him we give all of the credit, honor and glory.

Frank Marsh

Board Chairman[/expander_maker]

Medical Ambassadors International 2020