On The Finish Line Podcast you’ll hear challenging and inspirational stories of tremendous generosity. You’ll also learn from experts in multiple fields about topics like setting a financial finish line, giving efficiently and effectively, and teaching generosity to your children. More than anything, though, you’ll see how God is constantly at work redeeming the world He created and loves. Dr. Ravi Jayakaran, President and CEO of Medical Ambassadors International, was invited to be a guest on the show. Listen to this encouraging and informative episode on podbean by clicking below.
WHAT WE’LL COVER
Ravi Jayakaran is the President and CEO of Medical Ambassadors International which works to sustainably transform communities around the world through Christ-centered partnership, resource assessment, and customized training. Ravi’s story begins with his grandfather who left behind a 2000 year family tradition of Hinduism to become one of the first Christians in his community in India. Growing up in the faith, Ravi went on to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine before transitioning to full time work with World Vision. In 2017, he took over leadership of MAI full time.
Founded in the late 70s by Dr. Ray Benson, Medical Ambassadors International began as a traditional medical mission-trip style organization with U.S. surgeons providing medical care in Vietnam and several other countries. When Dr. Paul Calhoun took over as President, MAI began to shift from a provision-style ministry to prevention, with notable success.
In the ensuing years, that focus began to expand well beyond medicine to a broader community health model now known as community health evangelism (CHE). Today, MAI’s model involves beginning with a community assessment, identifying several village leaders who can take an inventory of the community’s raw material, learned skills, and human resources. Those leaders then identify their community’s greatest needs. Once those needs are identified, MAI provides training so that the community can work towards meeting its own needs with as little external support as possible.
Most importantly, each training curriculum is fused with gospel teaching that points to Christ as the ultimate provider and savior. In each community where the CHE process is implemented, MAI routinely sees large numbers of people come to accept Christ as their own saviour as they work to build and strengthen their community.
Over the last few decades, MAI has amassed lesson plans on over 10,000 topics from rabbit rearing to mushroom harvesting to microenterprise to serve over 2600 communities in 75 different countries. And each village has at least 20 native volunteers leading the change in their community. Ravi has amazing insight into what it takes to drive sustainable change and gospel rootedness. Listen now to hear all he had to say!
QUOTES TO REMEMBER
“Word and deed need to be in balance. We call that integral mission, or wholistic mission.”
“With the resources that they have, what is the best thing to do?”
“The drive is constantly to see how we can be more efficient and effective.”
“What you put into the center of your development is what drives it. If it’s community resources, community ownership, community capacity, that’s what will drive it. If you bring in an external big box and drop it there, that’s what they’ll wait to see driving the process.”
“A community must own its own transformation.”
LINKS FROM THE SHOW
Medical Ambassadors International
Dr. Ray Benson – founder of MAI
Dr. Paul Calhoun – second president of MAI who shifted focus to prevention
Global CHE Network
MAI’s specialized programs for women, men, the disabled, and children
When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
The Chalmers Center
MAI Video: CHE Explained
MAI Video: From Then to Now
MAI Book: Healing Lives: Post Crisis
MAI 2020 Return on Investment Report – ROI Ministry
MAI’s virtual vision trip to the Democratic Republic of the CongoThe Finish Line Community Facebook Group
The Finish Line Forum
BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW
Matt 5:14-15 | The Salt and the Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.