International Ministries

Lay Health Builder Training at the William Carey S

September 6, 2005 Journal
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About fifteen years ago, the Lord moved Pastor Leslie James and his congregation to build a church among sugar cane fields in a rural area north of

In Africa, obesity, strokes, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease are becoming more and more common.Church members equipped with simple and relatively inexpensive medical instruments and basic practical skills can detect early disease and promote lifestyle change.God offers opportunities to share the Gospel in word and deed in the setting of the loving and caring relationships that are established through this type of health ministry

We have had a moving response from our students, some of whom have been very involved with HIV/AIDS work back home in their home countries. Some had Pastor Akafekwa measures the blood pressure of William Carey staff member Paul M.never seen a blood pressure cuff before.They now have practical skills in assessing for heart and artery disease risk factors. One of our students in the class is Pastor Akafekwa from Zambia.He described two miraculous healings a few years ago of paralysis from strokes that his doctors told him were related to his untreated high blood pressure.He committed his life to Christ after the healings but never took his blood pressure medicine.During our course, he learned that his blood pressure was high.He was started on blood pressure medication and as a result his pressure is now normal.We have been invited to work with local doctors and nurses in these countries to set up similar training through the local churches. Our goal is to develop training materials and methods so that medical missionaries as well as local doctors and nurses can use our materials to train church members.These opportunities to teach in a variety of settings allow us to field test our training materials so that they can be more effective and practical.

I am now teaching the students from William Carey on HIV testing and home based care to persons with HIV related infection. Some of our students are eager to work with us as we write HIV/AIDS training materials tailor made for church based ministries.They challenge us to write from a biblically based perspective, in combination with clinical insight. We are listening carefully to our students as they share their thoughts and experiences.

In Christ,

Rick Gutierrez

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