Voices of Map
A blog about nonprofits and public health with the latest thoughts, stories, ideas, and opinions from the people of MAP.
17 Sep, 2012
by MAP Admin |
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we think partnership is a big deal. In fact, when MAP originally got started, founder Ray Knighton adopted the slogan “serving the servants” as a way to convey exactly what MAP was trying to do. Partnership means helping each other, and it means that letting others help you can some times be more powerful than anything you could possibly give others.
It is with this thought that I want to share with you a story from one of our local Brunswick, GA partners. Mtn2Sea (http://www.mtn2sea.com) Ministries is much like MAP, in that they work to serve the servants. They provide free labor to ministries that need it, in whatever capacity they can. Their story is a testament to the power of partnership, and remembering who is ultimately in control.
The following story is intended to be encouragement. If you think you might get anything else from it, stop reading now!
Ever worry about money? Ever wander if God has forgotten about you? Ever wander just who is in control of your life? Well ministries have these questions as well, or at least we do! Ever since we have started the ministry we have had an extremely low budget. We have learned to deal/live with it. You get used to not having a salary, wondering where money for gas, tools, supplies will come from, and worst of all, having to tell people you can’t help them because we just do not have the funds. The one thing not having a lot will do for those who truly trust in Jesus, is to bring them closer to Him. Maybe you have experienced this in your personal life with a house payment, car payments, kids needing stuff, etc. Where is it going to come from? I have found that the less we have of the “worlds security”, the more I am on my knees calling on the Father, which is a good thing! Well on with my story. For the past 7 years God has done amazing things through this ministry with very few funds. He has allowed us to serve in GREAT ways with extremely little compared to other ministries. I have learned that regardless of what other ministries and non-profits have, it makes no difference. He will provide, so we need not to compare ourselves to other ministries (or our neighbors). My Boss has all the money in the world, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills! Well. That’s all well and good and sounds great, but what about when we are tested? Over the past few months, what little donations we do bring in have fallen off. Then God allowed us to obtain a MUCH needed tractor for the ministry. This left us with barely enough money in the ministry, or personally, to have gas to go across town, much less to serve around the world. But no worries right, our God is in control and he will provide. That’s true, but we let the devil get in our heads (good thing none of you have that problem). We got scared, started looking for stuff to sell! Started doubting how we were still going to be able to make it. I had to stop! Then remind myself, our Faith is not in money. I then prayed simply, God renew our Faith, I know you are in control! Please show us and He did! One of the ministries (MAP) needed us to come and cut their grass, I said we do not have the gas! They said don’t worry, we got it covered. They had a car they were sending to some country in Africa I could not even pronounce that was full of gas and needed the gas siphoned out in order to ship. That’s how we got our gas that week! Through these and many other small, but extremely powerful to my Faith events, He showed me He was in fact still in control of this ministry. My point in this story is, all we need to do is to be faithful to Him and He will not only provide us with our needs but He will also encourage us in our Faith. So if you’re reading this and are in ministry, be in ministry!
Don’t let the world convince you to be consumed with fundraising as your source of security. Do your best and trust Him to provide. You know He will!!! If you’re reading this and your struggling finically at home or through work, do the same. The God of your church, your ministry and your home, needs to be the God of your finances and your business. Your Faith can only be in Him! The world has no security for us! Don’t be hard headed, you will have to learn the Hard Way!
4 Aug, 2012
by MAP Admin |
Here at MAP, we focus on holistic health. So what does that mean? It means that we believe health isn’t limited to one’s physical well-being, but rather, it encompasses spiritual and mental well-being as well. This story of Ramon is a great illustration of how a focus on spiritual health can heal, and how this holistic approach can have profound effects where other, singular approaches fail.
In 2010, MAP started the Total Health Village Program in the community of Tambayacu, located in the Amazon region of Ecuador. This region of the land is pure jungle, full of culture and diversity with 100 species of birds and more than 200 species of trees. It is a land full of legends, mysteries and hidden realities, including the healing practices of shamanism that have a reputation for their ability to cure diseases. Shamans have passed on their knowledge of medicinal plants for generations and they preserve the traditions of each indigenous community. However, there are other Shamans who do not heal, but instead, they curse. These Sorcerer Shamans practice an art that brings illness and even death in individuals and families. Using the fear of their power, Shamans had intimidated the community into following them.
Ramon Grefa (current MAP volunteer) was the victim of the negative practices of
the Sorcerer Shamans which left him in bad health, the health of his family
suffered, and the entire experience took away the sense of unity and cohesion in
his community. Ramon suffered to the point of needing a wheelchair. After being disabled for over two months, he visited the MAP community and learned more about the precarious situation that his health was in.
Ramon and his family had tried to treat the disease with natural medicine but there was no change. MAP volunteers took him to hospital for doctors to perform a diagnosis of the disease. After several studies, the doctors concluded that he had “nothing”. Geovanny (MAP’s Community Health Program Coordinator) discussed the situation further with the doctors, hoping to find a solution for Ramon, but the doctor’s answer was the same; “he has nothing”. They gave Ramon some painkillers and sent him back to the community. After the prescribed painkillers had run out, the only solution for Ramon was to return to another Shaman and pay between $100 and $200 to relieve the pain. Since he did not have that amount of money, Ramón just awaited death, as the pain became stronger and spread throughout his body. His wife and 5 children lost all hope. The neighbors and relatives commented that if did not go to the shaman, he would die.
As it says in Isaiah 55:11,”…My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. On MAP’s next visit to Tambayacu, the staff began to reflect on the power of evil and the power of good represented by faith in Jesus. They talked about the need for the community to react to the threats of shamanism, which would allow them to change the sense of unity and cohesion for the betterment of the community once again. The people needed to believe that there is a Lord of love and justice that is above all evil.
Their conversations touched Ramon as he began to feel the love of God and the possibility of healing without having to go to a Shaman. The more he asked God for his life back, the more his physical condition began to improve. A few days after he began to pray for healing, he was able to stand and slowly walk. As his faith grew, he finally began to walk and work normally again. His story has impacted his family and the community.
He is asked how he was healed and how much money he had to pay the shaman. Ramon only answers with, “God healed me.” Currently, Ramon is a volunteer for the MAP community. He monitors the families with the water filters and manages the construction of the new classroom, which is part of the Improvement Plan for the children’s education and community involvement initiative. On top of that, this story has made the directors start to question the need to establish legal discipline for community members who use shaman practices to harm others.
25 Jul, 2012
by MAP Admin |
As always, here is what MAP’s global programs have been up to in July….
- As part of the Water and Sanitation program, 735 latrines in Bouake and 1,231 latrines in Bouna have been built. In addition, 5 villages in Bouna have benefitted from water pump rehabilitation, allowing 1,637 people to have access to safe water.
- In the Sokrogbo Total Health Village, a Youth Cooperative for House Building is in formation. They have written a concept paper and are in the process of identifying experts who will train 30 youth in carpentry, masonry, electricity, etc. so that they can develop skills for a bright future.
- MAP Kenya and Genesis World Mission organized a four-day medical camp in June attended by 212 patients. Attendents were asked to pay 50 ksh (about 60 cents USD) for medical services; during the camp it was clear that this fee was reasonable and that it would ensure sustainability of the health center.
- A small ceremony was held for Kanani Ziro, a MAP Community Hero nominee who suffered from Lymphatic Filariasis but was healed through surgery by MAP Kenya. Kanani was recognized for his tremendous efforts in the Burangi community and his desired reward was for 10 other men to have the same surgery that changed his life. These 10 men will receive operations in August. (Pictured at right: Dr. Julius Kavuludi of MAP, Dr. Watts of Genesis World Mission, and Kanani Ziro).
- As part of the Tello Mobile Clinic program, 158 people were provided health services and 98 people were reached with health messages on personal hygiene, nutrition, safe water, and sanitation.
- MAP Indonesia continued to monitor 5 individuals who received cash grants for small business ventures in the Tello Island Total Health Village. Additionally, the team supported a fish farming project, vocational training, and savings groups.
- MAP Bolivia achieved a big success in the Learning From the Differences: Community Based Rehabilitation program. After three years of advocacy with the Educational Department, an agreement was signed allowing the inclusion of children with disabilities into the schools.
- At the Chilimarca clinic, 419 people received medical services in the month of June, including vaccinations for children under 5 and treatment for various illnesses and injuries. As part of the campaign against Rabies, a Neglected Tropical Disease, 1,564 cats and dogs were vaccinated last month.
- Using an interactive methodology, health promoters were able to engage 106 students in Santo Domingo on Dengue fever prevention.
- Over 300 people in several different communities in Ecuador have experienced increased food security and improved health through community garden projects. Before, diets were made up of an excess of plantains, cassava, fish, rice, and noodles. Now, these families can enjoy fresh, organically grown vegetables like spinach, radishes, and celery to make up a more nutritive diet.
- The first cycle of the Village Savings and Loans group in the Tumiamayenko Total Health Village has ended (June 2011-June 2012). At the end of the cycle, the savings were distributed among the members so that everyone could buy important farming equipment and supplies. This has been an incredible way to use the community’s own resources for better livelihood security and economic development.
- A representative of American Leprosy Mission, Linda Lehman, visited MAP’s Buruli Ulcer control projects to monitor professionals who had been trained in Prevention of Disability (POD). Additionally, Ms. Lehman held a 5-day workshop for 8 new health professionals to be trained in POD.
- In the La Germania Uno Total Health Village, coffee farmers attended a training session on how to prevent La Roya, or ‘coffee rust’ a fungal disease that can badly damage coffee crops. Additionally, families were provided with seeds to begin their own family gardens.
- Essential medicines were delivered to the Dog Apio health center near the Abala Total Health Village. Medicines delivered were based on trends of disease and included treatments for malaria, diarrhea, cough, skin diseases, eye infection, and STDs. People in the Abala THV with more serious complaints are referred to this health center by health promoters.
- In the Kacheri Total Health Village, 228 acres of groundnuts were planted in June, and several hundred households received seeds for eggplant, kale, cabbage, and onions as part of a massive effort to release these communities from chronic hunger, malnutrition, and dependence on food aid.
International Health Programs
- To date, MAP IHP has sent 252 orders/shipments to 55 countries, supporting the programs of 22 in-country development partners and 163 US-based short-term mission teams.
- In June, IHP shipped 11 containers, 12 Christian Aid Ministries large volume orders, 186 prepacks, and 121 custom orders.
- Provided over 3.3 million treatments (estimated) in June throughout the MAP partnership network.
- 205 volunteer hours utilized.
- MAP’s ETHICON suture program has surpassed FY11’s year-end total and is on track to set a program record at year’s end.
- Scott Ruschak, Senior Program Officer, attended a project management training and received PMD Pro1 certification (Project Management for Development Professionals, Level 1) to better support our Global Programs team and MAP 361 project.
- Hosted Dr. Jeff Lewis Associate, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Cedarville University in Ohio, with intentions of partnering with the university through sending their students on MAP TM trips.
- Officially confirmed 3 scheduled TM trips for this fall to Bolivia, Ecuador and Honduras.
- Submitted a comprehensive proposal to the Georgia Health Science University/Medical College of Georgia for hosting a TM team of their students in Bolivia for October 2012 and October 2013.