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GMHC Africa: Shared Learning for Local Impact

September 18th, 2014 | Posted by | Home Page | Events | LIA News | Events | Home Page | Health | Kenya | Healthcare | Kenya | Uncategorized | USA

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The forecast had called for clear skies and bright Nairobi sunshine for the second annual GMHC: Africa. Instead, the first day was ushered in by gloomy clouds and drizzling rain. However, as people started to file in through the registration hall, shaking off their umbrellas, their moods were clearly not dampened.

GMHC:Africa 2014 was held at Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral, a quite enclave just outside the bustling city center, from September 4th-6th. The main conference was held on the 4th and the 5th, with about 350 delegates, from healthcare and development professions, from across Africa and around the world in attendance. The theme of the conference was “Shared Learning for Local Impact,” and there was no shortage of phenomenal individuals to learn from. The stain glass windows of the Cathedral and the imposing stone structure reminiscent of a medieval castle, with beautiful hanging chandeliers and the sky painted ceilings set the mood for an intimate time of learning and fellowship that all the delegates were excited to be a part of.

As attendees began arriving for registration, warm smiles could be seen all around and yelps of excitement heard from one corner to the next, as friends who hadn’t seen each other in some time were catching up and getting reacquainted. The beautiful Cathedral quickly became a beehive of activity.

Dr. Jo Lusi, an orthopedic surgeon who serves in the war torn region of Eastern Congo, where has successfully pioneered a holistic healing program through his ministry – HEAL Africa, opened the conference as the first plenary speaker. Having served as a Senator, Dr. Lusi has used both his testimony as a Christian and the credibility of his vocation to advocate for the needs of women children and handicapped.

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GMHC, he says, “not only serves as an opportunity for people with shared objectives to network and exchange ideas, it also allows us to come together and remember, as doctors, we are not only meant to treat the body but treat the soul”. For to do otherwise, he says, makes you the same or no more than a witch doctor.

Many breakout sessions, times of worship, and meals were shared over the two days of the conference, and a great deal of meaningful connection and learning took place. Especially timely, and helpful, was a session taught by an Ebola specialist about the disease and how the doctors and students in attendance could prepare to treat the disease.

Dr. Carol SpearsPaster Simon (Right)

September 6th was the student’s emphasis day, where medical students from all over Kenya, and as far and Tanzania, came together to explore the idea of committing one’s self in service of the Lord through occupation. There were breakout sessions lead by Pastor Simon Mbevi (popularly known as Pastor S) discussing the purpose of life, and Dr. Carol Spears discussing the attributes of a Christian doctor, among others. So much meaningful and deep discussion had taken place during these sessions, that when Jason Epperson, a pastor at South East Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky, closed the day by making an alter call for the students who would like to commit themselves to medical missions, almost every seat in the sanctuary was emptied.

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“This is what we do it for” says Dr. Florence, founder and president of LIA International. “This is why we have conferences like this. To empower and commission the next generation to take their place in development, and in the medical field, to make Africa what Christ intends it to be.”

Plans for future Global Health Missions Conferences and related events can be seen on MedicalMissions.com, and are announced on LIA’s website.



Healing in Haiti

September 10th, 2014 | Posted by | Haiti | Home Page | Health | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise

Haiti Children

LIA has been working in Haiti through local church partnerships and the Community Health Evangelist (CHE) model over the past two years and, though much of the work is still young, we have been encouraged to see a great change in the communities and a shift away from the dependency model that was so deeply rooted in the country.

When we began working in the region, we were met with great enthusiasm by local churches. Since then, 46 churches have been envisioned and 325 church and community leaders have completed our signature Training of Trainers (TOT) program. God has surely paved the way for transformational development in Haiti, and our church partners are enthusiastic about improving their communities.

In February of this year, LIA decided to launch a Primary Healthcare Clinic (PHC) in Jacmel, Haiti near the Beaudouin community, which has graciously welcomed the clinic and LIA model. When the Shikunguya fever epidemic hit the country in May and June of this year, over 200 afflicted community members were able to turn to the clinic for treatment and care. And when any health issue arises, the clinic has been there to help families and walk them through any illnesses or ailments spiritually and physically. Over the past seven months our clinical staff has served over 2,800 patients from the Beaudouin community and greater Jacmel area, who would have previously had little to no access to healthcare.

Aside from providing care, the clinic also offers a daily, early morning preventative healthcare classes to the community. Families are able to attend the informal courses before work and learn about how they can better promote health within their family unit and amongst their neighbors. So far, we have had a wonderful response and our staff has plans to expand this to a larger community outreach program that would foster transformational development and self-sufficiency, rather than the dependency that the country has been afflicted with. They hope to be able to work with local churches to provide family planning education and services, an immunization program for children, community health classes, nutrition and sanitation education, as well as disease prevention education.

The clinic doesn’t just plan to teach this model of self-sufficiency, they are leading by example. Our PHC staff has begun a vegetable and grains garden that will serve as a long-term sustainability project for the clinic and as an example for the community and patients. Currently we are growing and selling eggplant and amaranth in the market to help support clinic operating costs, and there are plans to begin a poultry project that the community can learn from and replicate.

We have been so encouraged by how well Jacmel has taken to the clinic and how supportive the local churches and volunteers have been in bringing abundance to their communities through working with the PHC.

We know that God has wonderful plans for the country of Haiti and we are excited to see how He will use LIA to bring restoration and hope to the people of Jacmel and beyond.