Basic sanitaiton paves the for a Community Health Evangelism project in West Africa.

By February 10, 2006

Mali (MNN)–Medical Ambassadors International is gearing up for a special training seminar February 20th through the 24th in Mali, West Africa.

The training will equip people to become trainers of Community Health Evangelists, or CHEs. Physically, the program addresses basic hygiene and sanitation needs. Spiritually, it emphasizes evangelism.

As a result, the trainers return to their area, choose a community in which to work, enter that community, and create interest within that community to implement their own CHE program.

One of the distinctives of the CHE program is a total integration of spiritual and physical ministries, in addition to community ownership. People in the community take responsibility for all that takes place in their village.

There are three different models of the CHE program, each adapting CHE to the Gospel for use in a variety of contexts and situations. That means it gives team members flexibility for use in both open and free countries as well as restricted and closed countries.

In restricted countries moral or ethical values are taught as part of the program along with and how to do evangelism privately one on one.

The first model is ‘The Community-Based Model.’ In free countries the whole community is involved in the development of CHE. A leadership committee is chosen by the community. The committee chooses local people to be trained as CHEs.

A Christian family is used in restricted countries in a target community and is trained to do the work of a CHE in the second model, called ‘The Family-Based Model’. They live as a model of good health and reach out to the neighbors by helping with their needs. The Christian family gains respect and credibility as it ministers in word and deed, and people from the village come to Christ and form a house church.

And, the ‘Government Health-Care Model’ works with the lowest level of government health care workers, training them in the use of advanced techniques for teaching adults to mobilize villagers to take responsibility for their own health and well being.

After the training, health workers return to their villages to create interest in a Community Health Education program. Where interest is generated, MAI training teams help the government officials to implement a program in their communities.

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