Healers and Preachers The Proper Care and Nurturing of Our Mission Workers George Patterson,1932-2022

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One thing is very clear from the ministry of Jesus. He not only cared for the spiritual needs of people but also their physical needs. Wherever He went, He healed the sick, cast out demons and proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom. If Jesus is our model for the ongoing mission of the Church, then we have no excuse for not seeking to heal the sick as well. Not only did Jesus model a ministry of caring for physical needs, He told His disciples to go and do likewise. As movements to Jesus spread to all the unreached peoples, so also should a reproducible and scalable system of indigenous health care, hygiene and nutritional training. This issue is all about overlapping healers and preachers. If we can finally strike the right balance and employ a holistic approach to fostering movements that involves ministry to the whole person, mind, body and spirit; it could be exactly what we need to fuel movements to Jesus in every tribe, tongue, people and nation. See all the articles

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Striking the Right Balance

Striking the Right Balance

The battle has raged for over 100 years. It has split denominations and mission agencies. It has hindered the spread of the gospel to every tribe and tongue. People across the theological spectrum have wrestled with the question: “Should the mission of the Church include ministering to the physical needs of people, or should we focus largely on proclaiming the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ?”

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Jesus’ Holistic Paradigm: The Key to Reaching the Final Ethne

Jesus’ Holistic Paradigm: The Key to Reaching the Final Ethne

Jesus’ Paradigm “Friend, your sins are forgiven… get up, and pick up your stretcher, and go home. Jesus consistently intertwined life-changing teaching, piercing stories and convicting questions alongside definitive healing, powerful deliverance and a love that cut through the dark physical realities of our world.

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Midwife Missionary or Missionary Midwife?

Creating Sustainable Change for Mothers and Babies

Midwife Missionary or Missionary Midwife?

Moussa asked me to come to his home and see Rahila, his wife, who had just given birth. He was worried about the baby, who was crying inconsolably. He has four wives and at least 18 living children. One day I asked how many of his children had died. Five. Five children had died before they were 12 months old: three of them on the first day of life.

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Rediscovering Health as Mission: the Key Role of the Faith Community Nurse/Parish Nurse

Rediscovering Health as Mission: the Key Role of the Faith Community Nurse/Parish Nurse

“Parish Nursing has been the most significant ministry in mission that I have encountered in 25 years of leadership” (experienced minister, leading a church in the UK.)1 If, as a church-leader or planter, you could employ someone to serve alongside you whose work enables contact with one third more people than you presently know, would you want to read on? And if that person regularly had the opportunity to pray with people who had no other link with the church, would you be even more interested?

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Go and Heal to Proclaim the Good News!

The Place of Medical Work in Christian Missions

Go and Heal to Proclaim the Good News!

About 200 years ago, Christians engaged in foreign missions discovered a mighty means for making known the gospel to the world. This means was medical missions. Up until then the common practice of missions was to go out into the world, proclaim and teach the Good News and to receive new believers into the Church through baptism. From the middle of the 19th century however, when the healing art became truly effective enabling safe surgery and combating, even eradicating diseases which plagued humanity since the days of creation, pious physicians perceived this as a godsend.

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Health-Promoting Churches

A Model for Congregation-Based Health Promotion Ministry Among the Nations

Health-Promoting Churches

I come from a medical background. Having worked in clinical care, research and academia and with a national HIV program in my earlier career years, I joined the Christian Health Association ofMalawi (CHAM), a network of 180 church-owned hospitals, health centers and health worker training schools. While at CHAM, I was exposed to the Africa Christian Health Associations’ Platform (ACHAP), a network of CHAs in sub-Saharan Africa (including Madagascar) bringing together national fully ecumenical CHAs from 11 countries, Protestant and Catholic CHAs from five countries, and national-level denominational networks from five countries.

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The Vanga Story

A Revolutionary Approach to Healthcare

The Vanga Story

These articles focus mainly on the cultural sensitivity Dr. Fountain displayed as he worked toward sustainable (a word that he would not have used at the time), locally owned health-related initiatives. The key lesson learned is that we can avoid unhealthy dependency if we follow certain best practices in global health missions.

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The Groaning Creation and Our Response

The Groaning Creation and Our Response

Was Ralph Winter, in his later writings, on to something important in the progress of the mission to the frontiers through engaging the Church in the battle with disease? We think so. Much progress has been made since his death in 2009 in articulating a more nuanced vision. All Creation Groans: Toward a Theology of Disease (Pickwick, 2021) is a cohesive compilation from theologians, health professionals, scientists, and missiologists that address theodicy questions related to disease and death that people have always faced, but that are being asked even more urgently and frequently during and after the current coronavirus pandemic.

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The Seventh Station of Short-term Healthcare Related Missions Outreach

The Seventh Station of Short-term Healthcare Related Missions Outreach

Critiques have been mounting with regard to the effectiveness of short-term healthcare-related missions (STHRM) trips (short-term meaning between one day and two years, though a standard has not been established). It is possible that the majority cause more harm than produce a long term good. Some believe they are mostly designed to give the participants a sense that they have made a positive contribution to the well-being of those they served. But this author has found no article written nor research conducted as to the effectiveness of STHRMs to address the needs of the whole person. Is it possible to carry out whole person care in the context of a STHRM trip? In personal communications with a ministry working in a South East Asian context I believe the answer to this question could be YES, IF … . I will define how this can be done using the term “The Seventh station” which is derived from the work of the afore mentioned ministry. I will not be revealing any details of the location and name of this ministry because of security issues. I would add that the following approach has catalyzed significant and growing movements to Jesus in that context.

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Toward the Edges

The Frontiers, and Health and Mission?

Toward the Edges

The Frontiers, and Health and Mission? Just this morning I was reading through Luke’s gospel these words about John the Baptist: “So, with many other encouraging words he ‘good newsed’ the people” (Luke 3:18, my own version). Right before that summary we are given glimpses of what the encouraging words were with which John was goodnewsing: calls to repentance, “children of snakes”, and comparing people unfavorably to the stones from which God could raise up new heirs for Abraham!

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Media to Movements–A 24:14 Panel Discussion with GP, Jon Ralls, Chris Casey, and JLA

Movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2025 (40 months)

Media to Movements–A 24:14 Panel Discussion with GP, Jon Ralls, Chris Casey, and JLA

Moderator: My understanding is Media to Movements means using various social media or other media outlets to find seekers, People of Peace, and bring them into the funnel of becoming reproducing disciples and disciple- makers. How has Media to Movements been successful in your sphere? How has it worked?

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Small Disciple-Making Habits Make a Huge Difference

Small Disciple-Making Habits Make a Huge Difference

Goals excite type A personalities. The setting, achieving and working toward them can be very motivating. After reaching an important goal, however, many feel a sense of emptiness and loss. Long-distance runners often experience this after completing a marathon. They’ve trained for months to compete in a race. Driving toward that goal gave training a clear purpose. When the race is over, there is an emotional downswing. The big challenging goal is completed. So, why am I going to the gym today? Those who train runners warn against low-level depression in the days following a big race.

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Further Reflections

Further Reflections

Many times over the last ten years, I’ve been in gatherings where English was not the primary language. That is a shift from when I started to go to global events around 1990. Now, I often feel out of place—just how some of our sisters and brothers feel when they come to our English centric meetings.

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The Healing Congregation: Total Ministry for the Whole Person

The Story of Bethel Baptist Church, Jamaica

The Healing Congregation: Total Ministry for the Whole Person

Mindset determines action. This affects how we meet the needs of each person. In 1972, under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Burchell Taylor, Bethel Baptist Church reflected on the biblical theological paradigm of the church in healing. Some questioned the Western influenced Cartesian mind/body and spirit/matter dualism. Needy people were getting patchwork attention. Matters of the body would be sent to the physician, the mind to the psychologist, the spirit to the pastor and material concerns to the social worker or politician. People needed a more integrated, healing approach.

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