The third installment in our series of 12, today centers on advanced planning.

We will engage in advanced planning for a short-term medical mission trips

  • Determine what people want done
  • Identify Assets
  • Identify Needs
  • Engage six groups
    • People
    • Partner
    • Churches
    • Local Health Professionals
    • Government
    • Other Christian groups and para-church organizations

There are certainly several points for discussion in this list. Of course well developed partnerships are the foundation for doing advanced planning. It is only through mutual partnerships that we can agree on a common End for which we are working together with preference being given to the locally identified Ends and not the Ends the visiting team members want to see themselves accomplish FOR their local partner. This is a point that cannot be emphasized enough. I have recently been reading “The Power of Positive Deviance” by Pascale and Sternin (Jerry and Monique) and find it a fascinating read. Their work clearly demonstrates how long term change in poor communities happens most effectively. It is through people becoming aware of others in their own community who are more than simply surviving the daily rigors of living in a resource poor community and who are actually doing rather well in spite of the difficult conditions. But the key then is that they can either accept the methods of these positive deviants or reject them. But the decision is theirs. Our (folks from resource rich countries) approach has always been to come to communities with what we believe are the solutions to their health problems and all they need do is accept our methods and treatments and all will be well. So for advanced planning (and there is nothing unbiblical about planning) we must be involved in deep and true partnerships in which all are equal partners and where we pursuing mutually decided upon Ends giving preference to local ideas and methods.

There are many other points to be made with Statement #3 and we would love to hear them and get a good discussion going online. mike

At a recent regional “Best Practices” conference I attended and spoke at we were having a question and answer time to try and get the pulse of some of the attendees, to see how they were tracking with the ideas we were promoting. (effective partnership, systems thinking, we should be shooting for excellence and not just average) An older gentlemen raised his hand and stood to share his opinion. “I’ve been involved in this kind of work (short term medical missions I had to assume) for more than 40 years and most of what you say is all well and good but if we tried to do this before sending out teams we’d never get anyone to go.” (paraphrase of course) I tried to be as tactful as possible with my response which went something like this. “Maybe if that’s the case then shouldn’t we be asking ourselves should such groups or individuals go at all?” I had second thoughts after saying that but I believe it’s the truth. So we now come to point #2 in Dr Yorgin’s power point presentation which given in Tucson earlier this year. Please give us feedback and please inform anyone you think might be interested about this blog and about the Health for All Nations. 

Statement 2: Health missions team training

  • Christian healthcare professional short term team members should undergo training prior to engaging in international missions health care.
  • Paradigm shifts
    • Community health evangelism (CHE) instead of just focusing on doing clincs/curative care.
    • Mutual transformation/World view -> Beliefs -> Behavior (Behavior (taking into account that hosts tend to adopt the worldview of the goers so as not to displease their benefactors)
    • Integration of faith and vocation
    • Recognizing God as healer
    • Praying with patients
    • Dependency
    • Learning/Education rather than doing