The emphasis of this posting has to do with the focus of our Christian health ministries.
In all the hustle and bustle of STMM’s it is easy to lose sight of the primary reason we are serving in such a capacity. The busy-ness of the week (or whatever short term time frame you are working within) makes it easy to let logistical details overtake the primary focus of serving people. Our western mindset is so often centered on getting things done so that we can make our reports to our supporters that we leave out making a personal connection with those in need.
Language barriers are always a challenge but this simply highlights the importance of working through trusted partnerships (trust that goes both ways) so that the deep spiritual issues that may come to light during a healthcare outreach can be effectively addressed by our local partners.
Our statement 11 then is that if we are truly focusing on people then we will need to make some adjustments in our expectations. We will need to take into account that the time it takes to translate effectively, teaching as we go along will surely make us adjust things such as surgical times and surgical case volumes. One could certainly make the case that a surgeon who is going to do a series of cases that have already been arranged by a local partner may not have to work on a slower schedule at all and some indeed do more cases in a day than they would at home. Leaving the personal touch to the local partner. That may serve to satisfy a severe need to for getting as many cases dealt with as quickly as possible but it really doesn’t satisfy the desire by many to have a genuine connection/relationship with those they are serving.
Here are our recommendations for doing surgery in limited resource settings:
This is the blog for the Best Practices in Global Health Mission division of the Center for the Study of Health in Mission. It is a space for all who are interested in sharing opinions, ideas and best practices having to do with Christ centered health related ministry.