We know you can get involved with a lot of organizations who are motivated to do good works in the world. Last count, there are more than 1.4 million in the US alone. (CSMonitor.com) Every one of these organizations/groups are no doubt filled with good intentions. So why get involved with us? What makes us different? We think the question is better stated when we ask: what’s the best way to make a sustainable impact?
God, of course, is the ultimate reason why our medical partnerships have developed and flourished and we thank him for this gift.
Over the last 50 years we have learned, gained experience and developed a unique model that is critical to the longevity of medical ministries. Our approach is premised on strengthening the church in the developing countries so they can help their neighbors. This model stems from our belief in the scriptural truth that God uses the church to change the world. We take that very seriously.
So we don’t ride in and do the work for the churches in the developing countries. This would be a huge mistake, which is made too often by well-intentioned churches and organizations. Instead, we mobilize churches in the US to equip the indigenous churches with skills and resources for medical ministry.
In essence, MBF partners with churches – both here and abroad. We link individuals and churches in the U.S. to the churches in the developing world to provide for the healthcare needs of their community. This has been, and continues to be a win-win: the indigenous churches are strengthened by showing the love of Christ to their neighbors through indispensable medical ministries; the US churches are strengthened by developing new relationships and new ways to use resources and talents for God’s kingdom work around the world.
Our goal is to work as an indispensable link to build gospel-driven outreach of churches in the majority world by helping them develop strong, self-sustaining healthcare ministries.
Let’s put it another way. We partner with developing world churches to help them build quality healthcare ministries. And all these medical services become self-sustaining. The ultimate goal? To support them as they demonstrate the love of Christ in action their own communities.
So this is what we do and why we do it. But now let’s look at how we do it. This is the big differentiator for long-term impact.
MBF has been working with most of our in-country partners for 5, 10, 15 or 20+ years. They know us well and trust us deeply as long-term, committed partners. Relationship is one of the single most important cultural value for individuals in developing countries.
- MBF staff with professional experience in hospital administration work
- MBF establishes ongoing written agreements with each key partner to define the understanding and commitments of each party.
- MBF staff visit each key partner on a regular basis to review the status of progress and to provide assistance and input where requested.
- MBF receives and reviews monthly or quarterly financial updates from each key partner.
- Whenever possible, MBF recruits medical professionals (doctors, nurses, PT’s, OT’s, etc.) and business professionals (accountants, administrators, etc.) to participate in short-term teams which can provide needed expertise or training to their partner counterparts.
- MBF submits grant proposals to various organizations in the USA (USAID, etc.) on behalf of partner major projects.
As you can imagine, doing this takes more effort than just dropping money into a project and taking the next plane back to the states. This process takes time, requiring patience and perseverance. It can get really messy. But it is the only way to make a sustainable impact for good. Healthcare development simply can’t be done in a few months.
Good intentions are not enough – sustainable impact requires long-term investments.
We know of too many people who have good intentions, but who inadvertently do more harm than good. Sometimes as soon as the first-world visitors leave the area, everything stops.
This is not what we do.
We don’t want to make people dependent on us. We believe we have all been created by God and are born with skills and dreams and abilities to be used for his glory and our good. So we don’t want to do for others what they could do for themselves. (For more background on this, take a look at Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity or Brian Fikkert’s When Helping Hurts)
Successful medical programs require professional expertise and a good business plan. Our objective is to equip healthcare ministries that continue to thrive once we are gone.
We build infrastructures and systems and processes and competencies. We help raise the financial support for ministries until the ministries can be self-sustaining. Each program and project has a specific business plan, since the scope of activities varies so greatly. Specifically we focus on four main areas of medical ministry:
- Hospital Development
- Nursing Schools and Scholarships
- Critical Services for Women and Children
- Primary Health Clinics
We’d love to do more. But we know we can’t do everything …and do it well. We do have the expertise and experience in these areas of ministry and see them as the most effective way to make a lasting difference in the lives of people we want to serve.
Are we a good fit for you?
We sure hope so, but that is between you and God.
Take a look at this checklist and see if your heart beats faster as you read it. If it does, then maybe we should partner in the next adventure together. Because this is who we are.
- You want to get connected to people who desperately need help and want to work to help themselves
- You see the value of healthcare services as a key way to help the poor.
- You have the patience to work through long-term projects to make sure they become self-sustaining
- You want relationships that are honest, and lasting.
- You want to make sure the money you invest is well-spent.
- You want to see the impact of your involvement.