June 2021 Mag (Online) - Flipbook - Page 10
they could save lives, especially of children with diseases like
malaria and pneumonia. Equally
important they would teach each
family how to use local foods to
give their children a nutritional and
healthy diet. Within just a couple
of years the number of children
with severe malnutrition in one
group of villages fell from 30% of
all under-fives, to just two cases.
believe in Jesus in that community.
Since coming back to the UK from
India I have been involved in various health projects. The first
was helping to start and lead
InterHealth which for 27 years
cared for missionaries and aid
workers, serving 500 organisations. We saw many from the
brethren community, and Dr Ian
Burness was one of our associated doctors. This has now been
I came to realise that the com- succeeded by Thrive Worldwide
bination of village health work- which I helped to co-found in 2017
ers, hospitals and clinics was and for which I still work as a doctor.
a fantastic trio and just what
the World Health Organisation In 2005, in InterHealth, the seed
promotes under the name of of what is now known as Arukah
primary health care. Prevention, Network started to germinate.
cure and care working side by side. I had a busy day seeing aid workBecause our team was compas- ers and missionaries from various
sionate and started each lesson parts of the world, in particular
with the Hindu VHWs with a short from one area in Zambia. I rememprayer, they started to ask us ber seeing three different people
about our faith. After a lesson one all working in the same district
of them said: “Your God answers of Zambia. I asked each of them
prayer. Please will you pray that the if they happened to know about
goats don’t run away every night, it the organisations of others I had
means we get exhausted, and our been seeing that morning. “No,
children can’t go to school because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of
they have to round up the goats” that group”. And yet, they were
Next week we asked what had hap- doing similar things in similar areas.
pened with the goats. “Oh, none of Time after time I experienced this
the goats ran away for the whole same frustration- so many groups,
week. Your God answers prayer.” Christian and secular, who did not
She became the first person to appear to be working together for
the common good. Often in fact
they seemed to be competing.
At about the same time I revisited
the area in India where I had been
working. I was very thrilled to see
that many new programmes had
started and indeed were thriving
from the seeds that we had been
sowing a number of years before!
showed me something must be
done. First I needed confirmation from God, and also someone
else who shared this vision so we
could work together. By God’s
divine providence, I was brought
into contact with someone who
shared the same vision, Dr Nick
Henwood. Within two weeks Nick
and I got together and started our
charity. We called it Community
Health Global Network (CHGN)
and this was where Nathan
Grills came in as another member of the team. He and I kicked
off the launch of our first “Cluster” of Christian programmes in
north India. We invited 15 different organisations and all 15
turned up. Now, many years later,
50 different programmes work
together in that same Cluster.
If that works in the Indian Himalayas why not in other countries?
A few years later we were joined
in CHGN by Elizabeth Wainwright who had contacts in Zambia. So she visited to help give
birth to our first Cluster there,
which has now rippled out making three Zambian Clusters in all.
It’s been a gradual but solid journey. We decided to change the
name and make it simpler. Jake
Lloyd who has recently joined us
from the BBC, said why not look
for a biblical word which describes
what we do. And we came up
with the Hebrew Word “Arukah”,