Global Health’s 10,000 Church Challenge provides an opportunity for congregations to open their doors and invite their communities in by sharing a message of healing and hope through health care, treatment, education, and prevention.
We invite your church to participate in the work of reducing preventable deaths of children in every place through: physical activity, healthy diet and nutrition, tobacco- and drug-free living, and mental health education and promotion. Sign-up today!
In the September edition of the Global Health newsletter, read about how the Abundant Health initiative is encouraging churches in the U.S. to live healthier by taking on the 10,000 Church Challenge, and glean insight and inspiration from the efforts of Fairview UMC; read how Abundant Health is helping poor communities in Columbus, Ohio, cook healthier meals; how the newly-upgraded clinic in Cambine, Mozambique, is addressing maternal and child health needs; and how your gifts to Global Health can make a tangible impact on the lives of others.
Fairview UMC Takes Up 10,000 Church Challenge
Church is more than a place to go; it is putting beliefs into action to transform lives.
One way United Methodists are innovating what it means to be church is through a variety of health initiatives. Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children, the signature health initiative of The United Methodist Church, is encouraging congregations to sign up for the 10,000 Church Challenge.
Fairview United Methodist Church in Danville, VA, is rising to the challenge by providing healthy food options and promoting physical activities for children through their recent five-day Vacation Bible School.
The children participated in nightly game activities promoting exercise and physical activity, and most important, collected an offering each night to benefit the "backpack buddies" program. Through this program, nutritious food will be purchased for local elementary school students who do not have enough food to eat at home, especially on weekends and holidays. A backpack full of food is sent home with these students to provide nourishment until they return back to school. Fairview UMC invited the community to join this week-long mission activity to learn how to share God's light in the world.
Abundant Health Rolls Out in Columbus, Ohio
The Center for Science reports that each year 678,000 deaths in the U.S. are related to an unhealthy diet.
One way the Global Health unit is responding to this is by supporting efforts to create a healthy food environment as part of the Abundant Health initiative. A key partner in this effort is Community Development for All People (CD4AP), a UMC-affiliated organization implementing a program called Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) on the south side of Columbus, Ohio.
With a nutrition grant from Global Health, HEAL is empowering families to make healthy eating choices, and teaching families how to make healthy meals. During the first six months of this year, 3,967 family members, including 1,018 children under 18 years old, have been trained in label reading, healthy food options, and healthy food preparation. Families learn how to prepare meals to feed four people for under $5.
Before joining the HEAL cooking classes, Constance was raising her three grandchildren on foods such as chicken nuggets. Now, she uses recipes from the cooking class to make dishes like carrot salad. Guacamole has become her six-year-old grandchild’s favorite food, and her four-year old enjoys cracking eggs as she makes frittatas in muffin tins. The family now prepares and eats their meals together.
Constance stated, “The class translates really well to recipes that can be made at home. See one, do one, teach one. It is a wonderful thing.”
Belinda, another cooking class participant, shared how the program has helped improve her health status through a better diet. She said, “Access to vegetables has given me more nutrients to improve my immune system. I have access to people who give me better ideas of how to use them.”
One Million Children Initiative Rolls Out in Mozambique
Year after year, women in rural areas of Cambine, Mozambique, have lacked access to quality services such as pre- and postnatal care, delivery of babies, and care for newborns. Through the newly upgraded UMC Maternal and Child Clinic in Cambine, these needs are now being addressed.
The Mozambique Conference Health Board, supported by Abundant Health, has launched a pilot project to address high maternal and child mortality rates in Cambine. The clinic is providing affordable and accessible quality clinic services for women and children.
A volunteer network of Community Health Advocates (CHA) also is being trained to visit their pregnant neighbors. They provide them with health education and care, encouraging the women to visit the clinic regularly and to have their babies delivered by trained midwifes at the clinic.
The CHAs now use cell phones to call the clinic coordinator when they identify a pregnant woman in need, declare an obstetric emergency, or call for advice for a patient in distress. Pregnant women also receive follow-up reminders for their prenatal appointments and delivery dates.
Six months into the Abundant Health program, more women are attending the clinic. They are asking their CHA to accompany them to the clinics, and some even pay their bus fare, because the CHAs have become trusted advocates and a source of vital support. The Mozambique Ministry of Health has congratulated this program on its success in the community, and has offered partnership through the deployment of a doctor to the clinic.
United Methodist Gifts of Hope
You can make a Gift of Hope that will change lives where the need is greatest.
Your gift to Global Health, Advance #3021770, will be put to work, supporting those who act as the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world. The UMC Abundant Health programs are saving lives in the world’s most vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world. Our programs empower people to take charge of their own lives and to be key stakeholders in the solutions that keep their communities healthy and safe. These lifesaving solutions are sustained over time because there is an emphasis on education and the development of local resources.
$25 can provide one wellness checkup in a community where primary care is just being introduced.
$50 can provide 250 pregnant women with preventive malaria treatment.
$100 can provide skilled birth attendants for women in childbirth.
$200 can support the salary of one health worker in Africa for one month.
Read more about Global Health.
Learn about the 10,000 Church Challenge and sign-up.
Learn about the UMC's new signature health initiative, featured in the March-April 2016 issue of New World Outlook magazine.
Visit the Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children web page.
Support this lifesaving work with your gifts to Global Health, Advance #3021770.
Image 1: After Fairview UMC took the 10,000 Church Challenge, its week-long Vacation Bible School incorporated physical activity. Photo: Kristen Aron
Image 2: A Heathy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) cooking class. Photo courtesy of HEAL.
Image 3: Community Health Advocates, who are recent training graduates in Mozambique, pose for a photo with the cell phones that help them stay connected to the UMC Maternal and Child Clinic and community members. Photo: UMC Maternal and Child Clinic