Impact Import No. 7: Medical Ambassadors International

Impact Report No. 7: Medical Ambassadors International


Medical Ambassadors International


Dr. Ravi I. Jayakaran, President & CEO


For more than 30 years, Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) has used its Community Health Evangelism (CHE) to help bring physical and emotion healing to communities in more than 40 countries. The Christ-centered model has been taught to numerous other organizations; it has been replicated in 30 additional countries. MAI has a demonstrated record of success, but came to Barnabas with one big question:


“We have pioneered and promoted globally a program called Community Health Evangelism, but, because it is heavily process-oriented, it requires a lot of explaining. We desperately need to be able to say succinctly what Medical Ambassadors does (30-second pitch and 30-minute pitch) to potential donors and partners.”

Through its program, staff members share God’s word in an integrated fashion. The work in the communities is holistically integrated and participants seek supernatural intervention. Ambassadors engage the community members to evaluate what they need, potential risks and vulnerabilities as well as capabilities, and then help them develop a plan to meet needs and improve capabilities.

The result is a low-cost program that is owned by the community (because they developed it). The program typically results in a church-plant with people coming to faith.

They are seeking to refine their messaging because they want to expand their reach in the 41 countries where they have staff on the ground.


Dr. Ravi came to the Ideation Session already having changed the big question based upon the breakout session at the Barnabas meeting.

Instead of communicating “What it does” to potential donors and partners, he changed the focus to “Why it does” The session was facilitated by Kim Pace and Mark Perra is serving as Coach.

During the Ideation session, partners suggested that the ministry segment its donor base and articulate the “Why” carefully. The health evangelism is a great tool leading to the ultimate goal: followers of Jesus. It was also suggested that they may consider a name change or rebranding.

For next steps, partners suggested: conduct a message survey of top donors and use their words to articulate the "Why"; conduct an internal evaluation with staff: Where are we? Who do you see us as? Where are we headed? SWOT; rebranding.

Ravi will work with Mark on the internal evaluation that will include seeing who on the team can be part of the transition. The goal will be to build a greater vision for the staff building on the “why.”


Coach Mark Perra and Dr. Ravi developed the following goals:

(1) In collaboration with key staff, develop a revitalized “identity” presentation that will help international staff coalesce around a clearer understanding of the “Why,” the “What,” and the “How” of Medical Ambassadors.

(2) Develop a fresh, concise “elevator speech” that captures the insights gained through discussion with all key stakeholders.


(1) Immediately after the Barnabas Ideation Session, conducted an internal evaluation with US Executive Council to gauge their thoughts about reframing the "Why, What and How" of MAI.

(2) Reconstructed MAI’s “identity” presentation from the bottom up, to focus increasingly on a newly defined "Why" (and not so much on the details of CHE).

(3) Shared presentation with U.S. staff at a town hall meeting; received favorable and useful feedback.

(4) Consulted with Barnabas Group Coach about vision and content in identity presentation.

(5) Shared presentation with South East Asia team in the Philippines; received favorable and useful feedback. The whole team, by and large, believes CHE is a means to an end, not the end itself.

(6) MAI is coalescing around the idea that our end objective is to “make disciples who make disciples” in the 2000 communities and 40 countries throughout the world where we are directly active.

(7) Began interviewing key donors to hear what they have to say about "Why, What and How." We intend to use the words of our champions to articulate MAI's "Why."

(8) Shared share key concepts and invited feedback from from MAI’s (Global) Regional Coordinators in early May in Arizona. This conference was a resounding success, with the vision of staff being lifted.


(1) Permeate throughout MAI greater clarity, renewed excitement and reinvigorated mission. (Substantially completed.)

(2) Redefine the "Why" of MAI. Preliminary phrase for the core is, "Helping Poor Villagers Become Healthy and Transformed." (Substantially completed.)


(1) Connect with a top NGO assessment company from Atlanta; establish a remarkably high Return on Investment (ROI) for MAI. (Completed.)

(2) Rebrand MAI. While this is ultimately important, now is not the right time. (Placed on hold.)