A woman provides medical care to a baby

Our Philosophy: Strategic, Integrated, and Compassionate Medical Aid

In everything we do, we seek to serve the whole person: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Whether addressing the needs of a vulnerable child, the challenges facing a family in poverty, or the issues preventing a community from thriving, we deal with specific problems with the understanding that each issue interacts with and impacts others. In this series, we focus on one specific facet of the complex challenges facing those in need around the world.

In seeking to help those in deepest need, few issues are more challenging than health and medical conditions. According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. In the developing world, the barriers to healthcare are discouraging. Availability of healthcare services is limited, physically reaching healthcare providers can be difficult, healthcare workers are inadequately trained, and the cost of medical services is very high. These barriers are intimidating–even for someone in good health. 

Unfortunately, most of the world lives with these barriers. Almost 800 million people worldwide spend at least 10% of their household budget on healthcare for someone in their home. Caring for a sick child or loved one would motivate anyone to spend sacrificially to help them get well. This same dedication forces many people around the world to face tremendously hard decisions. In fact, for almost 100 million, those health expenses thrusting them into extreme poverty.

From our experiences in areas of deep need around the world, we understand that resolving health issues is critical for other services to be effective. The most thoughtful educational or vocational training programs will stall if students aren’t well enough to learn. Efforts to provide clean water and nutritious diet are also tightly interdependent with the medical issues in a home or community. This is why medical aid will always be an important component of the services we promote and advance through our work with local ministry partners around the world.

We believe medical aid for those in need should not only provide treatment, but also include disease prevention and health education. Treatment rightly focuses on existing conditions needing compassionate  intervention. But sustained good health requires battling preventable diseases before they occur. Through healthcare education and sanitation best practices, we can promote the ongoing health of families and communities. We also believe in working closely with local ministry partners who best understand the needs of their own communities and the type of support that will be most effective. These partners are deeply rooted in their communities, providing a sustained support that is often key in tackling systemic underlying issues surrounding medical needs. Finally, for a thriving community, we believe it is critical to integrate medical aid efforts with other programs promoting educational, social, and spiritual well being.

These beliefs guide our three main approaches to medical aid. First, we provide ‘in-kind’ donations of medicines and medical supplies for those who may receive a medical exam or consultation only to find that the medicine they need is not available in their area or too expensive to purchase. Our local ministry partners help us identify essential medicines that are needed most, and Cross International does our best to solicit donations of those crucial supplies to provide to our local partners who serve the most vulnerable. These local partners may run medical clinics themselves, or they may provide them to regional medical network partners who also serve those who are in need. Second, when our ministry partners run medical clinics as part of their overall programming, we often support those operations. Many times, these services are not only for children in our partners’ care, but also for the community around them. Finally, as we support the vision and planning of other local partners, we encourage them to always consider medical aid and ministry in their scope. We help them understand the role of health-promoting services in their overall program success, and we help them navigate the process of assessing or developing this aspect of their ministries.

Medical aid challenges are broad-ranging and widespread, but the impact is as individual as every life that is changed through this work. As we advance services like these, we’re encouraged by the stories and faces of those children and families touched by a healing hand or strengthened by a life-giving medicine. Our goal of transformed lives is only possible when people are able to grow and thrive physically. If you haven’t yet joined us, we invite you to be a part of this exciting and meaningful partnership.

OTHER STORIES

Kenyan girl coloring a book while boy looks at her

Partner Highlight: Kupenda for the Children, Kenya

Many people in Kenya believe that disabilities are caused by witchcraft or are a punishment from God. Kupenda for the Children’s mission is to fight against these harmful beliefs by training community leaders to serve as advocates for children with disabilities.

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Children receiving lunch at the DSS summer feeding program

A Summer Without Hunger

Summer can be an extremely difficult time for children in the developing world. For some, school lunches are the only food they can rely on and without consistent meals, these children can begin slipping into malnutrition.

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Any gift you give before the end of the year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $75,000, to transform lives not only now, but into the future!

Help Children With Disabilities

The UN estimates that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability. In developing countries, these children are often unable to attend school, play outside or access specialized resources. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors and community leaders often reinforce these barriers.

This year, we’re providing $60,000 worth of medical equipment to Kupenda for the Children in Kenya. This is a very remote location, and your gift will help cover the shipping costs to this very worthy medical outreach.

This gift will benefit: Kenya

Heal the Sick

In developed countries, basic medical supplies such as gauze, wraps, bandages, and syringes are commonplace. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in the developing world. Christian doctors and volunteers in developing countries frequently run low on these supplies, and they also lack the funds to keep large inventories on hand.

This year, we’re providing $84 million worth of medicines and medical supplies. Your gift will help cover the shipping costs to medical outreaches in some of the most remote areas of the globe

This gift will benefit: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya

Build a Family a Home

A gift of a safe, secure home is tangible affirmation of God’s love for a desperate family — it brings hope, health, stability and opportunity. Most poor families must settle for much less. Mired in poverty, they are forced to live in unsafe shacks fashioned from mud and thatch.

You can provide the life-changing gift of a safe, storm-resistant new home with Cross partners Ambuya Development Center in Malawi and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A new home will ease the family’s burdens, protect them from the wind and rain, and help them achieve their dreams.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Malawi

Education

The gift of an education is an investment that reaps long-term dividends for a child’s future. By opening doors for the children of the poor to enroll in Christian schools and get the same educational opportunities as their more economically well-off peers, you are giving not just a hand-out but a “hand-up.”

Your gift will fund Christian education to nurture vulnerable children mentally and spiritually — for thriving futures that will transform hopeless places.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Ecuador, Uganda

Rescue Women and Children in Crisis

Through emergency child rescue services, vocational training, anti-trafficking programs and Bible literacy classes, Cross International is helping vulnerable women and children reclaim their lives. Inspired by Jesus’ love, we work shoulder to shoulder with our in-country partners, empowering them to create change that lasts so that those who need help will eventually be able to stand confidently on their own. Be a part of this good news and make a life-saving gift part of your holidays.

Your gift will help protect victims of gender-based violence and also help save marginalized women and children from harm.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Provide Clean, Safe Water

Our ministry partner, the Kachere Development Center, has an ambitious plan to install 20 wells, providing 5,160 adults and 8,414 children with clean water. Our goal is to finance the drilling and installation of one well – part of an entire community water system, which includes training to maintain the well, and sanitation and hygiene training for improved health.

One borehole can provide 2,800 gallons of safe, life-sustaining water every day. Help us bring clean, safe water to one of these villages today — in a way that will last for generations.

This gift will benefit: Zambia

Give Tools for Sustainable Farming

One of nine people worldwide survive on less than $1.90 a day. Without training and supplies to grow moneymaking crops and breed profitable livestock, poor farmers stay locked in the cycle of poverty.

By supporting this fund, you’ll help families break free of poverty — transforming lives for generations. When families get the training and tools they need, it means bountiful harvests and small animals that produce income for a sustainable business model.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Nicaragua

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries.

Your gift will provide meals for ministry partners such as Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Most Urgent Needs

Inspired by the love of Jesus, we work shoulder to shoulder with local leaders overseas, equipping families with the resources they need to thrive – basics like food, clean water and healthcare, as well as longer-term community transformation projects that will ensure lasting change.

By giving to our Thriving Kids Initiative, you’re not only meeting children’s Most Urgent Needs, you’re also helping lift their families – even entire communities – out of poverty.

This gift will benefit: Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries like Haiti, Malawi, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Your gift will support the provision of meals and other basic services that are essential for survival. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

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$1,000 will feed 30 children for a month | $5,000 will feed 80 children for a month | $10,000 will feed 92 children for a month | $20,000 will feed 184 children for a month

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