..... Medical Ministry Network
building a network to advance the medical ministry work

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Standard Models
Over the years, many dedicated SDAs have established new medical ministry work whether a restaurant, farm, home-based lifestyle program, training program, or gospel ministry. Yet, often they develop this work as though they were starting from scratch. And at times, their particular venture is designed in such a way that it cannot easily be replicated elsewhere. We would like to develop models that can be reproduced and are likely to be financially viable, even vigorous. If we can figure out how to do this, it will give the many, many SDAs who would like to start such a work the confidence that it can be done. And it will give those SDAs whose money is currently invested in assets which yield no evangelistic results the confidence to invest in the Lord's work.

Although we have not yet developed these models in any detailed manner, here are some ideas for each of the FACE-G areas:

Food - There are a number of interesting vegetarian restaurant concepts which could make an SDA restaurant francise remarkable. The exterior and interior of the restaurant could be creatively designed to direct the patron's thoughts through nature to nature's God. Creative presentation methods, place settings, and plateware/utensils can enhance the dining experience. There are also a number of methods establish favorable relationships with return customers and to draw them into on-going extra-curricular activities such as health talks, cooking classes (including for children), and gardening classes. There is also a very interesting model for financing the construction of new, tasteful restaurants rather than having to throw one's money down the "lease hole". There are simpler, less expensive food ventures which could be implemented before a restaurant.

Agriculture - The standard model for agriculture work would probably be a 5-10 acre property along a busy road in a rural location where roadside sales could be a significant source of income. It seems as though Community-Supported Agriculture (CSAs) are one of the most profitable ventures for a small farm, but farmer's market and local restaurant sales could contribute significantly. Nursery sales would be appropriate and are financially viable as evidenced by the many nurseries everywhere. Although rural, the farm should be located within easy driving distance of any vegetarian restaurant that we might start. Also, the farm should be designed to have expandable housing modules/units for a residential lifestyle intervention program.

Clinical - Home-based lifestyle programs are some of the easiest and least expensive models. However, occasional hotel and camp-based intensive lifestyle intervention programs have been successfully implemented. A critical component of such programs would be how to routinely recruit enough paying guests in order to ensure that the staff is able to earn a sufficient wage to be able to do the work long-term. Outpatient, clinic-based lifestyle programs from and Adventist physician's office is another model worthy of standardized development.

Education - The other FACE-G activities could provide ample training opportunities in a work-study context.

Gospel - From Ellen White's time until now there have been periodic appeals to conduct integrated public health-evangelistic program. Recently there have been some encouraging signs that that model might be re-emerging after all.