T hrough the nonprofit organization they co-founded and the family’s construction business, this married couple’s philanthropic partnership is providing those in impoverished areas the tools to better their lives by learning crucial skills.
It’s why Louisville Business First is recognizing Stonehenge Construction LLC with one of three Partners in Innovation awards this year. Read more.
In 2015, God moved above and beyond anything we could have ever asked or imagined. Our students became trainers in basic medical care and health care screening, farming and motorcycle repair. God has raised up leaders among the medical residents in Kenya to take the Teach To Transform model to Africa. He is moving us to continue the mission all over the world. To God be the glory!
Greetings family and friends in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ,
Thank you so much for your prayers as we traveled to Northern Ghana in an area where there were very few Christians. The Lord gave us a glimpse of Heaven when He arranged for our Teach To Transform team of five from the US to teach with five TTT Kenyan brothers, which included four young medical students. An unexpected blessing was a group of five Latin American missionaries who also helped us teach; truly a picture of a body of Christ.
We trained our largest class to date with over 131 students. Our training consisted of Vital Signs, Health and Hygiene, Water-borne illness, Wound and Burn Care, and Obstetrics with Helping Babies Breathe curriculum.
The teaching aids were distributed to the local churches with the responsibility to share the love of Christ with compassion as well as teach others. All throughout the week we continually prayed to Glorify Christ by sharing the Gospel with Love and Patience (Ephesians 4:2). When we said that we were “Christians” this was not declared with pride or arrogance, but with humility, admitting that we are sinners who received Christ’s Grace and Salvation. We were not claiming to be strong but confessing our weakness and need Christ to be our compass. As Christ assures us, “Do not be afraid for I am with you always.”
Please pray for these courageous pastors and churches in Ghana who have a difficult mission field. We would like for you to pray for us as we enter many difficult areas in 2016. Please consider coming with us or supporting our work in the 10-40 window. You can follow our progress at teachtotransform.org.
For His Glory,
Tom and Karen
Merry Christmas! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we also rejoice in His life, death and resurrection. But for millions in the world today, hopelessness prevails. The Gospel has not yet been shared. The hope of Christmas has not been realized. It is this desire to share the love of Jesus and glorify the Father that motivates us.
Karen and I are truly humbled to serve with you in Christ’s ministry of Teach To Transform. We are in prayer for discernment as we follow the Lord in the mission field He has prepared for us. It appears the Lord is leading us across the world into hard places with challenging capacity and resources from a worldly perspective. However, we believe the vision the Lord has given Teach To Transform is more than a handful of trips a year.
Our vision is to ignite a spark in each community we serve that will empower an army of believers transforming their communities in the name of Christ.
We are confident in this goal because our faith is 100 percent that the Lord is leading our ministry. Our board, supporters and volunteers are the body of Christ and together we serve with a passion to love those held captive in darkness.
Please consider the request below to help ignite this flame.
Donation to Scholarship Fund with two goals:
Please pray about donating to our TTT scholarship fund for both indigenous teachers as well as those from the US that need help to join our efforts.
Scholarship for indigenous medical students and pastors
Our model of transforming and empowering equates to less Americans and recruiting more indigenous teachers. This will require funding for expenses on the field like transportation, food and accommodations. Our plan is to ultimately release the mission field to the indigenous teachers.
Scholarship for US teachers
Several US teachers commit to more than one trip a year. If we are to transition to the next generation we need to establish a fund for those without resources who are willing to not only serve on a mission trip, but also those who are willing to travel and teach within the US. We will still require potential candidates do some fundraising.
Our goal is to equip churches and organizations to adopt our model of missions and join us to glorify Christ through teaching skills that open doors to share the Gospel.
Will you join us on mission? We would appreciate your prayers, participation and financial support. Donations are tax deductible. You may send a check to Teach To Transform, 7501 New LaGrange Road, #2000, Louisville, KY 40222. Or you can donate online at www.teachtotransform.org/donate.
For His glory,
Tom and Karen McKechnie
Founders of Teach To Transform
I am writing this from northeastern Peru, sitting on the bank of the Huallaga River. This river will become the Marañón River, flowing into the mighty Amazon as it courses east through Brazil into the Atlantic. I’m in the jungle, and the temperature reached 38 C (about 100 F) today, but because of the humidity, it feels much hotter. The air is heavy, and as a non-acclimated Gringo, I can feel the weight of each breath.
I’ve come back to Peru with Teach to Transform, an organization founded several years ago by a colleague in my Emergency Medicine practice, Dr. Tom McKechnie. He created this faith-based organization to empower indigenous people to provide basic medical care in their own communities. Instead of a “go and do” philosophy, he’s adopted a “go and teach” approach.
Our first trip to Peru last year emphasized basic wound care, health and hygiene, and taught the Helping Babies Breathe program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a neonatal resuscitation curriculum for resource-limited circumstances. The impact this can have on reducing infant mortality is tremendous, saving upwards of 80 percent of newborns that are not breathing at birth.
This year, we are teaching splinting, suturing, and IM injections. Our students come from near and far, some traveling days by boat on the rivers to receive our training. While the need for these skills is not as great in urban areas, many in the rural regions do not have access to any kind of medical care. Empowering these residents with skills to aid their community can have a huge impact on ensuring that patients are getting the appropriate initial care and referral to a clinic when necessary.
We are working with several local physicians who staff a clinic in the city of Chazuta, our home base while in Peru. These physicians are assigned to the clinic for a year, providing a required year of rural service, between their completion of medical school and the start of their specialty training. They practice in austere conditions, doing the best with what they have. We were able to provide their clinic with basic equipment and supplies supplementing what they had on hand.
As a physician in what I believe is the greatest country in the world, I find myself taking many of our accouterments for granted. We practice in comfortable offices and hospitals, and go home to sleep in comfortable beds. Most of us don’t ford rivers, climb mountains, or risk our lives to get to our patients. We are blessed beyond words, and I think we have a responsibility to share the gif of healing that has been given to us.
There are many opportunities to share our gifts. Here in Louisville, two great examples are clinics run by volunteers and medical students at the Men’s and Women’s campuses of The Healing Place. Dr. Erica Sutton has spearheaded the efforts to bring Surgery on Sunday to Louisville, providing much-needed surgical care to patients who could not otherwise afford to have procedures performed.
Our own GLMS Foundation provides a number of openings for service, including local, state, and international missions. Dr. Denise Puthuff, chair of the Foundation Medical Missions Committee, will once again be organizing their annual Nicaragua trip in January. The Foundation keeps a list of medical mission opportunities on its website.
Some physicians say, “There’s nothing I could do on a mission trip,” or “I could never take the time to do something like that.” I thought the same for a long time, being envious of the surgeons who go and have such an immediate impact on patients. I’ve learned that anyone can have a great influence on the success of an undertaking. Our length of service can be from a few hours to a few days, weeks, or even months. We can all teach, passing on our knowledge, and perhaps igniting a passion for others to do the same. We may not even know what effect our activity may have. Our biggest impact may be through a simple act of human kindness, such as giving another person a drink of clean water.
Serving others outside our usual comfort zone has many other benefits, such as giving us an opportunity for introspection. Am I impatient or rigid? How well can I adapt in unfamiliar territory? How can I get back on the path to self-actualization?
Ultimately, I go not only because of the effect I can have on others, though this is a noble calling; I go because of the effect others have on me. Going and teaching has changed my worldview, and helps restore my faith in our ability to help each other.
These trips are not without their own peril. I will have to transition from teaching basic medical skills to someone who has traveled days through the jungle by boat, to returning to the states and seeing yet another irate patient, Google printout in hand, telling me what they’ve decided is wrong with them, all the while berating me because they had to wait an hour for me to see their “emergency” that has been present for six months. I just have to take a deep breath and smile, knowing that somewhere else, a person I’ve shared my gif with is helping another.
Docendo discimus – By teaching, we learn.
Robert Couch, MD, MBA, is the emergency department medical director at Norton Audubon Hospital and the founder of Southern Emergency Medical Specialists, PSC.
Reprinted by the permission of Greater Louisville Medical Society.
Here’s an update from our partner George Zakayo resulting from the September training in Eldoret of South Sundanese refugees:
The Lord is working among the South Sudanese in such an amazing way. Barely a month after the training in Eldoret, the trainees have already trained others. This picture is of Daniel who was not part of the initial training, but was trained by the ToTs and is currently working just like he was trained by the US team.
Helping Babies Breathe – Since the training, the trainees have helped mothers to deliver more than 10 babies. One exciting story is of Rebecca Adhieu, who took one of the mothers to a hospital. After being examined by the medical doctors, they said she wasn’t ready. Rebecca decided not to leave because according to her, all signs showed that the patient was ready. The doctors left. In about 15 minutes, the patient was ready to deliver. Rebecca helped her deliver at the hospital when the nurse had left.
In the midst of all the challenges that the South Sudanese face as refugees, they managed to get land on which they are doing their farming. The land is almost 1/4 of an acre. They are currently practicing Farming God’s Way. They have planted maize and beans.
We thank God for the partnership with Reaching and Teaching in Peru and for the pastors who are willing to serve the kingdom for the glory of God. Because many of these pastors live far away from any medical clinic or hospital, our team taught a higher level of skills like suturing, splinting and IM injections.
Greetings in the Mighty name of our Lord. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that despite the ongoing insecurity in (our area), on Saturday 05/09/2015, we conducted two trainings in (local churches). I was amazed with the turn out of the participants at (one particular church). There were 153 participants (both women and men) attended the second phase training. This is the first training of this kind since i started training of Wholistic Development Ministry in (our area). I think this was because we made announcement over the radio to invite people to come for the training. We taught them about Home Hygiene (sanitation), Antenatal Care. This was from 8:30am-11:30am. Of course, the challenge was that I could not even provide tea or lunch for them due to lack of resources.
The second training is nearby our area. This is the first training under the Wholistic Development Ministry to be conducted there. Twenty people attended the training. Topics covered were: Wound Care and Home Hygiene (How to prevent Diarrhea and Treatment). When I joined them later at midday and I taught them about good hand washing practices. Participants were very happy about the training and they requested me to organize Wholistic Development Ministry training for them; because they don’t know what Wholistic Development Ministry is all about, but they have heard about it. The area is very good for agriculture, you can even see it at the back ground of the second group photo. There is maize and cassava at the background. I believe once the Wholistic Development Ministry is extended there it will be a blessing to the community.
Magazine Training has this fantastic infograph on India as a global influence and with just 2.3 percent believers, an unreached group. To learn more, read India A global nation an unreached group.
Is God calling you to serve in India? Teach To Transform plans to go to India a few times in 2016. Contact us with your interest!