Healing lives - transforming communities

aka MAI   |   Salida, CA   |


Medical Ambassadors International equips vulnerable communities through Christ-centered health and development

Notes from the nonprofit

Ruling year info



Ravi Jayakaran

Main address

Medical Ambassadors International, P. O. Box 1302,

Salida, CA 95368 USA

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Formerly known as

LifeWind International



NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At Medical Ambassadors International we build relationships with the world's most vulnerable people and together we work to heal communities both physically and spiritually. This is done through our signature program called CHE (Community Health Evangelism/Education. How this came about and developed can be better understood through this short video: More details about the CHE program can be understood from the video that explains what CHE is and how it works:

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Health Evangelism

Community Health Evangelism or CHE (pronounced chay) is a simple but highly effective strategy proven to transform communities physically and spiritually at a fraction of the cost of traditional development programs.
CHE's effectiveness springs from training local volunteers who lead their own communities to improve sanitation, nutrition, infant care, children's education, agriculture, and enterprise--and to live as disciples of Jesus.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Economically disadvantaged people

WCL has grown into a progam which deals directly with women’s health issues and addresses gender inequality from the perspective that we are created by God and created equally. Teachings from the Bible are used, showing that both men and women are wonderfully made in God’s sight. The lessons are basic and simple to teach, making them easily transferable.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Kids’ clubs can be a means of entry into a community. Children learn about God’s love and report to their parents what they’ve learned. Parents appreciate changes in their kids, as they learn about better health, respect for parents, and how to care for themselves and others.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Best Christian Workplace-Mission Organizations 2003

Best Christian Workplace Institute

Best Christian Workplace-Mission Organizations 2004

Best Christian Workplace Institute

Best Christian Workplace-Mission Organizations 2005

Best Christian Workplace Institute

Affiliations & memberships

Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability - Member 2005

ECFA 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people instructed through CHE (community health education)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community Health Evangelism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) uses a specific strategy to bring people in many parts of the world out of cycles of poverty, disease, and hopelessness.

The work of Medical Ambassadors International is that of teaching individuals in villages and urban slums; neighbors going from home to home educating their neighbors how to be responsible for their own preventive health care and community development. Local trainers integrate into their lessons a profound understanding of healing the world Christ's way, using scriptural truths and inviting the learners to know Jesus personally and grow in Him.

This neighbor-to-neighbor teaching is called Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and is a strategy that has become known around the world. MAI is the incubator of the growth of a movement of CHE among many missions. Our goal is to see increasing numbers of communities and individuals transformed through God's use of this simple but powerful strategy.

Using this strategy: These are outcomes we consistently see in mature CHE programs around the world:
• Learning, Skill, and Resources: People are equipped to identify needs and assets, put together a plan, and mobilize volunteers to accomplish their vision. People also are taught to continually reflect on what is happening in order to learn how to be more effective.
• Hope and Vision: The community sees a better future and has hope that it can be achieved.
• Leadership: Godly Christian leaders are positioned and equipped to lead the community toward the accomplishment of its vision for change.
• Ownership: People take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
• Cooperation: People become united and work together for the common good.
• Volunteers: Significant numbers of people take initiative and act sacrificially to meet the legitimate needs of others. Those who learn new things (both physical and spiritual new truths) share what they've learned with their neighbors.
• Christian Community and Witness: The church is recognized as an agent of positive change. Believers meet together for fellowship, prayer, Bible study and worship, and share Christ with their neighbors in word and deed.

MAI is actively engaged with all 17 SDGs to some extent or the other. Our strategies are based on the following:
1. A basic part of the CHE strategy is found in its statement of core values:
• Commitment to the Poor and Marginalized: Jesus came to preach good news to the poor. As His ambassadors, we are committed to the poor and marginalized
• Long-Term Solutions: We concentrate our efforts on long-term solutions that break the cycle of poverty and disease. We focus on development rather than only relief and disease prevention rather than cure.
• Integration and Holism: We are personally committed to complete obedience to all that Jesus commanded, including compassion for the physical needs of people as well as evangelism and discipleship.
• Recognition of God's Power to Transform: Prayer and the blessing of God are necessary for anything of lasting value to happen.
2. Teaching Methodology: We believe people must be active participants in their own development. Therefore, we use teaching methods that are learner-centered, highly participatory, and that empower the adult learner to take action.
3. Curriculum: MAI has developed a very extensive library of lessons in this participatory style, written at the level of an uneducated village learner. It is a collection of best practices condensed into simple lesson plans. At present there are more than 10,000 documents.
4. Nationals in Leadership: MAI has a preference for using national leaders, rather than Westerners, in leadership wherever possible. This is true from continent-wide regional CHE leaders to volunteer committees and home visitors in local villages and urban slums.
5. Local ownership in CHE programs allows true empowerment to occur and allows changes to be sustained beyond the time of MAI's involvement. This is achieved by several steps.
o Casting a vision
o Equipping CHE trainers
o Community awareness
o Training and mobilizing volunteers
o Capacity Building and Church Planting
6. Commitment to training other organizations that want to use CHE: Medical Ambassadors does not seek to hold this strategy for itself, but has very intentionally sought to make this knowledge available to other missions and groups that want to use CHE in their areas of ministry. MAI personnel are available to train and follow up training teams from other groups. And training curriculum is shared freely with other missions and groups that are using the CHE strategy.
7. Near-Term Activities that Strengthen Long-Term Strategy: In many areas of the world, MAI field people are in flooded with requests to come and teach the strategy of Community Health Evangelism. It could be another mission or non-governmental organization, a local pastor, or a community that is looking at a neighboring community's success with CHE.
8. Specialty topics. Seminars for women include topics on women, men's seminars, and marriage. There are seminars on disability issues, micro-enterprise / savings clubs, and children's CHE clubs.

The genius of Community Health Evangelism is its insistence that the poor must lead change in their own communities, rather than have an outsider come along and do something FOR them. Thus our CHE Core Values statement (Strategies section #1) constitutes a large resource to guide our work.

*Volunteer CHE workers (both committee members and home visitors) in thousands of villages and urban slums around the world do the daily hard work of implementing CHE programs in their own places. The volunteers bring an enormous capacity; in fact, they provide the vast majority of MAI's actual work force. But they are not counted in our annual budgets and spreadsheets. These volunteers are invisible when we look at overhead versus field program costs. But the success of CHE programs depends directly on them.

*MAI has a framework of excellent leadership to train and supervise CHE work. Our senior Regional Coordinators supervise and coach the CHE workers in parts of the world that are often continent-wide. Under them there are Area Coordinators, working in areas that consist of multiple countries. They supervise CHE leaders for single countries or those who work with many programs in one part of a country. These leaders are funded by either raising their own support or by salaries raised by MAI, depending on the opportunities for fund raising in their own contexts. Their expertise is deep and they are gifted, strong leaders.

*On the level of local CHE teams, Christian nationals called master trainers are paid, full-time staff working with either MAI or with another organization. These well-trained and experienced master trainers oversee multiple local teams of volunteer CHE trainers within a country. The great resource they bring is their understanding of the culture, their ability to speak the local language, and their ability to immediately identify with the local people.

*MAI has a small home office staff of dedicated and effective people. Home office volunteers share the work load.

*The annual budget for MAI is approximately 2.5 - 2.7 million dollars. About half of that figure is raised by key full-time CHE workers who are able to do so, for their own salary and work funds. The other half is raised by the mission. It covers the salary and work costs of those other key CHE workers who come from places that are too poor to support them. It also covers the overhead costs of the home office. Our greatest resource, in terms of finances, is the faithfulness of God as He nudges His people to join us in His cause of CHE.

*MAI works partners with other organizations. We initiated and are members of the Global CHE Network, Christian ministries that are using the CHE strategy. Many of these are missions we trained and mentored. Thus, our influence in the CHE movement has been deep, and continues to be great in terms of our staff's availability to train and consult with many other groups.

MAI was instrumental in the incubation of the CHE strategy in the early 1990s. The strategy has become a movement as many have seen their need for a holistic thrust. The Global CHE Network was formed in 2009 to be an independent collaboration of many organizations, but MAI continues to provide influence through key staff who are available to train and coach others. Changed individuals and communities around the world attest to the accomplishments of MAI, either directly or indirectly. Thus the impact of MAI is many times what might be expected based on the size of its budget.

Training and coaching people to implement CHE programs around the world is the output for which MAI is well known. The outcomes of sustainable solutions to local problems, healthy families, strengthened community economies, people becoming strong disciples of Christ, and family relationships restored are demonstrable around the world and are truly thrilling.

Our long-term goal is to increase the number of local villages and urban slums around the world. Also, to continue to be models and proponents of the CHE Core Values, so that the quality of CHE programs continues to improve and produce these stellar results. If “doing things FOR people" begins to erode their willingness to do things for themselves, we are in danger of doing harm rather than good.
We have recently launched 'Medical Ambassadors International - Academy' which will provide specialized training support to our field teams and partners.

At present MAI works in 2,674 communities around the world impacting directly or indirectly a population of over 3.08 million people in 75 countries with 52,442 volunteers.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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Board of directors
as of 08/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr Stephen Belton

Retired Physician

Term: 2020 - 2022

Board co-chair

Dr Wayne Jeffers


Term: 2020 - 2022

Steve Belton

OB-GYN Hospitalist, Bay Area, CA

Wayne Jeffers

Family Physician, Greeley, CO

Carla Davis

Consultant and Strategic Planner

Thomas Steipp

Tech Start-up Management

Stefan Wiechers

VP Finance Align Technology

Ravi Jayakaran

President MAI

Chris Dunn

Retired Critical care Medical Director

Cynthia Barton

Philantrophist, Event planner

Patricia Pell


Alice Musumba


Kathyrn Halverson


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/24/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data