Christian Impact in Global Health

The editors are pleased to publish issue two of the Christian Journal for Global Health. This second issue features three original articles, a case study, two reviews on the relationship between Christians and secular public health, two commentaries on theology and health, two conference reports, a book review, an invited editorial by Johns Hopkins Emeritus Professor Henry Mosley, and a new feature described in more detail in a separate editorial.  We are pleased about the flow of articles being submitted for publication in the journal and hope that the two new calls for papers, one on health care in conflict circumstances and the second on disability and rehabilitation, will stimulate additional contributions in these fields.

Original articles examine the relationship between knowledge of diabetes and action to control it in Jamaica, the potential of a Christian mindset to influence community health work-ers in providing cost-effective maternal health services in rural Kenya, and the effectiveness of mobile surgical services both in providing surgical care and in enabling the entry of Christian gospel witness in rural areas of India. We publish a case study describing the use of “clustering” to amplify and synchronize community health development in Kenya. There are two reviews which address the intersection of the Christian church with secular public health agencies on the one hand and the United States government on the other. Clydette Powell reviews the history of engagement between the United States Agency for International Development and faith-based organizations. Professor Matthew Bersagel Braley takes somewhat wider aim, examining whether the engagement between the church and public health authorities serves only the agenda of the secular authority or whether the church might itself speak authoritatively and effectively to those authorities concerning a deeper definition of the whole person and a broader meaning for health. This issue contains two commentaries on the role of Christians in global health, one theological piece on what it means to fully care for the afflicted person and the other offering a framework for scholarship, research and innovation by Christians. We commend the accompanying editorial on the reports from the field feature, with its invitation to reflect on the challenges, conflicts and conundrums arising from the everyday work of a medical missionary. One of the reports offers a window on the West African Ebola outbreak from the standpoint of a Nigerian physician who contracted the virus and her struggle to survive. A book review by Huw Morgan critiques a book that scrutinized religious perceptions of organizations which are involved in development. Finally, there are reports from two major conferences involving Christians in global health, one the annual conference of Christian Connections for International Health held in Virginia in June and the other, the 2014 World Congress of the International Christian Medical and Dental Associations held in the Netherlands. The editors are willing regularly to publish news and accounts of such events as contributing to effective understanding and communication between Christians in global health.

In our view this issue continues to affirm the viability and the need for a distinctly Chris-tian perspective on global health. There is an historical precedent in the vast legacy of Christian responses to disease and poverty, and there is rational justification to address the existing hollowness of empirical approaches lacking a theological foundation. So, gentle reader, we invite you to read on and engage in the conversation.