MARION, NC – The specialty of Equip International is unique among faith-based missions organizations. Barrie and Tillie Flitcroft founded Equip in 1996 after serving on several mission fields. Despite distinct differences in the countries where they served, they, nonetheless, observed some common needs they felt led to address.
The Equip International website explains that:
“After years of serving in the mission field, the Flitcrofts witnessed first-hand the brokenness and suffering experienced by those they sought to serve. From medical attention to clean water to sustainable farming practices, Barrie and Tillie saw that by providing practical help through appropriate technology and basic medicine, they could love and serve those they worked within a much greater capacity, sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways.”
Equip International has trained nearly 5,000 missionaries in several practical skills desperately needed in many developing countries where life is difficult beyond comprehension.
From their training facilities in North Carolina, Equip has partnered with 1,300 mission agencies, impacting nearly 170 locations around the globe.
One of those agencies is the Haiti Home for Hope. Two members of the HHH team praised Equip International after they had completed the Missionary Medicine Intensive course. They trained alongside other missionaries serving in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. They returned to their respective fields equipped to give physical exams, treat tropical diseases, assist in childbirth, administer shots, provide stitches, and with a fundamental understanding of medical and dental emergency best practices.
Equip training addresses four primary areas of human need.
The courses emphasize both providing and sustaining access to clean water sources. The Well Drilling course teaches drilling techniques that include locating aquifers, drilling, reaming, and casing the borehole, and installing an appropriate hand pump.
The Water Pump Repair course exposes missionaries to pump system mechanics, safe pump operations, water testing, and hands-on training with installation, troubleshooting, and repair of hand pumps, electric pumps and ram pumps.
The Missionary Medicine Training program is designed for missionaries with some or no medical background. The course equips short-term, long-term, and indigenous missionaries to learn life-saving skills needed in remote areas.
The Equip Missionary Medicine for Physicians specializes in training healthcare professionals in a broad variety of illnesses and diseases that are predominant in underdeveloped countries.
The Community Development courses include Community Health Evangelism and Story-centric Strategies for Oral Communities. These classes “teach missionaries how to work with community members to identify issues and mobilize resources to achieve positive sustainable change. Lives and communities are transformed as people come to Christ and work together to address local needs.”
Equip International has recognized that safe, affordable housing is generally not being addressed by many missions organizations nor fast enough to meet the needs of families living in poverty. Their unique, affordable solution is Concrete Dome Construction. Missionaries are trained to build thin-wall concrete dome houses that are “one of the most durable housing options available.”
“These concrete domes can withstand earthquakes, fire, hurricanes, and floods, and have a simple design that is constructed with affordable, accessible materials.”
Attendees are warned to be prepared to get dirty because they will participate in hands-on, learning to build 14-ft. diameter concrete dome homes that can be constructed in nearly any location.
Equip International believes that faith and work go hand in hand. The organization is an excellent example of what James meant when he said that faith without works is dead.
Please pray for the staff and the trainees at Equip as they do what their name says to advance the Gospel in word and in deed.
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