May 1, 2019 2 min to read

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Category : Testimony

Stephen Belton, MD Chairman, Board of Directors for MAI

There is a saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” that I was able to test recently. My findings? False! Yes, old dogs (in this instance, me) can learn new and fresh ideas! The setting for my “research” was the recent MAI Women’s Cycle of Life (WCL) training in Tucson, Arizona. Consider this: I have been an ob-gyn doctor for 40 years, and I am currently Board Chair for MAI, yet there were indeed some new “tricks” in store for me despite my familiarity with all this material. Yes, this week-long conference kept me on the edge of my seat, as I was constantly learning and seeing and hearing things with this group of 25 or so women (no surprise that I was the only male participant!) that deeply impacted me in my walk with God and my view of the work He is doing throughout the world with this material and the people and organizations that are using it.

As the only male participant at the training, I had the privilege of pretending to be the mother in labor. MAI’s trainings include hands on practice, participation from all, and an important element in learning: laughter.

The material we covered in that week was important and ultimately will be highly useful when introduced into communities throughout the world, for even basic health knowledge is often lacking. It affirms the way God values women as being created equally in His image. It recognizes the value and essential role of women in families and communities. It provides women with important health information for every stage of their lives from puberty to pregnancy to menopause – basic information that is most often not known even by the adults in a community. It gives godly guidance in relationships with husbands, family, and neighbors.

These were the things I knew already. The new and exciting revelations for me from this training experience fell into three broad categories: First, an affirmation of the importance of what MAI has done and is doing all over the globe. Second, a recognition of the excellence of this WCL material and its presenters. Third, hope for the future as I participated with this diverse group of energetic, bright, talented women whose heart’s desire is to bring the Gospel alongside tangible help to women, families, and communities all around the world.

This training, hosted by MAI and Global CHE Network, and this material represent the tip of the iceberg of what these organizations are doing to build relationships with the world’s most vulnerable people and to bring healing to their communities. The training facilitators, with passion, humor, energy, and emotion, led the group in skits, stories and discussions to discover together the truths behind the content. The group of attendees gave me great hope! We ranged in age from 22 to 82 and brought a wide range of life and mission experience yet shared a common core of a Gospel-driven center, desiring to share the ultimate Good News with women and their communities far and wide. These, more than anything, brought a smile to this “old dog’s” face!


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