The prevalence of chronic disease (defined as a condition that lasts longer than one year) in the South Pacific is astounding. In Australia alone, one in 20 people have diabetes, one in 20 have a heart or vascular condition, and one in five have mental health conditions.
Overall, nearly half the population have at least one chronic condition.
In other countries in the Division there are even higher rates of preventable disease. How positive then to see, presented at the recent ELIA Wellness Summit, the stories of radical life transformation because of the CHIP program. The stories shared were local and are ones that are repeated right around the world where the CHIP program is used in local community and church settings.
Recently I heard a story from the UK where an individual crippled with rheumatoid arthritis has returned to swimming. This adds to many other stories, including diabetes remission, improved blood pressure and cholesterol, improved mental health, improvement in IBS and the list goes on . . . stories of life transformation with comments like “Now I have hope” and “Thank you for giving me my life back”.
I can’t help but be both humbled and amazed by the power of these stories and the way that local churches and lifestyle medicine practitioners are radically impacting and improving public health. What an amazing asset the CHIP health intervention program is—a program which is now supported by more than 46 peer-reviewed scientific papers and clinical research studies.
Dr Michael Greger, a global leading lifestyle medicine practitioner in the US, said “the best approach I have seen is CHIP”.
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine said “[CHIP] . . . yielded some of the most impressive clinical changes ever in the literature”. Local churches being community centres of influence driving real life and health transformational experiences and outcomes? To me that sounds like real mission delivery!
“I have come that you may have life and life abundantly” (John 10:10). Our mission remains to share the good news, to transform lives, to bring hope. Programs like CHIP can be front and centre of supporting life transformation experiences.
How is your church being a centre of influence in its community?