In order to promote holistic health, which ministers to the whole person, the Luke Society supports their ministry partners in introducing community health and development into their program. Often when the physicians begin their work in poor communities, they find that many of the diseases they treat are preventable. Thus, to promote better health within the community, the people are taught health education, examples of which are to boil water to reduce water-borne illnesses, to sleep under mosquito nets to reduce the chance of contracting malaria, etc. Although community members may sometimes be reluctant to change their habits, they soon realize the positive effects of change. Luke Society directors, all indigenous to the local culture, have a tremendous advantage over foreigners when introducing these changes.
After assessing the needs of a community with its leaders, Luke Society directors will partner with these community leaders to offer solutions in community development. Unless projects include the community in a genuine partnership, health patterns do not change and projects do not last. To have community participation protects people against exploitation, and it creates self-dependence and it enables communities to identify problems and devise solutions. Projects have included building latrines for waste management, digging wells for a cleaner and more dependent water source, and developing cooperatives to start income-generating projects. These are ways for the Luke Society to impact a community on a long-term basis to improve the overall health. In all situations, it is the ultimate aim of community health-based programs to hand over management of health and development activities to the community.
"We will learn from the community some of the secrets of living, relating, celebrating or enduring hardship which 'health providers' have often forgotten. As we do this our own lives will be enriched, and the people will realise that we come as partners and fellow human beings, not just more outsiders saying their ideas are better."