The program is based on the premise that there aren't enough schools or hospitals or professionals to help those in need, but there are enough churches and church members. Warren says that some people were shocked that he would suggest sending church members to Rwanda to provide health care.
"The P.E.A.C.E. plan is an amateur movement," said Warren. "I love the word amateur. I'm proud to be an amateur. It comes from the Latin word amore. ...It means, I do it out of love. I don't do it for the money. No one pays me to do this. I don't even serve my church for a salary. I do it for free. I'm a proud amateur because I do it out of love for God and I love people."
Actually, he's not kidding. Warren has made enough money from his book -- one of the best selling books of all time -- that he and his wife Kay decided to reverse-tithe. They live on 10 percent of their income and give the rest to the church. The Warrens have personally pledged a quarter-million dollars to build a new hospital in Rwanda's Western Province. The site for the hospital will be on an old soccer field where, 14 years ago, thousands were slaughtered as part of the genocide.
He also thinks big. In the next 50 years, Warren intends to build an international network of Christians: one billion, he says, to help the suffering around the world, using Rwanda as a model.
Warren took "Nightline" to the hospital that currently serves the 144,000 people who live in the region. "This is the best you've got right here," said Warren of the site. "They do the best they can with what they're given."
But what they're given is very, very little. There is no running water in the hospital, and no food is provided. For patients to eat, someone from outside the hospital has to bring food and cook it.
Warren says the last time he visited the hospital, a 5-year-old was there taking care of his grandmother. "The 5-year-old was out cooking a meal and bringing it to his grandmother because his mother and father had died of AIDS," Warren recalled.
"One of the things we're trying to do with the P.E.A.C.E. plan is to have the churches start to provide some of the meals," he said.
Not only is food and water in short supply, so is personnel: There is one doctor for every 24,000 people. The shortage of trained nurses is even worse. There is one for every 50,000 people.
"Tuberculosis is high. Malaria is very common, HIV," said Christie Wiggins, an intensive care nurse who has attended Warren's Saddleback Church in Lakewood, Calif., since she was a child. By moving to Rwanda about a year ago, she increased the number of nurses by 25 percent. Besides caring for the patients, Wiggins is also a teacher, training others to look after these desperately ill people.
"I came here and I was pretty shocked by what I saw," said Wiggins. "I saw the need for staffing, the need for education. I felt like if I didn't come back I wouldn't be doing what God set out for me to do."