From spring 2003 - Mission Matters
At the recent student national conference, I was leading a seminar on mission. Asked where in Scripture we find a call to mission, most of the students were able to quote Matthew 28:19-20 but there seemed little appreciation that the whole of Scripture is God’s call to mission. God is seeking a people who are prepared to spend their lives getting to know him better and willing to face the cost of making him known to others.
In a section entitled ‘Made for Mission’ in ‘The purpose driven life’ by Rick Warren, he writes, ‘Jesus calls us not only us to come to him but to go for him. Your mission is so significant that Jesus repeated it five times in five different ways in five different books of the Bible, (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). It’s as if he is saying, ‘I really want you to get into this’. It’s worth studying these five commissions that Jesus gave us to learn more about the when, where, why and how of our mission here on earth.
We often talk about ‘The Great Commission’ in Matthew 28 but we tend to treat it as though it is simply a ‘great suggestion’. Mission is surely mandatory to the members of God’s family. God holds us responsible for the unbelievers who live around us (Ezekiel 3:18). I have to continually remind myself that I am the only Christian that some people will meet and I need to take the opportunities that God gives me to share the good news of Jesus with them. The Apostle Peter reminds us that we are ‘a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation’ so that we ‘can show others the goodness of God’ (1 Peter 2:9)
In an effort to help us appreciate something more of God’s call on our lives and to give an idea of the infinite variety of ways in which it is possible to serve him both at home and overseas in this day and age, CMF and MMA Healthserve are organising a number of events in the coming months.
If you are looking for an overseas vacancy, a detailed list of overseas vacancies can be found on the MMA HealthServe website. Visit the opportunities page at www.healthserve.org but only do so if you want to be challenged! It carries a health warning for a visit to this page of the website can cost you your life!
The programme is about to be published. With input from ‘experts’ from all the fields of medicine, interactive workshops and times of spiritual refreshment, this is a must for overseas healthcare professionals home on leave or others preparing to go. It will again be held at Oak Hill College in North London. If you know of folk who will be home on leave, please let them know about this. Further details can be obtained from Joan Arnold or myself at the CMF Office.
The programme and an application form for this meeting are now available from the CMF Office. Aimed at students, trainees and established GPs and Consultants who are interested in medical mission, there will be a wide range choice of seminars ranging from ‘Developing a missionary mindset’ to discussion of the opportunities that exist through mission and church hospitals, CMF Summer Teams, telemedicine, teaching trips and in responding to crises and conflict situations etc. Ted Lankester and David Carling will be giving key note addresses on ‘The changing face of Medical Mission’ and ‘A Scriptural framework for medical mission’ It should be a challenging day for us all.
This year’s forum will be considering the future of healthcare in sub Saharan Africa and is being organised in conjunction with the Africa Forum of Global Connections. Further details can be obtained from Steve Fouch at MMA Healthserve (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A new version of the ‘Short term medical mission opportunities’ booklet will shortly be available from the CMF Office. This booklet, first produced in 1994, has been fully revised, amended and updated and contains detailed information on the ‘how, when and where’ of getting involved in short term medical mission.
This day will be held in the midst of the Refresher Course at Oak Hill College. MMA HealthServe will be celebrating 125 years working to mobilise and support healthcare students and professionals in the developing world.
The need for committed, professional Christian healthcare in the developing world remains as great as ever. AIDS, TB and malaria are becoming major, uncontrollable epidemics. The gap between rich and poor is widening all the time. War, natural disaster and political instability all add to the problem. How can we respond? What are the opportunities?
HealthServe Day is a day conference where it is hoped you will find the answers to some of these questions. Top speakers, resources and exhibitions from Christian mission and aid agencies, and opportunities to meet with others working in the field, will all make this an essential one day conference for anyone interested in Christian healthcare mission. There will also be a celebratory service in the evening.
Registration for the day costs £5 (free to students, unwaged or overseas workers). Please contact MMA HealthServe for more details and a booking form on 020 7790 1336, or www.healthserve.org, email@example.com