We live in a world of growing spiritual and health-related needs. Whilst Europe moves increasingly in a post-Christian direction, the gospel is making spectacular inroads in South America, Asia and Africa.
After the US, the countries with the largest numbers of believers are now China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, South Korea and the Philippines. But where the church is growing the fastest, often the health needs are the greatest.
It is the poor who suffer most from the lack of healthcare. The vast majority of the world's people now live in Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). LMIC see 99% of maternal deaths, 95% of HIV infections and 90% of people with visual impairment.
The International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) has grown from about 25 member bodies in 1990 to over 80 today. More national groups are being added all the time and need literature, training and support from organisations like CMF UK which are well-resourced and long-established.
As a leading member amongst the 80 national bodies that make up ICMDA, CMF has a major role and responsibility to provide leadership in helping to build up these sister organisations through literature, teaching, conferences, medical training and role-modelling.
We are also a 'sending' body supporting over 200 of our own members in LMIC to work and serve cross-culturally.
The Great Commission given to us by Jesus is to 'make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you' (Matthew 28:19-20). He sent his disciples out to proclaim the Kingdom of God to heal (Luke 9:2). God's plan and our mission are global.
The third of CMF's six strategic priorities from our ACTIVE 2020 programme is 'international partnerships'. The aim is 'to mobilise and support all Christian doctors, medical students and other healthcare students and professionals, in serving Christ throughout the world'.
In September 2017, the CMF Board approved a new strategy and new name for the Fellowship's international work as the result of a wide consultative review of our strategy.
It recognises that we are no longer simply sending out Christian healthcare professionals from the UK to other parts of the world, but that now people move across the globe in multiple directions - from everywhere to everywhere. The world is coming to our doorstep - students coming to the UK to study medicine and nursing, or to work in the NHS and refugees arriving with many health and spiritual needs.
Many of our members already impact global health by lecturing in the UK and abroad, carrying out research and working both for secular and Christian non governmental organisations and bilateral organisations such as the World Health Organisation. We pray that God will raise up even more (Matthew 9:38).
CMF's work in global mission costs about £180,000 each year. This enables us to do the following:
Employ staff - our head of CMF Global, Fi McLachlan is supported part time by coordinator Marolin Watson.
Mobilise volunteers - two Deep:ER trainees give two days a week each to supporting our global ministry allowing vital projects to progress. Twelve others serve on our CMF Global Committee and many others serve and teach abroad in LMIC.
Members abroad - provide resources, information, training, advocacy, support and encouragement for over 200 CMF UK members working in over 40 resource poor countries.
Social media - host a vibrant secure Facebook community that connects to over 700 CMF members with a focus on global mission.
ICMDA - play a major leadership role through ICMDA board membership and help shape world, regional and national ICMDA ministry and conferences through strategic planning, financial support and by supplying speakers and resources.
Developing Health Course - an annual two-week residential training programme for up to 60 doctors and nurses serving in mission settings or preparing to go into long-term mission.
International Track - a 16-month cross-cultural mission training course for 24 selected junior doctor, nurse and student members.
Sydenham - two separate week-long conferences held annually for 20-30 junior doctor and student leaders from ICMDA member organisations all over the world.
'Who Is My Neighbour' (WIMN) - four day conferences held annually helping members find the next step in exploring healthcare mission.
'Refugee and Asylum Seeker' (RASH) - four day conferences held annually to introduce members to the key health system, and spiritual problems faced by refugees and asylum seekers.
Bursaries - enable leading doctors globally to attend the Developing Health Course and UK students and doctors to attend the life-changing ICMDA World Congress held every four years. This August, the event is taking place in Hyderabad, India.
Mission trips - help run training conferences for students and juniors for ICMDA partner organisations.
Medicine, Mission and Me - an annual three-day residential event on the Isle of Man for Christian healthcare professionals and their spouses who are seeking God's guidance in serving abroad.
Mission awareness trips - short trips for CMF members to see and serve with national Christian doctors and nurses engaged in healthcare projects in resource-poor countries - most recently in Kurdistan, Lebanon and Albania
Will you stand with us in this global ministry of love and compassion meeting gospel and healthcare needs?
Only 40% of our annual income comes from members' subscriptions. We deliberately try to keep subscriptions for students, nurses and F1 doctors low.
We therefore continue to rely heavily on our 4,500 qualified members who can make gifts over and above their subscription.
Knowing that many members prefer the flexibility of giving in response to specific appeals rather than regularly, we had already planned at the beginning of this year to raise £80,000 of our £1.5 million budget through this Spring appeal.
The CMF Board of Trustees meets on 12 May to review budgets for 2018. Your prompt response will help us plan responsibly and wisely. Would you be able to help us by making a special gift to the ministry of CMF today?
We are on target to reach our budget this year provided the response to this annual Spring Appeal runs according to plan.
Thank you for prayerfully considering this request.
' The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour '. (Luke 4:18,19)
Click on the link below to download the full appeal letter and a printable response form if you would prefer to give by cheque or charity voucher.