From Daryl Hackland, ICMDA General Secretary:During 2004, the year for ICMDA Regional Conferences, five will have been held. Our news covers the encouraging gatherings in Kampala, Uganda for the 2nd Eastern Africa Conference from 22-25 July with the theme Toward Excellence (Col 3:17,22,24) and the landmark event of the 1st West Africa Conference in Abuja, Nigeria (28 July – 1 August) addressing the challenge of walking In the Steps of the Great Physician. The first day of each conference was organised for students and what a blessing these all were.
EASTERN AFRICA CONFERENCE
The Bible expositions were based on Daniel. Dr John Ekudu, the Dean of Students at Makerere University, pointed to the grace, courage, consistency, lack of compromise, practice of prayer and faith as demonstrations in Daniel’s life of the characteristics of excellence. Profitable workshops were led on excellence in prayer, ministry to patients, the busy Christian doctor and family, the busy Christian doctor and missions and excellence in private practice. Sessions were also held on relevant topics including HIV/AIDS, Anti malarials, the sanctity of human life and surgical updates, these addressing the call to be excellent in practice.
Matilda Ogindi, a student leader from the Nairobi University writes : ‘Where two or more are gathered in the Lord’s name, He is in the midst of them. I can confidently conclude that about the conference. There were medical students and doctors from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda as well as the United States and South Africa. Interacting with people from other countries and realising how important our relationship to Christ is, as a unifying factor, was very evident. We learnt from our Congolese brothers and sisters about their hardships and realities experienced due to political instability and yet being able to choose to give thanks. Their zeal and honesty expressed freely, especially in songs of praise, was clearly demonstrated. This was a lesson for us who take for granted the peace in our countries. Do we worship and praise God with the same zeal?
One question summarised the Conference. What legacy would I leave behind if I died?
I thank God for ICMDA and the regional CMF’s that made this conference possible. Irrespective of our localities or nationalities, as Christians we stand united.’
WEST AFRICA CONFERENCE
Yes, this being their first, it was so enriching to meet in Abuja, Nigeria with fellow Christian health care professionals from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Niger, Senegal, Ghana and Cameroon. The plenaries presented by Peter Saunders led all who attended into a deeper walk with Christ. Challenges were many and the sharing in witness and fellowship resulted in a blessed sense of oneness in Christ. This was especially experienced during a most moving communion service.
Of very special significance was opportunity to listen to the shared stories of the activities and happenings in the various representative countries. Doctors, dentists, nurses, paramedics, administrators working in remote and isolated situations under difficult circumstances expressed an amazing joy of service in the Lord. Seeing miracles of faith in fellow Christians was most remarkable and encouraging to all.
The work in Francophone Africa is both challenging and difficult. And yet the Lord has there his willing and committed followers. The Conference was an opportunity to look to the way forward in such needy regions and to determine the next steps in building the Kingdom of God in West Africa. A commitment was made to assist National movements in reaching their goals. A Regional Committee is being established to support this development.
Give thanks to God for these two Conferences and intercede that the many many seeds sown will have fallen into well prepared ground and that the harvest will be great in the years that lie ahead.
At the 6th European Regional Conference in Krelingen, Germany (8-12 September) three new member organizations were announced - Lithuania, Portugal and Swaziland. Their participation in ICMDA is welcomed and we say ‘Congratulations’. Member countries now number 55.