From CMF news - winter 2006 - International Christian Medical and Dental Association [p7]
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At the Conference in Ecuador in December 2004 the Regional ICMDA Secretary, Dr Luis Urrutia, extended an invitation to attend the X1 Congreso Centreamericano to be held in San Salvador from 17-19 November 2005. This visit afforded the opportunity to meet with members of the CMDA Mexico and members of the emerging contact group in Brazil (Sao Paulo) on the return journey to South Africa.
The Conference, meeting under the theme of 'Medicine – Ethics and Christianity'was attended by a record group of 180 delegates. Whilst most of the participants were from El Salvador, the countries of Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua were well represented. Inspiring stories were heard from their reports of struggles and difficulties in establishing as well as sustaining the associations. Outreach programmes of shortterm missions, evangelical meetings, clinic services, Saline Solution seminars and recruiting doctors/dentists for under serviced rural areas, were highlighted. Each Association was an encouragement to others as all were seeking to deepen the commitment to Jesus Christ through their witness and service. The decision was taken for Panama to host the X11 Congress in 2007 and Nicaragua in 2009.
An indication had been provided to the ICMDA office that CMDA Mexico were keen to host the X1V World Congress in 2010. Following the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, many of the hotels on the 'golden 12 km' Caribbean Coast were non operational but now signs of restoration were very much in evidence. There was no doubt that Cancun would very shortly be throbbing with life again and that the recently established University in Cancun would provide an affordable venue.
Following a day and a half in Cancun, I attended an excellent meeting with CMDA Board members including the President Dr Martin Cortes. Hearing the testimony of Christian colleagues reaching out in compassion to natural disaster victims and the holding of regular medical/health care programmes in poor disadvantaged communities was a huge blessing. I came away most inspired and filled with the Joy of our Lord, knowing that CMDA Mexico continues to provide many opportunities for spiritual growth, prayer, fellowship and study of the Word.
Contact had been made with Dr Wilson Bonfin, the incoming President of Medicos de Cristo in Brazil to meet with Dr Tercio Obera to discuss and promote the establishment of an ICMDA member group in Brazil. What an amazing meeting this was. Dental care outreach programmes into the remote isolated villages of the Amazon Basin had established opportunities to share the Gospel with the people and had bonded missionaries together. Apart from establishing a meaningful link with Medicos de Cristo in Brazil the expectation is that they will be moving towards being received into full membership of the ICMDA.They are to hold a National Conference in September 2006.
Over the last few years ICMDA has appointed a team of young doctors to nurture and encourage the student work in different parts of the world. In our region we have eight ASRs. James Tomlinson covers areas at the borders of our region. Christopher Gerken (Germany) covers Central Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Slovenia). Nada Petrovski (Serbia) covers the Balkans.
Within the last six months we have appointed four new ASRs. Nikolai Vasilyev (St. Petersburg) covers Russia, Artsiom Adamenka (Belarus) covers Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. These two replace Andrew Greenfield who is standing down.
We are excited about this new team of Student Representatives and at what God may work through them.They value your prayers.
This is a gathering that has grown in the making.With a new team of ASRs this will be an important opportunity for training and fellowship for them. The Eurasia Regional Committee of ICMDA meets about every 18 months and this will be the opportunity to meet.
We have also settled on a location in Eastern Austria for the next Eurasia regional conference (in September 2008). The committee and the ASRs will have the opportunity to meet with the Austrian conference organising committee for advance planning of programme, speakers etc. This is a key opportunity to feed into the planning process a broad spectrum of international input at an early stage two and a half years before the conference.
We have also invited a number of younger leaders from across Europe to participate, so that this will be a good opportunity for seeking a clear and united vision of what God is doing in Europe and of what he wants us to be doing.
The last issue of CMF News carried notice of the appointment of Jonny Thiessen as CMF's international coordinator. This is a shared appointment with ICMDA Eurasia and Jonny works about one third of his time for ICMDA. A number of you have contributed to his support and we are extremely grateful for this. Jonny is already proving his worth in the role.With his knowledge of Russian language and interest in that area of the region, we look forward to developing his ministry in the Eastern reaches of our region.