Hope in Christ
As CMF News goes to press around 1,000 delegates will be sharing in the experience and fellowship of all the ICMDA World Congress in Sydney, Australia on 7-16 July 2006. The conference theme is 'Health and Hope'. Greater than just hope in numbers, is the hope that all will be returning home with a renewed HOPE in Christ.
We see this HOPE already being expressed and demonstrated in and through the lives of so many who are linked in so many ways to the ICMDA. Some of these experiences have been devastating whilst others have been so different.Yet each experience is one of inspiration through the Holy Spirit.
From Pakistan we learn of ongoing persecution of Christians for their faith. In spite of this, the faithful continue to provide healthcare to their neighbours through mission-based hospitals, clinics and services. They are supportive in projects to uplift the lives of their young people through schools and education programmes. They meet in Christian fellowship as health professionals, seeking to grow in Christian love, compassion and witness.
Nepal has been rocked in recent days by political instability. Standing as an edifice of commitment to Christ in such a 'crumbling'situation is the HOPE that shines supremely. At Tansen attacks on the hospital took place.Yet those on the staff are able to tell of the courage and strength received to withstand such onslaughts.
In Indonesia, another earthquake wreaks havoc and devastation on the people around Yogyakarta. Many here lost their loved ones and the infrastructure lies derelict around them. The members of CMF Indonesia once again, together with many other relief and rescue agencies, rally quickly to the call to be there where so much suffering and hurt is felt. HOPE brings that renewal which enables 'overcoming'and 'moving on.'
For the Eurasia Region in March 2006 things were different. The focus was on planning for the 2008 Eurasia Conference in Austria and expanding the Regional structures through the excellent work of the Regional Secretary and Committee and the Area Student Representatives.Much HOPE for the future development of the Kingdom was generated.
In all these experiences, together with so many more around the world, the difference HOPE engenders is the evidence of the presence of Christ in his world.
Let us go on to work for his Kingdom. Let his name be glorified in all our nations, communities, families and places of work. Let us be continually filled with his love. Let us together pray for one another, bear each other's burdens and rejoice in our oneness in Christ.
Eurasia Regional Consultation (March 2006)
I mentioned this meeting last quarter and this proved to be a highly significant gathering.With around 50 people from 22 different countries present over four days, we were able to cover a lot of ground. As well as nine UK members we were privileged to have Daryl and Priscilla Hackland (ICMDA General Secretary) and Peter and Beth Ravenscroft (ICMDA Chairman) with us. It was also good to welcome Chris Steyn and Helga Penzhorn of HCFI. Both made useful contributions.
Sunday evening and Monday were given over to a presentation by the Austrian ARCHAE committee of plans for the next Eurasia regional conference to be held in September 2008 at Schloss Schielleiten, close to the village of Stubenberg in Eastern Austria where we were meeting. They had made careful and detailed provisional plans for the programme and the budget and time was taken in honing these and a visit to the Schloss to see the attractive and very suitable location. It was so good to have this close interaction between the host committee and international representatives two and a half years ahead of the conference.
Tuesday was given to the regional committee and restructuring of the leadership. Four senior members of the committee agreed to stand down, making way for a whole new committee structure broadly representative of the region geographically with an emphasis on younger active leadership that reflects the dynamics of the current situation. The ICMDA Executive Committee will announce details of appointments following confirmation in July. It was a delight to see the willing responses of those asked to take up responsibility. I believe this sets the pattern for significant on-going advance in the coming period.
Tuesday and Wednesday were also given to a training programme for our eight Area Student Representatives (ASRs) who were listed in the last edition of CMF News. All except Nada Petrovski from Belgrade were able to attend. It was good to have Peter Saunders' input to their programme. A number of other young leaders joined these sessions making the total group about 15. Wednesday evening was a more relaxed time and those who were left departed on Thursday grateful to God for so much achieved – above and beyond expectations.