F ollowing the whirlwind excitement and encouragement of the 2006 Sydney World Congress it has been so strengthening to learn of ongoing growth and development for the kingdom around the world, particularly in South America. The next World Congress in 2010 will be in Punta del Este, Uruguay. From 6–11 September 2006 I visited South America in preparation for this.
The National Evangelical Congress of Health Professionals (ICEPS) held its conference from 7–9 November 2006 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It brought together many associations, such as Medicos de Cristo (CMF), Healthcare Christian Fellowship and Wings for Life. Over 450 attended, more than expected - some journeyed over 24 hours by bus.
Each morning a different pastor led the Bible teachings, focussing on what it means to serve compassionately in the name of Christ. These were followed by a daily exposition on Daniel, which set an excellent tone of challenge for all the delegates. There were three morning plenaries on the conference theme of Professional but Priest. I was privileged to share in these sessions on the three topics of prophetic call, being salt and light (Christian influence) and servanthood.
The afternoons were taken up by excellent round table discussions with plenty of stimulating discussion. Workshops followed, grappling with the issues facing Christian professionals in Brazil. The one on 'The Church's role in HIV/AIDS' drew up a declaration for the conference to implement.
During the conference there were two meetings of national organisations. At the meeting of Medicos de Cristo their board decided unanimously to apply for full ICMDA membership. What a joy it will be to welcome Brazil into the ICMDA family when this process is complete.
During a meeting of the Healthcare Christian Fellowship (HCF) we shared information on the present moves from within HCF International and ICMDA towards greater co-operation and networking; this was enthusiastically received.
On the Saturday afternoon teams went out to the streets of Belo Horizonte to hold evangelistic outreach programmes to both children and adults, sharing the 'gospel of wholeness' in Christ.
This was truly a most fantastic conference, which united so many Christian health professionals from the participating organisations. Out of such unity will no doubt come the support and encouragement for Argentina and Uruguay as they continue to plan for 2010.
Then we travelled on to Uruguay and to the beautiful coastal town of Punta del Este, looking at various details of the plans for the World Congress, such as proposed venues for the students' and junior doctors' preconference and the main congress.
I strongly recommend that you set aside the time and resources to be there where the action will be in 2010. God bless.
Daryl Hackland is ICMDA General Secretary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The last four months of 2006 have been an exceptionally busy time for ICMDA Eurasia. Kevin Vaughan has been in Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland with Saline Solution. James Tomlinson was in Austria in September for consultations over the regional conference at Schielleiten in September 2008. Euan Dodds (Area Student Representative (ASR) for Western Europe) was at the IFES Ireland conference and sent us good reports. I have been in Denmark and Czech Republic for good conferences. It was good to see our ASRs, Laura (Scandinavia) in Denmark and Chris (Central Europe) in Prague. Both made excellent contributions and the students are greatly encouraged to see themselves as part of a wider movement. There was a new group of about 30 students in Prague.
Further afield, Jonny Thiessen had nearly three weeks in Russia, encouraging Kolya (the ASR) and other young leaders, planning for the Russian-speaking sub-regional conference in Samara in July 2007. His experience of living in Russia and ability with Russian language is a huge help. On the way there and back, he also met up with students in Riga, Latvia.
James spent seven weeks in Central Asia in October/November and saw many things coming together. In October leaders from four countries met, elected a regional committee, nominated a young doctor in Kazakhstan to be their new ASR, started planning for an HIV/AIDS conference and generally took the leadership into their own hands. This was hugely encouraging to James and to us all.
One of our ASRs was in Egypt in September for the 25th anniversary of their CMF – the only ICMDA member organisation in the region. She was excited to see a new group of over 100 students and young doctors – something that has not happened for a long time. There were visitors from Sudan and there has been much activity in the latter part of the year for support of Christian medics in Sudan.
As well as a new ASR for Central Asia, the appointment of a new Balkan ASR from Romania is in process. This highlights the importance of the regional committee meeting and ASR training time planned in March 2007 in Marburg, Germany. From January James Tomlinson has officially begun as Associate Regional Secretary working two days a week (nominally!). This is a huge step forward for the region and Marburg will be an important time of consolidation.
The last edition of CMF News carried a misprint. We do push the borders of what may be described as Eurasia, but not quite to include Central America! Thank you for your prayerful support of what God is doing in the Eurasia region and beyond.
Peter Pattisson is the ICMDA Eurasia Regional Secretary Tel: 01892 824872 Email: email@example.com