From CMF news - summer 2008 - ICMDA International Christian Medical and Dental Association [p7]
Implementing ICMDA's regionalisation policy is resulting in much expansion. New contact groups are regularly identified, with members expressing the intention to form national organisations. Out of such beginnings, now happening in a number of countries, a further member organisation will emerge, adding to the size of the ICMDA family. As with our human families, members need to be in touch with one another.
When the Regional Secretaries met as part of the Executive Committee proceedings in May, it was encouraging to learn how the member organisations are supported in all their endeavours to 'expand the boundaries of God's Kingdom'. Here are some exciting highlights.
Jose Luis Martinez has just been appointed as Regional Secretary. We heard of the Holy Spirit flooding the hearts of the people with love and joy. Expressions of the holistic ministry of Christ (teaching, preaching, healing as in Matthew 9:35) were seen in outreach programmes; in networking with other organisations; in addressing societal issues of adultery, divorce and even murder; in mission trips to Senegal. Particularly significant was the challenge to reach out to neighbouring countries where members struggle (eg Guatemala) or where no group yet exists (eg Colombia).
Through Osemwen Asemota came news of many branches in Nigeria being revitalised and new groups being formed. Work amongst students is huge, with up to 3,000 attending a national conference. Much attention is being given to integrating graduate and student work, and to outreach to neighbouring countries like Cameroon and the Francophone ones. Ghana, a recent member, is already playing a significant role as it hosts the West Africa Regional Conference in Accra from 10-13 July.
Vinod Shah spoke inspiringly of activities in that region, where Nepal has just become a member. A relatively small band has registered their organisation and then applied for membership. Nepal has organised a conference where 60 medical students are expected to attend, all this being financed themselves. CMA India has over the past few years been 'twinning' with CMA Bangladesh, giving much appreciated support and encouragement. In Bangladesh the Christian doctors had a sense of hopelessness, but this is now being turned around through CME seminars organised by Vinod Shah. Interest in medical missions is being revived through the Shiloh Conferences, involving the churches, EMFI and CMAI. Outreach to Myanmar is sought, especially in response to the recent cyclone disaster.
Space does not allow more news from East Africa, Southern Africa, South America, Eurasia and Oceania. Organisation is proceeding for the 2010 World Congress in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Please support all this growth and development in prayer.
Daryl Hackland is ICMDA General Secretary Email firstname.lastname@example.org
'Sir, we want to see Jesus' (John 12:21). With these words Georg Bittmann, chairman of Archae, opened one day of the planning committee recently, saying simply that if this was achieved the conference would be a success; if not, however well planned, it would have failed. I was very impressed with the commitment and care going into the planning. At present around 500 registrations have been received. The conference needs a minimum of 750 to break even financially.
The bursary committee met earlier in May with about 200 applications and a total fund of 40,000 euros. We approved grants totalling 50,000 euros to 150 applicants, including about 50 from extremely sensitive countries. We rejoiced that our request for 'at least 40,000 euros' had been met through the generosity of many individuals and movements across Europe. In the expectation of further funds coming, we took a step of faith in approving grants up to 50,000 euros. A further 5,000 euros has been received since the committee.
Thank you if you have contributed to the bursary fund, and may I encourage those who have not yet done so to consider making a grant before the summer holidays. Go from CMF's homepage via the banner to a conference page pointing you to the bursary fund, and click down on 'This donation is for' to 'Europe-Eurasia Bursary Fund'.
We are in the process of major change in the regional structure. I will be standing down at the Schladming conference. James Tomlinson has been Associate Regional Secretary for the last 18 months, and I am delighted that he will be taking up the role of Regional Secretary from September. I commend him to your prayers and would urge your support for him. We have been able to put in place some good support structures for him including Mrs Liz Mander, a Birmingham based book-keeper, as financial administrator.
At the beginning of the year we set a budget of 30,000 euros. We have received a little over 20,000 euros, so there is some way to go in the second half of the year. In addition we are facing new challenges and opportunities in the Middle East. If we are to take up these opportunities, it would involve a further 15,000 euros in 2009. It seems that God is constantly stretching our faith.
This will probably be my last article as regional secretary. I write with a profound sense of gratitude to God and to all of you who have supported and encouraged a growing work over the last six years. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel.Peter Pattisson is ICMDA Eurasia Regional Secretary