For my elective I am going to a secular placement in Australia, a choice that has been criticised by some of my fellow Christians who are following the more traditional path of visiting small mission hospitals in the developing world. Yet in many ways my placement will be a greater challenge to my Christian faith as I am visiting an Aboriginal settlement where, historically, missionaries have done more harm than good. It is a place where Christian workers have spread disease with much greater ease than they have spread God's Word, where Dreamtime stories are now tempered with alcoholic hallucinations.
I hope that Nucleus has been of greater success in spreading God's Word, for that has certainly been our aim: to glorify God and to encourage fellow medics in their walk with Christ. It is the one thing that has not changed during my time as editor - whilst desktop publishing has replaced the old-fashioned methods, and the team approach has evolved further - our purpose has remained the same. That is not to say that it has always been an easy task to fulfil, for, whilst we may have the ultimate guidebook, in the form of the Bible, on which to base our views, we (the editorial team) are but human. Indeed there may even have been times when you have disagreed strongly with what has been printed, but have been unable to shed the veil of apathy for long enough to write in. If that has been your experience then I urge you to change, and next time you feel similarly incensed, to write in and tell us.
For we all have an obligation, as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage one another to grow in our walk with Christ, and how can we grow if we never learn where we have gone wrong? I realise that it is not easy either to criticise or be criticised but no-one ever promised that the Christian life would be easy. The secret is to persevere, for the rewards are immeasurable:
'Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him'. James 1:12