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Dear brothers and sisters,

 

2015 has been tumultuous and uncertain in many ways from ISIS to global disasters. Yet there are also glimmers of hope like the encouraging outcomes of the Paris Talks on Climate Change.

 

This year, the CMDF celebrates the richness of our community as we confronted the issue of the ethics and Christian response to End of Life. We had the opportunity to interact with students in deep conversations at Open House gatherings. We thank God too for an insightful Annual Fellowship Meeting in St Luke's Hospital as we struggled with 'Suffering and Pain'.

 

On a regional note, 3 CMDF Indonesian dentists, 1 Thai and 1 Burmese doctors were co-workers with Dr Tan Hun Hoe in a joint outreach programme in Myanmar. Do keep 9-12 Sep 2016 for a regional conference in Jakarta where various SE Asia interest groups like Crisis Relief, Urban Missions & Poverty, Ethics, Mission Hospitals, Timor Leste and others will be featured.

 

May this Christmas and the New Year ahead remind us of the hope we have in the Saviour of the world and may His light shine brightly in the darkness..

 

Emmanuel, 
Wei-Leong

 

 

 

chaplain

 

 

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From The Chapiain's Desk

 

A High Calling

 

Recently Bernice and I were in Ho Chi Minh City and we visited the War Museum. It was educational to see the Vietnam war from another perspective. We noted that the Vietnamese respected one group of Americans and their allies --- the medics. There were a number of exhibits that mentioned the heroism of medics --- how they did their best to care for others even though the medics themselves were wounded and some even dying. There seems to be something about sacrificial love that strikes a chord universally. It is even acknowledged by enemies.

 

I think of followers of Christ who are doctors and dentists here in Singapore. A number of us may have chosen our professions because we wanted to be used by the Lord to be a channel of healing and wholeness to the sick and the broken. We had hoped to demonstrate the gospel and where appropriate even share the gospel, through our work.

 

The reality was that we were soon overwhelmed by the long hours and the demands of the work itself. And while we may not have intentionally started out to do so our fatigue and busyness lowered our spiritual discernment and we were soon caught up in the promise of big money and the things that money could buy.

 

I believe that the Lord wants to bless us and that we should not be guilty of riches per se. If the Lord chooses to bless us materially we say thank you and ask for wisdom to be good stewards. I am concerned about something else --- that we forget the call for us to practice medicine in a spirit of sacrificial service.

 

We must never forget that we follow a Christ:

 

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be use d to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2: 6 - 8 NIV).”

 

We need to regularly check ourselves to see if we have veered from the path of Christ like sacrificial service and if we have to once again choose to follow Christ. It may mean that we do different things. Or it may mean doing the same things in a different spirit.

 

How will the world know that Christ exists and what this Christ looks like? May the world encounter Him afresh when they see doctors and dentists who reflect the spirit of the God who came to serve..

 

Rev. Dr. Tan Soo Inn

Honourary Chaplain

CMDF

 

 

 

events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CMDF Annual Re-Dedication Service 2016

Join us for the first CMDF gathering of the new year by re-dedicating your life and work to the Lord.

Date: Thur 21 January 2016
Time: 7pm
Venue: GCF
Address: 420 North Bridge Road, level 5, North Bridge Centre (parking available at the National Library)
Speaker: Rev Dr Tan Soo-Inn
Message: Taking Sabbath Seriously

Please RSVP for catering purposes at: admin@cmdf.org.sg

 

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CMDF Annual Celebration Dinner 2015

When an olive tree gets old, often hundreds of years old, farmers cut it down. But, new shoots soon grow from the old stump, and the tree starts producing olives again.

 

This image of the olive tree was pondered, among many others, at the recent Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship’s annual celebration dinner.

 

Held on 14 November at NUS Kent Ridge Guild House, some 260 guests gathered to give thanks to the Lord, and to remind each other of their call to serve their neighbour.

 

From its founding in 1973, the CMDF, a doctor-and-dental-surgeon community united around Christ’s call to serve the ill and needy, has grown in encouraging ways.

 

The new growth may be seen in the increasingly strong bonds between graduates and students, and the burgeoning interest in medical missions among the latter. Ever since the CMDF threw wide its doors to dental and medical students nearly a decade ago, it is common to see students meet and mingle with graduate-seniors.

 

The CMDF’s celebration dinner is the acme of this closeness. The anticipation on the faces of young students, interns and residents, eager to hear what their seniors and elders have to share about work and faith, said it all.

 

The leitmotif of the evening, “Walking through the Valley”, was a sombre one.

 

Theme speaker and infectious diseases expert Dr Lim Poh Lian spoke deeply about her intensely moving experience with illness and suffering.

 

In April last year, Dr Lim was diagnosed with breast cancer. This led her down a difficult, nine-month journey. A journey through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A journey of keeping herself away from the front-line of the then-unfolding Ebola threat in the country because she had no immune system to speak of. An experience of fighting hunger and thirst after an operation she never dreamed she’d go through.

 

A struggle fighting the gutting fear that her three children may receive a future without her.

 

The narrative of God’s grace in her life was told simply, and without flourish. As she recounted her story, the gathered community warmed to her words, and heard in them, humor, joy, and courage.

 

It is possible to walk through the valley.

 

At one point, Dr Lim compared herself to an olive tree, an image she clung to and revelled in. “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” (Psalm 52:8)

 

Breast cancer notwithstanding, she showed her listeners how in the beautiful plan of God, illness does not destroy us. For shoots and branches grow from stumps, again.

 

In powerful detail, Dr Lim explained how the valley changed her perspective of personal failure. The fear that nearly drowned her - of losing her strength, her work, her intactness, her usefulness, and finally herself - was later burnished into a realisation that, at the final hurdle, the one she will necessarily fail, she will indeed lose many precious things. Only to fall, finally, into the arms of God.

 

Suffering is always personal, or begins in a personal way, explained the evening’s host Lee Chung Horn. Often, suffering becomes shared suffering, and sometimes it becomes larger - communal, global, even cosmic.

 

Three actors presented an unusual and well-received spoken word performance titled “Blessed Be the God of All Comfort”. Working in concert, WEC International director Louis Sutton, and two medical students Geraldine Goh and Michael Yan wove an oral skein of words from the Old and New Testament. Their words steered the darkness of abandonment to where it surrenders to the light of hope. - Dr Lee Chung Horn

 

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Open House - 24 October 2015

 

It was a blessed evening spent at the CMDF Open House hosted by Dr Tam Wai Jia. I was so heartened to see everyone - doctors, medical students and our non-medical friends, gather together under one roof, putting aside busy schedules, to rest, open up to one another about their thoughts, passions and dreams, and to pray.

 

From the hearty, home-made meals, to listening to wonderful testimonies, to reading the book "Savour" and fellowshipping, the Lord's sweet and comforting presence was keenly felt. Truly, the event was certainly one to savour! - Vanessa Ching

 

 

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Dying Faithfully: Ethical Issues At Life's End

 

Held on 3 October 2015 at the Bible House, the one-day conference titled Dying Faithfully: Ethical Issues At Life’s End was attended by close to 100 participants made up of doctors, medical students and the general public.

 

The conference was a lively debate and discussion on end-of-life issues. Moderated by Dr Goh Wei Leong, the speakers Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon, Friar David Garcia, Ms Sumytra Menon and Dr Cynthia Goh were all engaging as they spoke about biblical and theological aspects, natural law, legal and medical aspects.

 

There was a lot of interaction with the audience who posed many difficult and interesting questions relating to the right to die, assisted suicide, Christian perspectives on suffering and how far one should go to care for someone who’s dying.

 

The conference was jointly organised by the Catholic Medical Guild, Christian Medical & Dental Fellowship and ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity.

 

 

 

CMDF Annual Fellowship Meeting

 

The CMDF Annual General meeting - which is affectionately also known as our AFM (Annual Fellowship Meeting) - was held on 18 July 2015 at St Luke's Hospital.

 

A total of 50 dental surgeons, doctors and medicals students attended. Members of the chapliancy staff of St Luke's hospital also joined us. After a time of worship and singing that was led by medicals students, Dr Goh Wei Leong (chairman of CMDF) presented us with the annual report and direction of the CMDF.

 

Ms Ng Bee Ker, chaplain of the St Luk'es Hospital, then shared with us a devotion about suffering. She shared from her personal experience as a chaplain at St Luke's and also as a (filial) daughter to her dad in his struggle with ageing. From the book of Job, we learn that while Job did not get all the answers he wanted about his own dreadful suffering, he got much more than he needed when he encountered and experienced God.

 

Quote from Dr Rachel Remen Naomi: “The world isn’t made up of facts. It’s made up of stories. And in a technological society, that takes us by surprise. Stories take the facts of a life and infuse them with meaning. They inspire us, feed us, heal us when we’ve been wounded. It’s not possible to live well without stories..”.

 

The highlight of our AFM this year - all the participants were divided into small groups. Led by the chaplaincy staff of St Luke's Hospital, we went for a quiet but very engaging prayer walk through the hospital. Some of us prayed for the nurses as they changed shift, some prayed for the relatives that were visiting (or not visiting), and some prayed for the construction work and workers that was going on. The prayer walk highlighted to us the healing and restorative work of the healthcare profession.

 

After the prayer walk, we gathered in the chapel for a discussion on end-of-life matters. We were given case studies - elderly who were kept alive by technology, patients that were caught in seemingly useless suffering with poor quality life, patients who had dementia and with family members unsure about who to give consent for surgery.

 

It was a good time of learning as we went through the case studies - medical students who had questions about technicalities as well as ethics, junior medical officers who felt so keenly for patients as they are the first in line to meet them daily and to share with relatives; and more senior doctors who were much reminded of the need to sustain our empathy and remain Christ-like in our actions and decisions despite our demanding schedules. We also discussed some of the important end-of-life issues that appear very different from the bedside compared to the pulpit. Sometimes it is hard to have an absolute view and there are often complex issues of understanding family dynamics, the will of the individual and trying to discern the will of God. We all realized how dependent we are on God especially in caring for elderly patients and relatives and how much we need the love and support of the entire Christian community.

 

We ended the discussion with some thoughts from Phil chapter 4 - the apostle Paul reminded the Philippian church to:

 

a) contend for the Gospel
b) be co-workers and companions in the Lord
c) to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
d) to focus on that which is noble, right, true, pure, lovely, admirable... and to rejoice in Christ even when in tough situations.

 

Dr Goh then rounded up the CMDF AFM with the sharing of the work of the MMF (Medical Mission Foundation) and with news of the upcoming events. - Dr Tan Lai Yong

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

Please visit our website www.cmdf.org.sg for updates and coming events:

 

CMDF Annual Re-dedication Service – 21 January 2016
Open House - March, September
H Os Welcom
e – May, June
Annual Fellowship Meeting – July
MMF Fund-Raising Golf Tournament & Dinner - 27 July 2016
Annual Celebration Dinner – 5 November 2016

 

Time and Venue to be confirmed. For the latest updates on CMDF events, please visit our website at www.cmdf.org.sg.

 

 

 

 

Missions

 

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11th MMF Golf Tournament & Fund-Raising Dinner - 29 July 2015

"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth", Jesus said in Acts1:8.

Many of our doctors have responded to this call and ventured out to third world countries in Asia and Africa. CMDF and MMF (Medical Missions Foundation) in turn, have supported them in prayer and with financial aid every year. For the past 11 years, we have organized golf tournaments and dinners, to raise funds for them. This year's event was held on July 29 at the Singapore Island Country Club. 140 golfers participated in the tournament and about 400 diners attended the dinner.

Our guest -of - honour for dinner was the Minister for Health, Mr. Gan Kim Yong. Our speaker for the night was Dr. Tam Wai Jia, a missionary who had received support from us. She gave a very heart -warming and comprehensive talk on her involvement and interaction with the people of Uganda, said to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The Dr Benjamin Chew Golf Challenge Trophy was won by Mr Derric Low. We managed to raise about $400,000 this year.

We thank God for the continued support received from all who participated in this fund-raising effort. - Dr James Chang Ming Yu, Chairman, 11th MMF Golf Tournament and Fund-Raising Dinner Committee

 

 

 

call

 

healthserve

Be A Volunteer!

HealthServe is a non-profit community development organization dedicated to serving the interests of the migrants, disadvantaged and poor in the local community.

We are looking for Dermatologist who are willing to extend a hand for our migrant workers once a month in our clinic.

For volunteering enquiries, please email: janna@healthserve.org.sg or call us during office hours at 6743-9774.

HEALTHSERVE COMMUNITY CLINIC
1 Lorong 23 Geylang #01-07 Building 4 Singapore 388352.