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Dear brothers and sisters,

 

What an exciting and juicy issue we have!

 

The art and science of medicine has come under intense pressure in our world today. This, coupled with our faith in God certainly must challenge us as Christian medical and dental professionals, as we attempt to be salt and light.

 

The debate around 'assisted suicide' is probably the next slippery slope globally. Already legal in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, it is an issue which we will face in the near foreseeable future. We must remain relevant. Appropriately, CMDF is gathering an interest group on this topic, so please do contact us if you feel led to.

 

Check out Prof Tommy Koh and Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon’s debate on the Right-to-Die online! "As a society, we should promote palliative medicine and find ways to care for the dying, thus emphasising the dignity of persons and a society that takes responsibility to care not only for the living but also the dying." - Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon. (http://www.ipscommons.sg/debate/)

 

This meaty issue of REAL! is also packed with a related article by Dr Tan Soo Inn our chaplain on preventing depression.

 

In the meantime, stay strong as we shine for Jesus and "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." Rom 12:2

 

Emmanuel, 
Wei-Leong

 

 

chaplain

From The Chapiain's Desk

 

Preventing Depression

 

What are you doing to minimise the possibility of suffering depression? The recent suicide of actor-comedian Robin Williams has once again put suicide and depression in the limelight. We are confronted afresh with the prevalence of depression worldwide.

 

Globally, depression is the second-leading cause of disability, and the Middle East and North Africa have the highest concentration of people with the disorder, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine. (Traci Pederson, “Depression Takes a Serious Toll Around the World,” PsychCentral, November 9, 2013 http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html)

 

As doctors and other health care professionals, we know these statistics first hand as many of these statistics are our patients. And the kind of work we do also means that we are vulnerable to depression ourselves.

 

Since we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, there is a place for legitimate self-care. What are some things we can do to keep depression at bay in our own lives? I am sure there is no one size fits all formula. But an article in the February 28th 2005 Asian Edition of TIME Magazine carries this article: “Eight Steps Toward a More Satisfying Life” (32-33), by University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. She suggests the following steps towards a more depression free life:

 

1. Count your blessings.
2. Practice acts of kindness.
3. Savour life’s joys.
4. Thank a mentor.
5. Learn to forgive.
6. Invest time and energy in friends and family.
7. Take care of your body.
8. Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardship.

 

This is a very biblical list of suggestions. Permit to do some “proof texting.”

 

1. Count your blessings. “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits?” [Psalm 103:2]

 

2. Practice acts of kindness. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” [Galatians 6:10]

 

3. Savour life’s joys. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” [1Timothy 6:17]

 

4. Thank a mentor. “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” [1Thessalonians 5:12-13a]

 

5. Learn to forgive. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” [Colossians 3:13]

 

6. Invest time and energy in friends and family. “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” [Colossians 3:18-19] “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’-which is the first commandment with a promise- ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. [Ephesians 6:1-4]

 

7. Take care of your body. “For physical training is of some value” [1Timothy 4:8a]

 

8. Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardship. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” [James 1:2-4]

 

It seems that empirical science only serves to confirm what is in God’s Word to begin with. Maybe we would be wise to pause to look at the eight items in the list. What are we doing as “preventive medicine” against depression? What can we do better? The life you save may be your own.

 

Rev. Dr. Tan Soo Inn

Honourary Chaplain

CMDF

 

 

 

events

 

 

AFM

AFM

AFM

 

CMDF Annual Fellowship Meeting - 17 July 2014
"God In A Brothel"

In the words of a participant, this year’s Annual Fellowship Meeting was the most challenging and humbling gathering the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship had had for a long time.

Challenging would be an apt description because the meeting was titled God in A Brothel. The event was intentionally located in salacious Geylang, Singapore’s red-light district, within a church* whose mission was to work among the migrants and sex workers who call this corner of Singapore their home and workplace.

Humbling, too, because this was a meeting which taught difficult facts about human trafficking, first revealing them, and then placing them against the biblical backdrop of social justice, human dignity and worth, and the wall between captivity and liberation.

The team which CMDF chairman Dr Goh Wei Leong assembled to work on the project – Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, Priscilla Ang, Kelvin Chen, Linus Chua, Tan Lai Yong, Samuel Lim, Calvin Koh, Lee Chung Horn – met around the following convictions. First, the content would explore trafficking and modern-day slavery. Second, didactic discourse must give way to discussion and soul searching. Finally, the program must provide an opportunity for sight, sound and tingle to change unmoved listener to broken heart.

With the Holy Spirits help, of course.

Lee Chung Horn, who was the evening’s MC, began the evening with a flurry of questions: “What did you see when you made your way here? What scenes met your eyes? What did you feel walking through the heart of Geylang? Tell me, were you affronted or repulsed?”

He told the gathering that the evening’s trajectory must go beyond titillation and shock, that the company of doctors, dental professionals, medical and dental students and even non-medical folks, should ask themselves what their call to work for social justice ought to be as Christian disciples.

Guest speaker and OMF missionary Dr Jeffrey Lum shared about human trafficking in Cambodia. Many had never heard the true story about sex workers, child beggars or forced labourers. Trafficked persons are victims from desperate backgrounds who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking exists wherever people are able to profit, monetarily or in-kind, from the control and exploitation of others.

Next, Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, Kelvin Chen and Tan Lai Yong, with a team of group leaders, helmed the break-out sessions that followed. In the small groups, we discussed real-life scenarios that illustrate the ways that exploitation and injustice exists and grows in present-day Singapore. The views were as honest and faltering as they were brave and stout.

As the evening progressed, many felt the righteous anger of Isaiah “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.(Isa 58:6-8)

For Dr Hanley Ho, a young doctor training in public health, the meeting’s lessons were compelling. He was one of several participants who were invited to offer a public prayer at the close of the meeting.

Dr Ho prayed: “Dear Jesus, in our careers we will face temptations. It is easy to make unethical decisions because they seem to be advantageous to us. Lord, may You help us to live righteously. Help us to believe that even in difficult times, You walk with us. You go ahead of us, your grace will always be enough for us. Teach us to rely on You and have faith that You always provide for us what we need.”

Dr Tan Lai Yong who led one of ten break-out groups that evening: “It was amazing how the LORD weaves lessons and life together. We pray for fruit and growth in our lives.”- Dr Lee Chung Horn

 

OH

Open House - 28 June 2014
“The Beating Heart of Service”

 

Medical school can have a heavy toll on the faith of medical students. One may be susceptible to the death, depression and disappointment, all of which are commonplace in the wards. One may then lose his confidence in Christ and let empathy fade away. There is even the threat of becoming jaded and forgetting the less privileged around us.

 

In June this year, 18 medical students from NUS, Hong Kong University & Chinese University of Hong Kong participating in a 5-day mission’s orientated camp titled Project Ephesus also attended CMDF open house. The topic of the open house was “The beating heart of service.”

 

Students from both countries led the sharings at the open house. They spoke about their service for the less privileged and the needy in their own countries. It was an inspirational and invigorating time to see young passionate students share about the work they do, as well as what they had learnt from the missions camp which was the first of it’s kind. - Joshua Tan, YLLSoM Yr 4 Medical Student

 

HODuke1

HO Duke 2

CMDF Meet the HOs with Duke NUS - 24 June 2014

The CMDF Meet the HOs with the Duke NUS is an annual event for fellowship and prayer for new house-officers before they commence work.

This 2nd session was hosted by Drs Bobby and Ivy Sng at their home and was attended by a dozen doctors. Over delicious traditional food, Dr Bobby Sng reminded the junior doctors that life is more than medicine or the careers you choose and challenged them to live a life larger than our own careers.

He shared in particular the lives of 3 individuals who's distinguished Christian journey impacted him:

Mama Tong - a lecturer in chemistry who delayed getting her further studies to put her family through education and establish their careers.

Mr Dale - a lecturer in geography who was instrumental in the starting of Varsity Christian Fellowship. He and his wife opened their home to students for sunday tea discussions on pertinent topics of the day such as evolution, sharing the faith and Christian suffering.

Brither Sim Miah Kian, a businessman, and banker who started from a humble background and rose to prominence in business, all the time contributing to the development of social services in Singapore.

All 3 of them remained in their career while contributing to the Lord's work, having viewed their life as more than their own career, they lives their life fully.

This session is part of the continuing efforts of CMDF to support junior doctors-in-training. We warmly welcome these new doctors to our community and wish them Godspeed in the years ahead. - Dr Calvin Koh

 

HO2014

 

 

HOs Welcome - 1 May 2014

The annual CMDF Meet the New Housemen’s gathering was held on 1st May 2014 afternoon on day 1 of work, hosted by Dr Lim P L,who kindly opened her house and provided tasty refreshments and drinks. It was a blessed and casual time to chat about the challenges ahead for the housemen, as well as for seniors to remember the good and the bad memories about their houseman days and lessons learnt. Dr Lim also shared some thoughts regarding struggles in life and how we can respond to struggles with humility and hope in God. We ended with a short time of prayer committing the housemen to God in the year ahead as they start on their careers. - Dr Linus Chua

 

 

 

ad

Upcoming Events

 

Open House – 11 October 2014

Annual Celebration Dinner – 15 November 2014

 

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

 

 

 

missions

 

mmf

mmf5

mmf

 

MMF 10th Fund-Raising Golf Tournament & Dinner 2014

The 10th Medical Mission Foundation Golf and Dinner 2014, took place in the Singapore Island Country Club at its Thomson location. It was a tremendous success, with a total of 144 golfers and about 420 diners. The weather was perfect. There was no rain, no hot sun, no haze, and the golfers enjoyed the afternoon in the environmentally friendly golf course, tucked in the Thomson area, amidst jungle and reservoir. There was no traffic noise and no airplanes flying over. The only distractions were the chirping of birds and the fun- loving antics of the macaque monkeys. There were many golf prizes to be won that afternoon. The prestigious Dr Benjamin Chew Trophy for the Overall Champion was won by Mr SK Ho.

 

At dinner, our missionary Dr Jeffrey Lum shared his experiences in Cambodia, where for 10 years he served the poor and needy, as well as in the Prison Ministry, providing physical and spiritual healing to many. Our Guest of Honour Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah praised God in his speech for the many doctors who had willingly given up their comfortable life and career in Singapore to venture into the unknown, to share the gospel in foreign lands.

 

My grateful thanks goes to the many donors, who gave generously to the Medical Missions Foundation. In addition, I thank the many individual and corporate sponsors who gave gifts of all kinds ... dinner, shopping and hotel stay vouchers, home utility gifts, snacks and drinks. The first prize was a Mac Air laptop. By God's grace, we netted about $350,000 this year.

 

Finally I thank the Lord for our enthusiastic and hard working organizing committee. To God be all glory! - Dr James Chang Ming Yu Chairman, MMF Fund Raising Committee

 

 

 

call

 

healthserve

Be A Volunteer!

HealthServe HealthServe is a non-profit community development organisation dedicated to serving the interests of the migrants, disadvantaged and poor in the local community, regardless of ethnicity, gender, language and religion.

HealthServe would not be what we are today without our volunteers. We are looking for doctors and other medical personnel who are keen to serve in our clinic.

If you are interested to volunteer your service, please contact Magdalene at:
magdalene@healthserve.org.sg
or visit our website for more information:
www.healthserve.org.sg

 

 

reflections

 

dental

Dental Prayer Fellowship

Dental Prayer Fellowship meets an average of 11 times each year. Since March 2013 the meeting has shifted from a home to NUS Kent Ridge Campus.

Each last Thursday of the month we use MD6 lecture room, Faculty of Medicine from 7.30-9.30pm. Our meeting format is praise and worship, sharing from the Word by Dr Tan Soo Inn (CMDF Honorary Chaplain) or others, a report of a mission outreach or sharing of some aspect of dentistry, and finally breaking up into small groups to interact and pray.

Over the years, students graduate, served their bond, complete their higher training and some join the ranks of private practitioners. The mentored become mentors and those 20-25 at DPF meetings, comprising students and graduates, do not fail to reflect and testify of the LORD’s leading and blessings through the years of training and practise. Continue to prayer for our small group as we fellowship and seek to follow Christ’s example.