This year many more people will seek help in a hospital or health clinic than will ever darken the door of a church. This gives Christian doctors and dentists a unique opportunity to bring the message and love of Jesus to many of those who would not otherwise experience it.
The Gospel writer Matthew tells us that Jesus ‘went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness’ (Matthew 9:5).
Luke, the first ever Christian doctor, tells us that Jesus then sent out his disciples to preach the gospel and to heal the sick (Luke 9:2).
Jesus promised that he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He added that the end would come once the gospel had been preached in all the world (Matthew 16:17-19, 24:14).
We are privileged to see this promise being worked out with increasing speed in our own lifetime.
But there is still much to be done. We live in a desperately hurting world where many still lack access to good health care and many more have not yet heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
Currently, worldwide, there are 1.2 million medical students in 2,600 medical schools, 12 million doctors, 16,500 hospitals and many more clinics. Furthermore, doctors and dentists have access, skills and resources at a level unprecedented in world history.
Imagine if every person
on earth had access to
a Christian doctor and dentist in their own community.
This is the vision of ICMDA which exists to start and strengthen national Christian medical and dental movements throughout the world.
There are now 84
such national movements affiliated with ICMDA. Twelve joined at the 16th
World Congress in Hyderabad, India last year, including ten from Francophone
countries. We are working for a further 16 to join at the next World Congress
in Tanzania in 2022.
During 2019, about 80 national and regional conferences and events will take place with the aim of equipping and strengthening medical and dental leaders, especially those from resource and gospel poor countries.
ICMDA will be at the forefront of this activity, encouraging prayer, delivering resources & training, and providing wisdom, experience and advice.
This year we will run leaders’ training events in Western Europe, Russia & Central Asia; South, East & South-East Asia; and West, East & Southern Africa. Also, international conferences for Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking doctors and dentists will take place in Egypt, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Guatemala.
In all these events ICMDA staff and volunteers will be active providing leadership, teaching and support.
The work is expanding exponentially, and God is raising up more workers to support this vision, but we remain significantly stretched financially.
will cost about £220,000 to run ICMDA this year. Half
of this already comes from subscriptions paid by the member movements –
together the US and UK provide just under
60% of this total.
But the remaining £105,000 is raised through
individual donations largely from Christian doctors and dentists. Only £50,000
of this £105,000 is currently guaranteed, almost 80% of which has already been
given or pledged by US doctors and dentists.
This leaves us with a shortfall of £55,000 still to raise this year.
This money enables us to provide travel grants to our three staff, almost 50 volunteers (regional secretaries, regional & area reps and board members) and to provide bursaries for leaders from resource poor countries to attend key conferences and training events where they can be inspired and equipped.
I am so encouraged by the example of our volunteers who give regularly of their time and talents – people like Samundra Rana, a Nepali paediatrician who was converted to Christ out of a Hindu background and provides support to doctors, dentists and students throughout South Asia. She speaks English, Nepali, Urdu, Hindi & Mandarin, and God has gifted her in evangelism and pastoral care. Or Augustin Lutakwa, a South African based general surgeon, who speaks French, English, Zulu, Swahili & Lingala, and serves over 30 countries throughout Africa.
We urgently more people to partner with us in prayer and giving to help make this vision a reality.
Would you be able to make a gift to ICMDA today?
Better still, might you make a commitment to give regularly to this vital work?
Please do consider how you might contribute to this crucial ministry.