Shane Memorial Medical Missionary Award
The Shane Memorial ICMDA Medical Missionary Award is awarded to a young missionary serving in a developing country.
It was established in memory of Dr Shane Sam Mathew, a young missionary dentist, who died on the mission field in 2017.
The award is given every two years and presented at an ICMDA Regional Conference or World Congress.
Dr Shane Sam Mathew
17 January 1992 - 3 September 2017.
Dr Shane was a graduate from the Christian Dental College, Ludhiana. He was the son of Mr George Mathew Paracken and Mrs Elizabeth Mathew, and brother to Cheryl, who are members of the St Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Karol Bagh, New Delhi. His father works with the National YMCA, New Delhi India, his mother, Elizabeth is with the Christian Medical Association of India, and sister Cheryl is a law student.
Shane was a talented youngster, fantastic poet, an excellent singer and basketball player, fast fingered guitarist, a loving son, a friend who would run the extra mile, and an exceptional brother. He never boasted about his laurels, never took pride in his achievements for he knew all this would one day go away.
He taught many never to back down from a challenge and his friends knew that they could come to him at any time for help and he would put his heart into the matter.
In January 2016 Shane joined the Leprosy Mission Hospital at Chaandkhuri, Bilaspur District, Chhattisgarh. In February 2017, he was deputed by the Christian Dental College, Ludhiana, to serve in Ganta, Liberia, where there were just four dentists for a country of four million.
Shane served in Liberia for seven months with commitment and diligence and was much appreciated for his work ethic. He was loved by patients, colleagues and seniors alike. When it came to sharing the love of Jesus Christ, no colour, no divisions, no distance mattered.
On the night of 3 September 2017, a fire engulfed the staff residence quarters in the Methodist Hospital Ganta campus. Shane died in the blaze and was promoted to glory.
‘I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.
‘Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.’
2018 Award Recipient
The first winner of the Shane Memorial Medical Missionary Award was given posthumously to Dr Alex. Dr Alex was an Indian missionary doctor who worked with his wife in a remote head hunting tribe in central India. Together they looked after the tribe's medical needs and translated Scripture into the Bondo tribal language. Dr Alex died in 2017 before he could receive the award. The award was presented to his wife at the 16th World Congress in Hyderabad 2018.
The Late Dr Alexandar and Mrs Hannah Alex are an example of a couple committed to each other and to the call of God. They have been exemplary in their walk with the Lord in all areas of their professional and personal life.
Dr Alexandar was born in Tamilnadu, one of the states in South India and was the youngest of five children in a Hindu family. During his first year in medical college, he came to know about Christ and accepted Him as his Lord and Saviour.
After his studies, he worked in Oddanchatram as a junior doctor from 1992-1996. He felt God leading him to Odisha, specifically to the Bondo tribe, a very primitive tribal group. He was involved in health, education, literacy and developmental work. He married Ms Hannah in 1996 and she being a teacher with a Master’s degree in Science and a Bachelor of Education, beautifully complemented his work.
By the year 2001, they had written books on Bondo Phonology, Grammar and published 15 Adult literacy books. Between the years 1999-2003, they had two beautiful daughters named Sophia and Christina. After eight years of service in the Bondo tribe, to equip themselves better for His service, they together pursued degrees in Christian studies from South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, India in the years 2004-2006. With the script for the tribal language that they had already developed, they paved the way for the Bible to be translated into the local language. The study broadened their vision and they returned to Asha Kiran to reach out to all the 62 tribes in Odisha by teaching leaders the Word of God.
In the year 2009, they moved to the nearby school started for the Indian Cross-cultural missionary children, to help in the administration and teaching. They worked there for two years and were able to contact many missionaries, pastors and evangelists in Odisha.
In 2011, they felt, as a family to be independently involved in teaching, preaching and equipping others in the word of God. They stayed in the Christian Fellowship Hospital, Oddanchatram, Tamil Nadu and gave pastoral care to the community and systematicaclly training missionaries, pastors, evangelists in the Word of God. They were doing this as a full time job in the last six years of Dr Alex’s life by travelling to different places. In May 2017, on one of these travels, Dr Alex suffered a heart attack and went to be with the Lord.
Mrs Hannah Alex continues to work for the Lord as a Counsellor, Bible teacher and resource person. They are both recipients of the Aquila and Priscilla Award, SAIACS, 2006.
During the memorial service of Dr Alex, this verse was quoted to summarise his love and commitment to the Lord:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!