Dear brothers and sisters,
In life as a Christian medical and dental professional, we gain
insights and come to road maps in the light of experiences,
questions and convictions. The new leadership team with young
dentists and doctors serving alongside seniors would certainly
challenge the prior view of our role in society, church and
family. Our chaplain
Tan Soo Inn
will continue to encourage us along and build spiritual
friendships as our "Honorary Chaplain" from July 09
doctors have started their first bi-monthly prayer meeting
inspired by their dental colleagues. You will also read of how
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
challenged us on the "Six Paradigm Shifts in Medical Missions".
Our brothers and sisters serving in the field helped us explore
new and different questions along our medical journey at a very
warm "family" gathering which included students.
Surprises and bonuses from the Lord come in
many forms as we ask fresh questions of life in medicine; and
our students are asking for mentors too. Let us respond!
As I write this short note, I'm told the news that the annual MMF
fund raising dinner and golf event has been oversubscribed for
the first time.
for a Good Cause
Medical Missions Foundation's Annual Golf Tournament is back for
the fifth year! We thank all who have signed up for the
tournament. Registration has officially closed as it's fully
Assoc. Prof. Ho Peng Kee
(Senior Minister of State for Law & Home Affairs) will grace the
sporting event at the Raffles Country Club Lake Course on Aug 12
(Wed) as well as the dinner at Shanshui Palace Restaurant on the
Feast for a Good Cause
Our fund-raising dinner at Raffles Country Club's Shanshui
Palace Restaurant is also over subscribed. The response has been
overwhelming to say the least. We thank all who have booked a
seat or table with us. Our guest speaker is
Dr. Kelvin Chen
who will be sharing on his experience in Nigeria.
you are unable to be present, consider sending a gift to support
the medical/dental doctors serving in the field. Your donations
are much appreciated.
For more details:
CMDF Retreat @
The tranquil premises of the Singapore Yacht Club was where we
escaped to for an afternoon retreat on March 14.
The leadership team spent the afternoon re-looking at our
mission statement and tried to sense where God is leading us.
Top on the agenda was to re-work the mission statement, as we
recognised that we've become too diverse in our programmes. We
were trying to steer our roles back as Christian medical
professionals in a contemporary urban context.
Rev. (Dr.) Tan Soo Inn got us to share our needs and struggles.
It was the first time we got to engage with one another on a
more personal level.
with the next generation was also a key focus, and younger
doctors like Drs. Goh Siew Hor,
Calvin Koh, Deborah Khoo and Lester Leong injected fresh
perspectives on the role of the CMDF. With renewed hearts and
minds after the four-hour session, we were ready to take on the
next wave of building a more authentic CMDF community.
Regional Meeting in Singapore (May 2)
the work expands, the International Christian Medical and Dental
Association’s (ICMDA) process of regionalisation serves to
strengthen the bonds of unity between member organisations and
contact groups. It was encouraging and exciting to meet in
Singapore with representatives from Korea, Taiwan, Singapore,
Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.
meeting also launched the 10th and 11th
regions of South East Asia and East Asia. We shared moving
reports of the work in Christian hospitals and fellowship
groups, and considered ways in which the ICMDA can lend
support. Each region will soon have a Regional Committee, a
Regional Secretary and Area Student Rep (student/junior graduate
Drs. Goh Wei Leong
Heng Chang Chen
were also elected as acting regional secretaries for South East
Asia and East Asia respectively. They are to take forward the
process of regionalisation. Having these regions will benefit
the extension of our Lord’s work within the health profession
and services of each country
As with most AGMs, CMDF’s had the usual reports and announcement
of new leaders. But the evening session held at Wesley Methodist
Church on June 4 had something more – an inspiring message by
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
a short but heartfelt sharing session by medical student
Ms. Ann Toh.
meeting kicked off with worship songs enthusiastically led by
Dr. Michael Kim
on the guitar and
Dr. Darryl Chew
on the piano.
Dr. Goh Wei Leong
briefed the audience on some of the local activities in the past
Mr. Jonathan Tan,
a second-year medical student shared about his volunteer
experience at HealthServe.
Ms. Ann Toh
also related her personal experience on her M4 elective posting
to Yunnan, China and even had a teenage guest from Yunnan who
moved the audience with her testimony. She shared about how she
had acid thrown on her face when she was a young girl, but
through the support of missionary doctors who did her surgery
for free and coming to know the Lord, she found the courage to
face the world again.
Dr. David Cheong,
the outgoing longstanding treasurer, presented the accounts and
budget, and encouraged us to play our part in supporting CMDF
Rev. (Dr.) Tan Soo Inn
then elucidated the concept behind our new Mission
Statement: That CMDF is an evangelical fellowship of dentists
and doctors committed to mobilise, equip and guide the dental
and medical community to be servants of God’s Kingdom for the
glory of God.
also went home encouraged and spurred on by what
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
expounded, and that is “what we become through what we do is
more important than what we do”. To listen, believe, love,
serve, hope – that, in essence, is the beautiful simplicity of
what we are called to do.
CMDF Medical Prayer Meeting
Dr. Goh Siew Hor
importance of prayer was driven home at CMDF’s first Prayer
on the evening of July 2. Members of the new leadership team,
representatives from Healthcare Christian Fellowship (HCF) and
Campus Crusade were part of the prayer meeting.
Dr. Goh Wei Leong
led us through a time of reflection, thanksgiving and
prayer. Based on Ps 47, he reflected on commemorating the past,
celebrating the present and anticipating the future of the CMDF.
We looked back with gratitude as senior members recounted how
CMDF grew from three to what it is today. Many ongoing and new
initiatives were also shared. And there was a sense of
excitement just knowing what God can do through us when we
choose to humble ourselves and seek His face.
the new leadership team works toward addressing complex medical
ethic issues and Christian witness at the workplace, we believe
praying together becomes even more crucial. It is through the
posture of prayer that we acknowledge our incapacity to act
apart from His strength and guidance. Don’t miss out on this
exciting journey of prayer with us!
the Mission Potentials
Just to hear You say, ‘well done’ !
Different journeys, different stories to tell; yet, all with the
desire to finally hear the Lord say, “well done, my good and
farewell dinner for
Dr. Jeffrey, Dr. Wei Leong also used the opportunity to connect the mission
potentials with the missionaries.
“Medical missions is merely a tool. When we go to heaven,
what’s important is God’s Word and His people.“ Adds
, “It’s not how many miles away from Singapore but being aware
that our lives on earth is transient. As such, we must be
careful how we spend our time.” Asked what is one advice he
would give aspiring missionaries, his answer was “Be faithful
to the Lord!”
medical students went home with a different mindset on what
serving the Lord in the mission field is about – ultimately, it
is not the place, but the heart’s response to the Lord that
a fourth-year medical student sums it up best. “ When the Lord
calls, He gives us the grace to leave everything and to go to
the nation. Otherwise, wherever we are, that is our mission
Shifts in Medical Missions
POWER OF SIX
a gift! And that healing does not come from an individual
doctor, but a community, were just some fodder for thought
Dr. Chris Gnanakan dished out on the "six paradigm shifts"
for a group of doctors on July 25.
paradigm shifts are From Patients as Customers to Patients
as Guests, From Curing to Healing, From Individual to
Community, From Pain to Suffering (Suffering is a gift to be
appreciated), Transcendent God to Imminent God, From Passive
Sufferer to Active Participant.
Dr. Goh Siew Hor:
"The discussion focuses on adopting Kingdom values rather than
an instruction of what to do in individual circumstances. Values
are not something that will necessarily translate to a to-do
list at the next day of work. Many times on the contrary, it
leaves us with more questions than answers, as
Chris aptly puts
it. And this is perhaps where I begin to understand how God uses
tensions we have to live with in order to grow our faith and
shape our character into the likeness of His Son.”
doctors agree with Dr. Goh Wei Leong’s
comment that such times of reflection and reminders are
necessary since Kingdom values often times take a season of
working out before the fruits can be manifested.
Dr. Oh Ting Ting
Labour day saw a small group of 30 coming together at
HealthServe. We came to mingle, share and pray with the
final-year medical students who have just completed their MBBS
and were about to embark on a new road. Housemanship beckons for
them and the seniors were there to lend advice, encourage and
celebrate God's faithfulness. Practical tips and inspirational
testimonies were shared. The students shared their fears and
reservations, but with prayers, support and advice, hearts,
minds and faith were renewed by the time the evening came to a
Team's BBQ Dinner
15 volunteers and friends of Karunya Clinic gathered at
Dr. Goh Wei Leong’s
home May 9 for a barbecue dinner and an exhortation from
Rev. Malcom Tan.
The group comprised of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, students
and other volunteers.
delved deeper into Matthew 25's account of the judgement of
“the sheep and the goats”. We noted the six groups of needy
people Jesus identifies with: the hungry, the thirsty, the
stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. We reflected
on its bearing on our ministry in the Karunya clinic and in
our everyday lives, and were challenged by Mother Theresa's
understanding of ministry to the poor and the needy as ministry
to Jesus himself.
Karunya Clinic in Little India opens its doors every Thursday
7-9pm and Sunday 5-8pm, serving primarily South Asian
construction workers with primary health problems. Volunteers
Fellowship Takes Flight !
Dr. Goh Siew Hor
our monthly dental prayer fellowship in June,
Dr. David Cheong
share about the beginnings of the Dental Prayer Fellowship. When
years ago, the Christian dentists wanted
a platform to meet and encourage each other in the journey
of faith. However, this
initial attempt did not go past four meetings.
burden to help young Christian dentists run their
race continued to remain in his heart and the Fellowship finally
kickstarted in 2002 with only two members, him including! This
continued for almost up to a year. But the fellowship persisted
and gradually, the numbers grew and one particular meeting even saw
about 30 joining in.
the meeting, young dentists asked
Dr. David Cheong how he keeps the flame alive and remains
faithfully serving till this day. His response was clear, “There
is no better time to serve the Lord. If we wait till a better
time for our career to be established, children to grow up etc,
chances are we will not do it at all.”
believe if we’re willing to serve Him, He will make straight the
path for us. And He will grant us the grace to labour in His
harvest field where wages paid are in the eternal weight of
2 Chronicles 28:9,10
M2: Doctors &
Ms Tan Wai Jia
past few M3 student-doctor gatherings kicked off with the vision
of building long-term relationships between Christian doctors
and students. Now that the M2s are entering their clinical
years, they hope to keep their fellowship alive through such
gatherings. At their very first M2 doctor-student gathering on
April 16, here’s what two students, Andrew and Grace, have to
As second-year medical students moving on to our third year,
there’s a gigantic leap from lecture-style learning to
clinical and bedside lessons. We juniors hear stories of how
people become confused and lost in wards, not knowing what to
expect. A fellow medical student Grace approached me, suggesting
a seniors-cum-doctors gathering to prepare our fellow batch
mates for whatever excitement (or horror) to expect. There was
one slight problem – we were slightly more than a week away from
the proposed gathering date. At such short notice, chances of
inviting any doctors or seniors were very slim. Which busy
doctor would be able to afford one weekend night off at just a
very wrong I was. God proved His faithfulness once again. We
were not only able to invite four seniors, but also three
Wong L C,
to speak to us. We were greatly blessed by their knowledge,
advice and sharing.
evening was a time of lessons learnt and to be learnt. We were
greatly encouraged that there are fellow medical brothers and
sisters who care and help us in our own journey to serve Him in
the medical field.
I found the sharing to be very insightful and powerful, especially
on how clinical years in the wards are akin to attending the
best bible college, where the experiences and people you meet
will help you grow in your faith and knowledge of God. Pray for
our Christian fellowship as we strive to meet weekly in our
individual hospitals, and also for doctor mentors to be
available to guide us on this journey.
Ms Wong Wei Teen
June 20, four M4s shared about their electives experiences in
India (CMC Vellore, Manali & Assam, CFH Oddanchatram) and China
(Yunnan) to some M3s, covering aspects of clinical involvement
as well as God’s leading through cross-cultural experiences, and
the convictions we returned home with.
Dr. David Tay encouraged us to embrace these experiences, and urged the
M3s to take up similar electives. It was a blessed time of
fellowship, as the session concluded with
Mr. Lawrence Ko reiterating the importance of cross-cultural
communications and left us with deeper insights to the mission
Ms. Tan Wai Jia
to H1NI, our fourth student-doctor gathering got postponed, and
was nearly cancelled altogether. As many of our regular doctors
had gone back to the army, there were not many who were able to
attend the meeting. We also had difficulty looking for a
suitable speaker; and though
Dr. Tan Siew Pin had opened up her home to us, its location might
deter students from travelling all the way there after a long
on June 23, my worries were unfounded. We had one of the largest
turnouts that evening. In the beautiful, spacious premises of
Dr. Tan Siew Pin’s home,
Dr. Tan Soo-Inn
and his wife
Drs. Alan, Gwen and
(Dr Tan Siew Pin’s friend who is studying at bible school)
shared their lives and prayed with us.
were blessed by
sharing about Christian competence and compassion. Not only did
we have an opportunity to ask questions which had disturbed us
during our psychiatric postings (how do you share Christ with a
mentally-ill patient?), we also gleaned nuggets of wisdom from
homily. Her sharing from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 reminded us that
our ultimate comfort comes from God, and that same comfort which
we must experience through suffering before we can share our
compassion with others.
The student ministry of CMDF is still working on establishing
and encouraging doctor-student mentorships and we hope that as
we continue to meet regularly, we may grow together as a strong
community of faith even as we journey together in medicine.