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Dear friends,


2011 was an eventful year, a historical turning point. From the Arab Spring to the 'new normal' in families and society, how do we as medical and dental professionals and bearers of the Gospel speak prophetically to our world?

I had ushered in 2012 reading Psalm 1; reminded that the righteous are blessed and happy as they delight in and meditate on God's word. It is this rootedness and stillness that will give us stability and yield its fruit in season.


You are warmly invited to share in a time of community reflection over the Lord's table on Thursday 12 Jan. And perhaps our Lord will show us what lies ahead for 2012; responding, influencing, and transforming our world as He watches over us.











CMDF Annual Re-Dedication Service


We live in a complex and fast moving world. In addition, as doctors and dentists, we also have work that is intense and demanding. As a result, most of us rush through life, day by day, month by month, years by year, often running on auto pilot. Yet as followers of Jesus, we are called to an intentional life, one characterised by hearing and obeying. How do we do this in the world we live in, with the work we have? By deliberately setting aside time to remember who we are and what we have been called to do.


This is why the CMDF sets aside an evening once a year, at the beginning of the year, to rededicate ourselves and our work to the Lord. This simple exercise has profound implications. It is an opportunity to remember through word, prayer and communion, our identity as followers of Jesus called to the practice of medicine. It is an opportunity to recalibrate the true north of our hearts before we plunge into the demands of another year.


If you are a Christian doctor or dentist, we invite you to join us for the 2012 CMDF rededication service. Details below. - Rev Dr Tan Soo-Inn


Date: Thursday 12 January 2012

Time: 7pm

Venue: St. Andrew's Cathedral (Prayer Hall A)

Speaker: Rev Dr Tan Soo-Inn

RSVP: admin @cmdf.org.sg or contact Michelle at 8298 9595



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CMDF Annual Celebration Dinner


The CMDF held its annual dinner on 12 November 2011. By dusk, some 270 doctors, dentists, pharmacists, medical and dental students had arrived at the NUS Guild House in high spirits, bearing expectant hearts.


The dinner’s theme was “Moving Stories: A Celebration”.


Why this focus? Said endocrinologist Dr Lee Chung Horn, who was the evening’s emcee: “We felt an involving way to explain why God has kept and blessed the CMDF through many years was with a stream of stories. Christians see their lives as journeys directed and enabled by a loving, faithful God. Our journeys are a play of stories that we sometimes find hard to explain, but God is there.”


The aim, the planning committee felt, was to seek to faithfully remind all who gathered that God is with us even when we are caught up in circumstances that challenge or frighten us, or changes that disturb our equanimity.


The speaker of the evening was Dr Steve Griffiths. Using stories from his own childhood in Harare, Zimbabwe, Dr Griffiths, who is now International Director for Personnel at OMF International’s headquarters, showed how the moving stories of our lives are a journey filled with motion, transition, and relocation.


Addressing a rapt audience, Dr Griffiths spoke poignantly and powerfully about how his observations of disease and frailty within the community where he grew up formed him. God later led his work in Mozambique and Cambodia.


Dr Sim Sze Shan a dental surgeon who worked in China as a missionary for 5 years before returning to Singapore this year, shared about her work there.


Her quiet, plainly spoken style moved many. At the dinner were health care guests from China, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia and Africa. A large turnout of students from Yong Loo Lin Medical School and Duke-NUS School were also present, many for the first time. “It was so encouraging to discover that there are many doctors who have gone before me,” said Charlotte Tan, who is in her final year at YLL. “I’m reminded that I’m not of the world, and that our work has value not because of how skillful or important we are, but because God Himself is good, and He loves and heals his creation.” Said Maria Noviani, a student at the Duke-NUS Medical School: “I was truly inspired by the moving stories of selfless doctors who went beyond their comfort zone to serve the underprivileged in society." - Dr Lee Chung Horn


Our unchanging God wants to see change in us’, those were the wise words spoken by the speaker that evening of the CMDF dinner. Change in our growing relationship with God, in taking the step of faith to move out of our comfort zone and spreading the love of God to the nations. That evening, it was truly heart warming to see such a huge group of professors, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, students, all gathered together, united by our similar faith in God and glorifying him. In our busy schedules, it is easy to lose sight of the reason why God placed us in our workplace; sometimes the burden of work is so overwhelming and we forget to praise God and count the blessings that he has given to us. That night, it was a reminder, that many others are also dealing with the same problems we face in the healthcare industry, but above it all, God is in control and we have a God whom we can call on in times of need. Our line of profession that requires us to deal with people in almost every moment of the job, may God’s love continue to be shown through our words and deeds. - Ms Lynn Chua (M3)




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Issachar Forum-Open Eyes In A Darkened Room-Movies


Venue: 420 North Bridge Road #05-04 North Bridge Centre, Singapore 188727


For registration, please email gcfsing@gcf.org.sg


Date: Saturday, 14 January 2012

Theme: Expelled


Date: Saturday, 18 February 2012

Theme: Source Code


Date: Saturday, 17 March 2012

Theme: You Don't Know Jack


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Brave New World - Biomedical Issues Seminar

Advances in medical treatment modalities, biotechnological innovations, and genetic-molecular manipulations have brought about a set of unique challenging issues not faced by the Church before. A pastoral-theological approach is needed to examine, reflect and develop responses to these difficult moral and ethical issues such as test tube and designer babies, facts and fallacies of stem cell therapies, cloning, reproductive technologies, abortion, mercy-killing, allocation of scarce healthcare resources, living will, gene therapy, prenatal diagnosis, and aesthetic surgery.

Christians should be engaging personally with these issues and also help others to do so. A rational engagement is essential to all Christians who are committed to living ethically in these changing times.

The speaker is Dr Alex Tang, a senior consultant paediatrician in the Johor Specialist Hospital in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He received his medical training from the National University of Malaysia, post-graduate training in Singapore and the United Kingdom and his theological training from the Malaysia Bible Seminary and the United States. Alex has published numerous articles on bioethics, written two books on the Christian response to biomedical ethical issues and taught courses on biomedical ethics in seminaries in Singapore and Malaysia.

Date: 17 March 2012
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Venue: TCA College (classroom 5)

To register, email your full name to: admin@tca.edu.sg


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Open House

The next Open House for Medical Students will be held in early Feb 2012. Details soon...





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Testimony by an Aesthetics Practitioner given at Dental Prayer Fellowship November Meeting

I was a nominal Christian. Managing successful clinics with a good income, I was planning to buy a sports car and build a big house. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and was given 3-4 months to live. It had spread to various parts of my body. My life would end sooner than I’d planned. Thankfully the LORD in His mercy would not let go of me and instead "showed" Himself no fewer than five times these past 7 months - a voice speaking to me in the OT, answered prayer for the avoidance of wisdom teeth surgery, fasting and prayer bringing deliverance from pain and depression, positive EGFR mutation although a social smoker, vision of Bible verses revealed in a dream (despite not having read the Bible prior). One by one, these revelations confirmed to me God's purpose and will for me to help others in hardship and also those stricken with cancer. Interactions with others bring me true lasting joy which possessions cannot. My relationship with God was established when at last I surrendered my pride and held on to His words.

This journey has given me important insight into my life. I have concluded that the metric by which God will assess my life isn’t dollars but the individual people whose lives I have touched. I think that’s the way it will work for us all. Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people. This is my recommendation: Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.



Mission Trip To Nepal

After working 10 years in the healthfields of Singapore, the LORD finally saw that it was time and opened the door for me to accompany some of my church members on a mission trip to Nepal, my country, in late September 2011. I traveled with another Singaporean doctor Allyn Hum with the intention of doing a recce of the land for my two-decade long vision of starting a Christian hospital in Nepal. While the mission trip was for strengthening and ministering to the local church elders and members and for the children of a Christian hostel, we thought we could throw in a basic health screening along with some healthcare education, because this was the only thing we knew how to do well.

We were in for quite an encounter with many firsts. On the day we arrived, we experienced an earthquake that meased 6.8 on the richter scale, whose epicentre was in northern India, Sikkim. While I scurried around looking for my slippers in the powercut that ensued I was amazed by the prayerful attitude of the team who joined hands to pray and kept very calm. As it was both our first mission trip, Dr. Allyn and I were nervous and apprehensive at first, scurrying last minute to get a suitable medicine list and a contact person for medicine in Nepal. However our medication contact person in Kathmandu had sustained a fall and stroke so we left the capital without any medicine, with the intention of buying them at the town we would haveto the camp at. How we managed to purchase the necessary medicine, packed them all, arranged them and managed to see about 200 patients in two short afternoons still amazes us. Even more so when the amount spent for those 200 odd people could only treat 2-3 patients with chronic diseases in Singapore. And there was still leftover medicine for next year's mission trip. I am reminded of the two fishes and five loaves and marvel at what God can do when we give Him the little we have. I praise God for His faithfulness and His peace and assurance and how He saw us through. His hand was so evident from the beginning to the end.

Hebrews 11:1”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

I have learnt that the LORD is in control of every situation and that it is not about my will and agenda, but about His. In all my lofty ambitious and desires, I am learning to ask of the LORD , Is this your will and desire LORD? May He alone be glorified in and through our lives till He returns.

Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore…, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith." - Dr. Ranjana Acharya





Lebanon Summer Project 2011

Our God is a living God, who hears the prayers and answers according to His will and in the right timing! Despite all the difficulties that we encountered before the Summer Project, God did a great work!

We’ve been praying that patients would be saved (more than 7 people accepted Christ), we prayed for the Visa of Rev. Victor Pandian and 2 days before his flight, the visa was issued. We prayed that God would send workers for the harvest. We prayed for the approval from the government (God answered the prayers just one day before the clinic)! We prayed to see life changed (it was very touching for me when I was passing in front of the rooms and saw people holding the new testament and reading God’s word after hearing the gospel in the prayer station)! We‘ve been also praying that God would provide us with the needed amount of money to be able (beside the medical and spiritual help to distribute some food and hygiene products and God was also faithful in answering this request too!. - Ms. Sarine Demirdjian (Medical Ministry is under Life Agape Lebanon, also known as Campus Crusade for Christ




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Dental Prayer Fellowship

One of the practices I try to keep is to take time at the end of every year to reflect. In the busy-ness of attending to the routine and urgent matters of everyday life, we often miss the big picture. Activity can easily be mistaken for progress. Like a dog chasing its own tail, we may end up running in circles if we do not periodically check to ensure that our pursuits are properly directed.

In undertaking this exercise, I think about some of the major decisions I have made, what it collectively suggests about my desires, events that have shaped the way I think and importantly, where does God factor into all these. For me, it was an intense year of new ministries, milestone decisions and un-anticipated challenges. Admittedly, it is not always easy to make the right decisions or even know with clarity what the right decision was. Studies have shown that most of us have a "confirmation bias" where we seek out evidence that justifies what we have already unconsciously determined to be right. Another bias we are subjected to is one where we use moral and ethical justifications to conceal less acceptable motivations. It leads some to believe that their relentless pursuit of money is for the purposes of helping the poor rather than the love of it.

Therefore, we need to take a step back, examine our actions and critically question whether there can be any doubt about our motivations. Have our actions and responses throughout the year been consistent with our professed values? Unless we make a point to do such periodic reviews, we may not even realise the existence unconcious desires that drive our actions. In this closing issue for the year, I would like to encourage us to take some time to do an honest reflection. This issue was deliberately kept shorter with one principal question for us to reflect on - what is our true motivations based on the evidence from our actions. If it is not of God, then let us take the opportunity to humble ourselves and surrender it to the Lord. - Dr Goh Siew Hor





Luke's Journal

Luke’s Journal is published four times a year by the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia Inc. (CMDFA). The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the CMDFA.

CMDF Australia has kindly allowed us to distribute their publication to our members and is now available for download in the PDF format at our website at: www.cmdf.org.sg/publications.php