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Dear friends,


The opening chapter of the gospel of John, the 'Word' in the person of Jesus is how God touches base and communicates with us. As Christian medical professionals, we too become 'letters' to others the pen of the Spirit writes on our hearts.


As the new year begins, may I invite you to consider this reality as we minister and bring healing to those who come to us in our clinics and surgeries. To lead us in this we have Dr Jason Lim, doctor and pastor, to lead us in the Rededication service on 31 Jan.


2012 has been a meaningful year for the CMDF, engaging each other in lively conversation (even before our National Conversations!) at our Annual Fellowship Meeting and seminar, building friendship and spurring each other on at 'Open House' and celebrating life 'Off the Beaten Track'.


May we open our hearts and hear His voice this new year, as His living letters, bringing hope to all we encounter.






Chapiain's Message


The Facts And Feelings Of Christmas


We have just celebrated Christmas. And now we are already in 2013! I think we can still draw some lessons from Christmas.


Christmas is a time of paradox. While we are surrounded by many reminders to be joyful, both in church and from society in general, it is also a time when depression in society peaks. Temperate countries in the northern hemisphere can attribute this to the cold and the dark. But I guess it’s more than that. The bright lights of Christmas do not hide the fact that the world still faces major problems. This Advent for example, we are confronted with the recent typhoon in the Philippines, civil war in Syria, and the recent shooting of school children in the U.S. In light of all these tragedies, singing “Joy to the World” seems a bit false. Feelings are a poor guide to the spirit of the season. I’d rather stick to the facts. The fact is the world was in a mess because of sin.


The fact is God promised that one day He would enter human history to deal decisively with sin and the effects of sin. Here is the promise:


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)


And here’s the fulfilment:


All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22 – 23 NIV)


In the coming of Jesus, God has drawn close to us to begin His programme of renewing creation. It is a process that will end when He comes again, but the process has begun. As followers of Jesus we are both beneficiaries and heralds of this good news. May the facts of Christmas give us true hope and true joy for the year ahead.


Rev. Dr. Tan Soo Inn

Honourary Chaplain








CMDF Re-Dedication Service


We would like to invite you to join us for the CMDF Re-Dedication Service. Looking back at the past year, we find ourselves living in times of shifting morals and increasing violence. It is crucial for us to anchor our lives and our work to the One who is unchanging and faithful. To help us in our meditation, we are privileged to have Pastor Dr Jason Lim come and share with us. He is a medical doctor by training and is currently in full time pastoral ministry at Gospel Light Christian Church. RSVP admin@cmdf.org.sg or contact Michelle (82989595).


Date: Thursday, 31st January 2013

Time: 7pm

Venue: St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Prayer Hall A

Speaker: Dr Jason Lim




GCF Fellowship Meeting

Topic: Love the sojourner: A Christian dialogue on migrant workers in Singapore
Facilitator: Rev Dr Daniel Koh
When: 22 January 2013 (Tuesday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Singapore Bible College, 9-15 Adam Road, Singapore 289886 (nearest MRT Station: Botanic Gardens (Circle Line)

Please register with Graduates' Christian Fellowship (Simon): gcfsing@gcf.org.sg. An administration fee of $10 (which includes the cost of dinner) will be collected.

Synopsis of dialogue
The issue of migrant workers is controversial and one of the hot topics on the agenda of our National Conversation. Migrant workers presently comprise about 25% of our population and have, over the years, formed the building block of our nation in many sectors. However, Singaporeans seem to carry mixed sentiments towards them. On one hand their contributions are welcomed, but on the other hand many Singaporeans are discomforted by the social implications of having too many migrant workers. The recent incident between some Chinese nationals and SMRT leading to a strike and the subsequent expulsion of some workers has also thrown this issue into the national spotlight. How should we Christians respond to this issue? Join in the discussion with Dr. Daniel Koh Kah Soon who will lead us in our time of dialogue.

Short Bio
Rev Dr Daniel Koh Kah Soon, a Methodist Minister, is a full-time lecturer at Trinity Theological College (TTC). He obtained his PhD in Ethics from Durham University. At TTC he teaches Pastoral Theology, and Ethics, and he is the Director (English) of TTC's Centre for the Development of Christian Ministry that organises mainly evening courses for lay-training. Daniel is active in Christian social outreach where he is a member of the Ethics Committee of a major hospital, a member of a Central Institution Review Board, and a member of the National Organ Transplant Ethics Panel. He is also the Vice-Chairperson of the Methodist Welfare Services and the Chairperson of the Bethany Methodist Nursing Home. .


open house

Open House - 23 February 2013

Where a senior doctor hosts doctors and medical students to a time of both spiritual and real food. Come and join us as we discuss the following at the upcoming Open House… “Financial Issues in Healthcare – Dealing with the Devil?”

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2013 (Saturday)

Please register with admin@cmdf.org.sg. More details will be available when the dates are approaching. Please visit our website at http://www.cmdf.org.sg/ for the latest updates on CMDF events.


med mission

Medical Missions/Disaster Relief - networking and sharing session

On 21st September, 2012, Dr Tan Hun Hoe and CMDF Student Representative Samuel Lim organised a networking and sharing session to bring together those who are interested in medical missions and disaster relief. Doctors and students alike turned up to hear the exciting stories and life experiences shared with us by the many illustrious speakers.

After the introduction and opening speech by CMDF chairperson Dr Goh Wei Leong, Dr Tan Soo Inn, our CMDF chaplain started us off by putting us in the right, God-centred frame of mind, speaking to us on the biblical perspective of missions. Dr Tan Hun Hoe followed with a powerful sharing of his personal experiences in missions. The moving story of how he got started in missions, and his sharings of the myriad of characters he has encountered in his numerous trips left us all in awe and deeply humbled by the amazing work God has done through him. After dinner, a few students shared their own personal experiences in missions, and after an invigorating panel discussion, Dr Tan Soo Inn closed the session with prayer and a short word of benediction.

I believe I speak for all members of the audience when I say that my eyes were opened to the great need in the world for Christ-centered medical missions and disaster relief operations, and the many things we as Christian doctors of Singapore can do to meet these needs. Even as lowly medical students, there is so much we can do! I left the talk greatly inspired to seek out further opportunities to serve God in missions, and in the meantime, to keep in prayer those among us who are actively engaged in missions and disaster relief. - Lee Weixian (NUS-Year 4 Medical Student)


Dr Aw

open house pic

Open House - 13 October 2012

CMDF open house was blessed with the hospitality of Dr Goh Wei Leong’s home. Here are some quotes from amongst many happy and fulfilled participants!

“My friends and I were treated to an amazing spread of food and were blessed by the friendliness of many doctors who had come down to mingle with us. For many of my fellow students who were also pursuing medical research in our various interests, Dr Aw Swee Eng’s take on the ethics medical research was a timely reminder of the approach we should adopt towards our various projects. As a former director of clinical research and chairman of the Biomedical Ethics department in SGH, he explained to us the role and function of the Institution Review Board (IRB) and gave us his opinions on various ethical issues ranging from abortions to stem-cell research. It was indeed heartwarming to have so many inspirational doctors coming down to this event to aid and guide us on our journey as medical students. We have been truly blessed by this event and would strongly recommend it to our fellow Christian students as well.” - Louis Ng (NUS-Year 4 Medical Student)

“The food was good, the fellowship meaningful, the fun unforgettable. Amidst all this, what was most memorable was the insightful presentation and lively discussion by Dr Aw Swee Eng. He engages and captivates his audience with his breadth and depth of knowledge as he discussed about Christian concerns in medical research. The highlight of my evening must have been the discussion and debate about creationism, evolution and post-modernism in biblical interpretation. CMDF open houses are a great way to meet and interact with various members of the healthcare community. I thoroughly enjoyed myself this time around and I'm looking forward to the next open house!” - Joshua Tan (NUS-Year 2 Medical Student)


dr raj

cmdf dinner pic

dinner 2

dinner 3

dinner 4

dinner 5

dinner 6

CMDF Annual Celebration Dinner - 24 November 2012


"Tonight, we’ve celebrated the stories of fellow healthcare professionals venturing into missions, supernatural ministries, and theology.


Why do stories like these engage us? Because they’re fundamentally stories of people we can identify with, going “off the beaten track”. We implicitly recognize there’s a conventional trajectory of life that people like us pursue. Stories of deviation from that trajectory captivate us because we understand that they’re rare, difficult, and – like the stories we’ve heard tonight – inspiring.


Stories like these exert a certain gravity that draws us toward them, and sway the trajectories of our own lives. I know that my own first steps toward missions were nurtured by stories from the field.


In my forays into medical humanitarian missions, I have discovered another whole category of 'off the beaten track' stories: centered not on people like me, but on the people served.


Much like us, the underprivileged have their own conventional trajectories of life, which are frequently harsh and governed by systemic forces. Stories of people deviating from these 'beaten tracks' are rare, difficult, and – when they succeed – incomparably triumphant.


These, therefore, are the two sources of the great stories of missions, worthy of equal celebration: the stories of people like us, walking off the beaten track into missions; and the stories of the people served, escaping painful beaten tracks, into better lives.


May God grant us to keep both these categories of stories near the center of our view, in our understanding of the all-encompassing story of His work in this world." - Dr Natarajan Rajaraman


“I was amazed at the obedience of the healthcare professionals who came to share their testimonies. From those who served in trouble-stricken and rural communities to those who pursued theology and explored supernatural healing, the fact that they broke the mould that many of us have resigned to is a tremendous encouragement!” - Samuel Lim (NUS-Year 3 Medical Student)


“As a medical student, I frequently ask myself, 'What more can I do?' Aside from managing my academics and the occasional community service project, how can I take a bolder step to live out my faith? This year's CMDF Annual Dinner themed 'Off the Beaten Track' helped shed some light onto these life questions.”


Going off the beaten track is not so much about willingly doing something new and radical as it is about radically renewing the willingness of your heart to God's purpose each day.


Being in the company of other Christians and hearing about their amazing stories helped renew the radical willingness to submit my life to God and follow Him off the beaten path when He calls. Are you willing to do likewise?” - Joshua Tan (NUS-Year 2 Medical Student)


“Many inspirational stories were shared during the dinner, including of those who bravely set aside their familiar and cosy lifestyles, to venture into the unfamiliar paths less travelled, reaching out to the less fortunate with what blessings we have received. Others persevered in more conventional settings, reaching out to those in the developed countries through different means. As a medical student residing in Singapore, one does feel the urge to eke out a unique path overseas. Indeed, we are all called differently, just as how the thumb and the fingers serve different purposes. Yet these digits are interdependent on each other for the functioning of the hand, and the overseas outreach programmes need us as much as we need them to extend God’s love to His people scattered across the face of the earth. I pray that whichever path our Father leads us to take, we would do so with boldness in His faithfulness.” - Tan Chong Yew (DukeNUS-Year 1 Medical Student)



darryl's baby



Congratulations to Dr & Mrs Darryl Chew (pic left) on the arrival of their baby girl. Darryl has been actively leading our students’ work.


Congratulations to Dr Calvin Koh & Dr Deborah Khoo (pic bottom right) on their marriage on 29 Sep 2012. Calvin is an active member of the Leadership Team and a volunteer doctor in HealthServe community clinic.


Congratulations to Dr Oh Ting Ting & Dr Tan Ek Khoon (pic bottom left) on their marriage on 13 Oct 2012. Ting Ting was the medical student representative in year 2005.


Congratulations to Dr Tan Wai Jia & Mr Cliff Tam (pic bottom centre) on their marriage on 27 Oct 2012. Wai Jia was the medical student representative in year 2007.


Oh Ting Ting & Dr Tan Ek Khoon Dr Tan Wai Jia & Mr Cliff Tam Calvin & Deborah





philippines mission

Food Empire Medical Mission to Manila

We are a group of 7 medical students from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLLSoM), who are involved in a Medical Mission to the Philippines, named Food Empire Medical Mission to Manila. (Read The Sunday Times report here)

This medical mission is a biannual one that seeks to serve underprivileged communities in the Philippines through the offering of medical care and provision of basic necessities, such as clean water and nutrition. More importantly, we seek to be an arm of God's love, blessing them spiritually as well. On top of organizing programmes that would benefit them and point them to Christ, we also pray for them and conduct worship sessions with them, ensuring that the grace of God that brings salvation is made known even to the most remote of communities (e.g. the Aetas and Mangyan tribes who live in the mountains).

We have just returned from our third trip, which spanned 9 days from the 13th-22nd December 2012, and are going back again this June. - Rachel Lu on behalf of Food Empire Medical Mission to Manila




Dr Goh Siew Hor

Dental Prayer Fellowship

I would like to start by first sharing an observation followed by a thought. While many of us get to begin 2013 on an optimistic note, there are those who enter the year mourning their losses. My heart goes out to the families of victims in the Conneticut school shooting and closer to home, a friend who lost his mum on Christmas eve. This led me to wonder what would constitute a better year compared to the last. Would moving up the career ladder, having more visible accomplishments or a smooth sailing life really make us better off? Similarly, do trials and grief mean that the losses outweighed the gains? The answer probably depends on whether we look at it from the lens of material comfort or spiritual growth.

"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalms 84:10, NKJV)

In my recent meditation, this verse brought two insights.

1. There is nothing better than to be in the presence of the Lord. While there will come a time where we will get to enjoy His presence forever, it is also possible for us to enter His presence daily even at our work and studies. As a dental practitioner, we can start the day asking Him to be involved in our work, to help us show compassion for our patients and empower us to provide the best possible treatment. As students, we can ask Him to reveal to us other students who may be struggling and thereby, give us opportunities to show Christian love. The act of inviting the Lord to be involved in our professional lives and studies makes us more aware of His presence and the commitment to Christian stewardship.

2. I did some research on "doorkeepers" and found different accounts on the prestige of this office in biblical times. However, most accounts agree that it fulfilled an important role to keep unclean and underserving elements out of the temple. The role was simple but nevertheless important. I believe that we too are called to be doorkeepers and guard what we allow into the temple of our hearts. As dental students, the pursuit of good grades rather than the focus on learning could lead us to become merely "exam-smart" rather than gaining competence. As dental practitioners, too much focus on profitability could potentially blind us to those who are in genuine need.

We come back to the question of what a better year would look like. I do not know for certain but it would surely be different for every one of us. However, what I do know is that a greater involvement of the Lord in our work and studies will bring about fulfilment and meaning to what we do. May I invite you to join me in intentionally ushering the presence of the Lord by seeking His guidance daily and keeping our hearts focused on the things that matter.. - Dr Goh Siew Hor




How I Fell In Love... with Africa book


Book Review

“How I Fell in Love... with Africa” is the journey of an ordinary girl on a distant land, with an incredible God and an extraordinary people. From abused orphans and homeless men, to headless chickens and soiled nappies, to breath-taking sunsets and kind hospitality, Marianne Hui shares her unique and compelling experience in Africa. Through a series of journal entries, blog posts, and recounts, this young Singaporean reveals the struggles and joys she had as she fell in love with the beautiful continent of Africa.

For more details, email: simplymarianne@gmail.com.



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. The journals are now available for download in the PDF format at our website at: www.cmdf.org.sg/publications.php