Responding to COVID-19

'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble'
Psalm 46:1

So much has changed since the start of 2020, and yet God changes not (Hebrews 13:8). At this time of uncertainty and anxiety, we turn our eyes to our Lord, trusting in his strength to sustain and carry us; trusting in his love to guide us as we care for our patients and our communities.

Understanding Covid Vaccination

While the vaccine rollout is well underway here in New Zealand, we are aware that some people are uncertain about the vaccine and are seeking advice from Christian medical professionals. Emeritus Professor Gareth Jones (Bioethicist) and Associate Professor James Ussher (Medically trained Scientist and Researcher) created a pamphlet for their church community, bringing a New Zealand Science and Christian perspective on the question of Covid-19 vaccinations. We share this pamphlet, Understanding Covid Vaccination, with thanks to them for their work and willingness to share it with us. Feel free to distribute it to others who may be interested.

The Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia has released a 45-minute presentation by Dr James Yun, a consultant physician in allergy, clinical immunology and immunopathology. Covering most aspects of concern circulating about Covid vaccines in an authoritative, balanced and warm manner, Dr Yun also acknowledges the importance of prayer and handing our anxieties to Christ. Visit to view.

We love to hear from you, so do feel free to share your reflections and stories if you feel they may be of encouragement to the wider CMFnz community. Contact [email protected]

Note that useful links and resources are circulated to assist members. Inclusion does not mean that they represent CMFnz's position.

ICMDA Resources

CMFnz is a member organisation of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association, which has published many resources relating to Covid-19.

Please click on the links below for webinars, blogs and more, or visit

Covid Vaccines
Effectiveness, safety, ethics and deploymentwebinar with Profs Wilder-Smith & Kang
FAQ: Coronavirus vaccinesblog article by Prof John Wyatt
Coronavirus vaccines and Christian ethicsblog article by Prof John Wyatt

Myth Busting
Anti-Virus: The Covid-19 FAQ
World Health Organization
Face Masks and Face Protection

Living through the Pandemic
Caring for your mind during lockdown - article by Dr Ashley Stewart, reposted from CMF UK Blogs
Trusting God through difficulties - five keys to resilience and perseveranceblog article by Dr Peter Saunders 
COVID pandemic: Lessons learnt and the way forward - blog article by Dr Mandalam Seshadri

Responding to Covid in Communities in North India

By Dr K Mathias, Kiwi CMFnz-er working in North India | May 28 2020

The Covid crisis in India has been two-fold, firstly the risk of infection by the coronavirus, and secondly, the risks to health and wellbeing associated with the harsh lockdown which has been in place for nearly ten weeks and in place until May 31. The incidence of Covid in India started with very low numbers and slow growth, but the last fortnight has seen a large increase in cases for India with around 5% increase per day and a move from 3,787 new cases a day on May 15th to 7,293 new cases on May 27th... Read More

Hope for the Hidden

By Dr Emily Ling, Kiwi CMFnz-er working in Ethiopia | May 25 2020

Evie is a 6-year-old girl with spina bifida. She lacked bladder and bowel control and was shunned by other kids because of her smell. Recently we were able to start her on a bowel and bladder programme, with suppositories and intermittent catheterisation. This has dramatically improved Evie and her family’s quality of life, as she can now stay clean without constant leakage. She has now started going to school, something which the family did not think would ever be possible. We also arranged a wheelchair for her, and her mother is now able to start working to provide for her family... Read More

An Unexpected Time to Die

By Dr Rachael Whyte, Kiwi CMFnz-er living in Grenada, Spain | May 14 2020

I am based in Grenada, Spain with my husband Matthew, and our four children aged 6, 4, 2, and 7 months. I was a GP registrar before we moved to Spain and am now looking after our children, while Matthew is working on a number of volunteer initiatives with immigrants. 

We live in an apartment in the immigrant neighbourhood in the north of the city. Lockdown started on the 15th March, and continues today (13th May). During most of this time we were only allowed out to buy food and medicine, no walks for exercise, and no kids allowed outside at all... Read More

Faith in Pandemic Times 

By Dr Sarah Masterton, CMFnz Board Member | Apr 27 2020

A milestone was reached as CMFnz hosted our first online webinar on Tuesday 7 April 2020. It was not something we had planned to do a long time ago, rather, it arose from an acute yearning to connect with our community during the lockdown. Indeed, it was wonderful to be able to meet with colleagues from all around the country, especially given that we were no longer able to gather together at conference. 

So, what did we talk about? 

Professor Steve Chambers (an Infectious Diseases Physician... Read More

Interview with CMFnz Board Member and GP Helen Saunders

From CMF's Voices from the Frontline podcast | Apr 14 2020

Helen is interviewed by CMF (UK) for their podcast which hears from healthcare professionals on the frontline of the response to the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world. Helen shares how she has been redeployed to work with public health, and describes her current involvement with tracing COVID-19 cases in New Zealand.


Hard Pressed, but not Crushed

By Dr Nick Laing, Kiwi CMFnz-er serving with NZCMS in Northern Uganda | 9 April 2020

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

My work partner Emma shared this on Facebook yesterday. You’ll soon see why.

On the surface, lockdown here in Northern Uganda seems relaxed compared with New Zealand. We can move around, buy food and bike where we want.... Read More

General Practice During Lockdown

By CMFnz GP | Apr 4 2020

At 62 years old in remission from lymphoma with my wife (practice nurse) who suffers from a chronic respiratory condition working on the front line in general practice, right now is scary! The strange thing is that at no time have I thought seriously about my own health. My wife, I think, is more concerned that I will do something stupid - she knows me well.

In my practice we have 12,000 registered patients and we operate as an Accident and Medical walk in service seeing 30,000 casuals per year. We have nearly 40 staff including 12 GPs. 

It's normally very busy. Suddenly with the lockdown... Read More

Pray, pray, pray

By Dr Tim Jelleyman, CMFnz Chairperson | Apr 3 2020

Is it well with your soul? So much seems to have changed in a few short weeks! Many of us will have found ourselves busy adjusting how we function day-to-day at work and home. I have been trying to keep up with all the changes and with patients, families, health services negotiating pathways through the new landscape. In other aspects it has been a strange pause in activity.  

In this changing context, I pray that you discover anew the opportunity to live as Paul instructed the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ (1 Thessalonians 5.7-9). There you have it: simple, pro-active, continuous, and all made possible in Christ Jesus. So set your mind on ‘Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12.2). 

We have been reminded... Read More



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