'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble'
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.
We want to support and encourage you in the challenges you're facing as a Christian medical professional at this crucial time. We trust you find encouragement in the resources and reflections here, and we invite you to join with us in praying for faith and strength for all Christian doctors serving in New Zealand and around the world at this time.
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].
Our International Resources page contains links to resources from the International Christian Medical and Dental Association and CMF (UK), leading you through to resources and perspectives from around the globe. You'll find blogs, podcasts and articles written from medical, theological or mission perspectives. Click here for International Resources
John Wyatt is a doctor, author, speaker and research scientist. His academic title is Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics and Perinatology at University College London. He is also a senior researcher at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.
He was to be the keynote speaker at CMFnz's Reflect Conference in May 2020, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19. He has written and spoken on the topic of Christianity in a time of plague. Click here to read or listen to John Wyatt's work
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