A ministry of Christian Medical & Dental Associations
By Mandi Mooney
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV 1984).
This Scripture, known as the Great Commission, is the primary reason Christians all over our country and the world become missionaries. And it’s also why a major component of the ministry of Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) is missions, because God called us to share His love with everyone, whether it is a neighbor down the street or a tribal group in a remote country 3,000 miles away.
Throughout history, missionaries have helped introduce millions of people to the grace and mercy of Christ; yet, thousands of people groups have still never heard about Christ. Plus, in today’s global landscape, as more and more governments in developing nations refuse to allow traditional missionaries to cross into their borders, how can we ever hope to fulfill the Great Commission?
Our answer to this dilemma is simple: healthcare. Healthcare missions will be the vehicle to take the gospel to every people group, no matter how remote or needy.
Western healthcare is the gold standard of care in the world. Because of that, countries that normally refuse to allow Christian missionaries access to their countries will give access to people and organizations offering healthcare services. So our mission outreaches focus on empowering our 18,000+ members to use their God-given healthcare skills to share the love of God, because healthcare can open doors of opportunity that simply do not otherwise exist.
We believe God is putting the pieces into place for a renaissance in healthcare missions that may be the last push to finally accomplishing the Great Commission. In doing so, God is stirring the hearts of hundreds healthcare professionals, residents and students to dedicate their careers to missions and healthcare evangelism.
Today, over 800 CMDA members are full-time healthcare missionaries working in mission hospitals around the world. They save lives on a daily basis with little technology, limited support staff and rudimentary facilities. But for many, they find themselves ill-equipped to serve in a developing country, despite years of medical training. Caring for family, sustaining spiritual growth and trying to live up to the expectations of others while facing unending medical needs and emergencies can be overwhelming. How do you confront continual suffering and death with compassion? What cultural, economic, environmental and political forces will affect your ministry? How do you meet the overwhelming needs of the community with such few resources? How do you handle administrative responsibilities like budgets, inventories and staff development? And don’t forget the main reason they are working as missionaries in the first place: to share the love of Christ with each person.
That’s why we created the Center for Medical Missions, a ministry to network, train and equip healthcare professionals with the resources they need to succeed on the mission field. Our goal is to help new healthcare missionaries experience the greatest possible success, effectiveness and contentment in responding to God’s call in healthcare missions. After all, if missionaries who planned on spending their lifetime in missionary service leave after only a year or two because they weren’t adequately prepared, how does that help?
One of the major ways we do this is by hosting New Medical Missionary Training, a four-day conference with intense training for those going into healthcare missions. Drawing upon decades of experience from career missionaries, it builds a strong foundation, enabling participants to effectively face what lays ahead on their journey. And that journey starts way before the healthcare professional reaches the mission field. So we also provide continuing education and inspiration with two e-newsletters: Your Call keeps the missions fire burning during the long years of preparation during healthcare training, while the e-Pistle includes training, news and updates for those already serving. Through both e-newsletters, we are reaching more than 3,000 people who are at some step on their journey to serve as healthcare missionaries.
The steady increase of interest in healthcare missions is proof that Christian healthcare professionals are stepping out in faith and following in Christ’s footsteps to fulfill the Great Commission. Are you ready to join them? Visit www.cmda.org/cmm or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your journey to healthcare missions.