It’s no secret that the modern medical environment wants nothing to do with Christianity.
To take just one example, consider the following story –
As a third year medical student on the Family Medicine clerkship [rotation], I participated in a seminar session about cultural competency, diversity, and tolerance. This session was led by one of our Assistant Deans, who also happened to serve on the admissions committee.
During this lecture on “tolerance” the Dean shared with us that she had interviewed a pro-life applicant for medical school the previous day. During her questioning, this student indicated that he/she wouldn’t feel comfortable performing or providing referrals for abortions. The Assistant Dean then proclaimed with pride that she “personally made sure that someone like THAT won’t get into MY medical school.”
Stories like this one are not the norm in terms of degree, but are by no means rare. Our students know in no uncertain terms that their school administrations would prefer they keep their faith to themselves. That’s why we focused on “Challenges in Communicating Faith” during our Intermed half-day retreat this past Saturday. Approximately fifty healthcare students, residents and graduate physicians from around the city came together to hear internationally-known speaker Dr. Bob Snyder help us identify, and practically overcome, common obstacles in sharing our faith in medical settings. Everyone came away encouraged with the hope and practical tools needed to represent the Great Physician boldly and sensitively in a hostile environment.
In the coming days, I will follow-up with our student leadership teams and help them implement the things Dr. Snyder shared. We’ll talk about the small steps of obedience the Lord is asking them to take next. I also initiated a follow-up discussion for the retreat’s leaders so that we can rejoice over what God did, and think about avenues for future improvement. And, in January, I’ll be meeting with Dr. Snyder personally to continue discussing ways our students can represent Christ wherever they are. Step-by-step, we are making a difference as we join God’s patient, persistent transformation of healthcare in Philadelphia and beyond!
Through your partnership on many levels, you too are a part of this kingdom work. May the God who sees all we do reward you for your efforts behind-the-scenes.
In The Healer’s Name,
Bryan & Sharon
Please join us in offering these items to the Father in prayer and praise:
- Praise for a tremendous retreat! Please beg God to help me help the students identify those few things He wants them to implement next.
- Please pray for me this next month, as the students will be busy with exams and winter break. This should be a great time to step back, praying and reflecting on what God has done, and where we need to go next.
- Praise for some more new support over the past month, and pray for God’s generous provision for this year’s budget ($8,000 shortfall), and new donors moving forward.
- Pray for wisdom as we think about possibly expanding our team’s ministry to a new campus next academic year. Two other medical campuses would like outside ministry help! It looks likely that another medical couple will be moving to the area, and they have expressed an interest in helping out on campus. Please pray that the Father would allow our ministry to expand, yet in a way that does not diminish the quality of what we are currently doing.
- Finally, please ask God to bless the bible study and dinner we’ll hold at our home this Saturday evening (6-8pm) for healthcare students around the city.