Recent Happenings

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for another great season of ministry. Here are some highlights since we’ve last written!

Fall Student Retreat

panelists

Our healthcare panel addresses the theme of work and life balance at the fall retreat.

In October, we held our first-ever citywide fall student and resident retreat.  After several years of prayer, God finally opened the door and allowed us to move forward!  We had an absolutely fantastic time as we considered the theme of rest. Dr. Josh Uy and I shared the teaching, and a panel composed of graduate healthcare providers interacted with the students in sharing how they balance the demands of their careers and families.  We also had plenty of relaxed, informal time together.

Global Missions Health Conference

2013 Philly Global Missions Group (2)

Our Philly group at the 2013 Global MIssions Conference!

Earlier this month, I joined a group of about 20 healthcare students and professionals on a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Global Missions Health Conference, the largest medical missions conference in the world.  Beyond picking up fresh ideas for our area ministry and networking, the best part for me was spending lots of time in meaningful conversation with people from our local healthcare community.  It was especially rewarding to meet with former students, now medical residents throughout the country, to see how they’re doing and have the opportunity to speak into their lives again. They are a living picture of what our local healthcare community is all about – investing in those God sends us in the hope that they will go out and carry the Great Commission forward!

Expanding Our Team

God continues to bless our ministry with growth and expansion!  Although sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the Lord(!), he continues to provide committed co-laborers.  In the past month, Dr. Neil Pitts, a pharmacist, has joined our ministry council, bringing a heart for the underserved, students, and a desire to help us wisely partner with those at our schools who may not share our faith commitments. In addition, Sharon has been hired as our part-time ministry assistant.  I’m biased, of course, but I can’t imagine anyone more qualified both to serve our women and capably assist with the growing number of administrative tasks!

Deep, Lasting Change

Perhaps more than anything else, we passionately desire that those we reach change in lasting ways that better enable them to serve God and those around them (the two greatest commandments).  By God’s grace, we are witnessing this on a regular basis and it brings us such great joy.  Here are some recent examples: one student has seen that he tends to keep others at arm’s length, but now he’s moving toward the difficult people in his life and helping them change.  Another has appreciated more deeply how fully he’s accepted in Christ, which has given him courage to ask for help and ‘be himself’ in his campus fellowship, which in turn is opening new doors for personal ministry.  Still another is struggling in a new city, but wants to take specific steps to stay connected to God and others where he is, rather than hoping to find it elsewhere as he has in the past.  Although often quiet, we are privileged to be on site as the Spirit works in the lives of those around us.

As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, we are especially grateful for you, our friends and support team.  We hope you are encouraged by the fruit of your investment!

Giving thanks,

Bryan & Sharon

Please lift up these praises and prayers along with us:

  • Praise for a great fall Intermed, fall retreat, Global Missions Health Conference and so many relationships where God is at work!
  • Praise for God’s provision of Dr. Pitts for our council and Sharon as our ministry assistant.  Please pray for wisdom as they begin their new roles.
  • Pray for a strong year’s end financially so that we are positioned well for the coming year.
  • Pray for God to give wisdom as our team meets with students for times of discipleship and mentoring.
  • Pray that God helps our leaders and I conduct ‘halftime evaluations’ in December and make any necessary adjustments for the spring.
  • Finally, pray that the Lord leads many to attend our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference (Jan. 17-19) for refreshment and transformation.  Please pray also that God provides generous funding for the event, always a challenge since we subsidize students’ attendance.

CMDA Citywide Student Retreat – Save The Date!

ImageSave the date! On Oct. 12-13, we’re holding a one-day, overnight retreat for healthcare students around the city.  Here are the details:

Where: The Welcoming Place (Akron, PA – just 1 hour from Philadelphia)
Theme: Rest For The Weary (Speakers: Josh Uy, MD; Bryan Stoudt, MDiv)
Cost: $30 covers meals and lodging

Why: This retreat is designed to refresh you through worship, fellowship, biblical teaching and small groups. We’ve also built-in times to rest, slow down, and have fun.

This is a great opportunity to become more deeply connected to your campus fellowship while also meeting others in healthcare training from around the area.

Online registration will open September 9th, but you can read – and see – more now through our brochure.  (Since we only have space for 40 students, you may want to register quickly!)

Scientific Basis For Discussing Spirituality With Patients

 Ever wonder if it’s appropriate to talk about spirituality with patients?  Many people believe that “science” and “spirituality” are incompatible, but a growing body of research (over 4,000 studies) shows that they belong together.

In this video message (see above), given at a recent MCO Healthcare Fellowship gathering, Dr. Josh Uy helps us navigate through, and apply, the current research.  (Thanks to Dan Mirsch for providing the video).

Dr. Uy has also made other documents related to his talk available:

What Does It Mean To Be A Doctor?

After some time away for vacation, we’re back, this time with a post from Dr. Josh Uy, who asks, “What Does It Mean To Be A Doctor?”  His post comes in the wake of recent debate in the blogosphere about balancing professional and personal priorities.

Dr. Uy’s thoughts raise the question behind the other questions: how do we decide what it means to be a good doctor?  In other words, how do we get beyond the ‘your opinion/my opinion’ banter that leaves us without any real moorings other than our own opinions?

Beyond the excellent, practical advice that Dr. Uy gives, I’d add that, for Christians, our choices have to be informed by God’s Word.  Although it doesn’t speak directly to things like how many hours we should work, or, how precisely to balance our families and careers, it does give broad principles we can (and should) wisely (and with real freedom) apply to these areas.  In my experience, the major hurdle is being ready to let God speak into these areas in ways that require sacrifice.  Although it hurts – to put it bluntly – it ultimately leads to real freedom for us, our families, and the patients we serve.

You can read other posts by Dr. Uy on his blog, The Geriatrician.