GMMA September 2020 Monthly Newsletter
Last week, one of my patients, who I have known for a long time, tried to reach me saying that there was a medical emergency. After I got on the phone with him, I had to calm him down so I could hear him correctly. He told me that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and was very fearful of what may come next. Even though as a medical professional, I have been hearing about the virus almost non-stop since earlier this year, it was different to hear those words from a familiar voice and a person that I know. It was a humbling moment for me. I tried to comfort and encourage my patient, while reflecting on the times that we currently live in.
Needless to say, we can feel the fear and anxiety exuding from the news, social media, those around us, and even in our own hearts. There are no sense of normalcy as we know it even for our own GMMAcommunity. All of our usual events and trips have been put on hold. Personally, I must say I really miss seeing and fellowshipping with my GMMA family and I know that you might feel the same way too.
In troubling moments like these, the Holy Spirit calls our souls into a time of realignment and re-prioritization. Personally, when the news of the virus broke out, it made me think about my own potential death and how fragile my life on earth truly is. So many days we try to stay busy, work harder, or even numb ourselves by watching our many screens not to wrestle with this question of death. Honestly, it is a very frightening question to ask ourselves. “Will my life have meaning?” “Was I able to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish?” “What if I am wrong?” “What if this doesn’t work out?”
Thankfully, these were the same questions that the disciples had in their hearts indicated through Jesus’s teaching in the scripture above. Jesus was about to send out the disciples for the first time, two by two, on their own, and they were terrified. And Christ’s answer to their anxious, troubled hearts is an interesting one. First, he tells them that they are scared of the wrong thing (earthly suffering and death v. spiritual suffering and death). Secondly, he reminds them of God’s love for them (“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”). Jesus doesn’t dismiss their worry by saying, “Don’t worry about it! It’s not a big deal.” but rather says “There is an even greater threat than what you are afraid of, but just know that I love you and will always take care of you.”
These words have had such a powerful impact on me these past few weeks. I was able to realign myself nearer to the presence of God (rather than politics or work), spend more intentional time with my family than I have before, and feel a strange sense of peace even though I am still in the same world that caused me anxiety, fear, and darkness only a moment ago.
It also reminds me that we, as Christ loving healthcare professionals, are called to something higher in a time such as this. Just like Esther, we have a great opportunity to serve God and those around us in unique and powerful ways. But I also know that it won’t be easy or without suffering.
As healthcare professionals, we are called to research, study, and serve those around us without any personal, political, or financial motives, but rather with the selfless and compassionate love that Jesus graciously showed us. It reminded me of the life of Dr. Li Wenliang, who was an early whistleblower to the virus, who was silenced by his government to save face, when early prevention strategies could have been put into place far earlier which could have saved countless lives. He later contracted the virus he wanted to warn the world of and lost his life only weeks later at a tender age of 35.
Just like the disciples, we are also called to participate in Jesus’s ministry of reconciliation. That starts with our own hearts, locating and lifting up those fears that we have been avoiding for such a long time, and offering the same grace and hope we experience in Jesus to those we love and serve in our day to day. Our hope and motivation does not lie in a promise of an easy, painless path, but our hope lies in Jesus, who took the most painful way of redemption, by the way of crucifixion on a cross, so that we may be welcomed back to the Father and join Him in His work here on earth. It won’t always be easy and we will feel fear again, but we can speak these words of Jesus to ourselves and each other when those moments come.
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Yong Sik Kim MD
Director of GMMA Central Region
The importance of prayer was emphasized during the month of September. There were more than a hundred zoom sessions taking place for various events and meetings of GMMA. No matter what the content of the gathering was, prayer was at the beginning, and at the ending of each session as Christ is at the center of all we do as a ministry. Prayer builds our faith and prayer builds up relationships which further builds this ministry to stand in His name. It truly is God’s amazing grace and blessing as members from all over gather together online every month for the monthly prayer meeting. For September, we featured Philippines missionary, Pastor Pat Capwell; she thanked GMMA for selecting them for the much needed mission fund support. Serena, mission coordinator of the Berkeley chapter lifted a precious prayer for the missionary. We also spent time praying for the 260 million Christians experiencing challenging persecutions for their faith around the world. Dr. Susanna Choi, who has much experience in serving the persecuted women led the prayer. Dr. Peter Kim who serves as a mentor for Florida chapters prayed for the global healthcare workers. Cornell chapter president Brittany lifted up a special prayer for the mentors as well as Caleb who serves as the assistant mentor for Berkeley. Members are also being encouraged through the small group gatherings after the prayer meeting to pray for each other on personal prayer requests. From college students to retired professionals are matched randomly to get to know and pray together as a medical mission-minded family of Christ. We pray for the prayers of GMMAto increase powerfully and be a pleasing sound to God.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable. As challenging as it has been for us here in the USA, we hear of even more dire circumstances from mission sites around the world. Although GMMA is not able to go physically at this time, we are striving to go in heart and in spirit through more prayer and financial support.
GMMA is initiating a collective fundraiser for our mission partners from Sept 1 to Dec 1, 2020, to provide donations to eleven selected missionaries. We already sent aides to a few sites in need of urgent assistance. How thankful that we are able to encourage on-site missionaries through our collective effort. Donate at gmma7.org
This month we feature the Philippines
Regional Health Reports
Some of our chapters across the west coast region have started the school year, and despite being online amidst the uncertainty, our officers are encouraged and passionate to do God’s work! Using the opportunities of social media and zoom, our members are utilizing their resources to the fullest to spread GMMA across their online campus community. Our chapters are praying and coming together in Christ stronger than ever to establish the same family community online.
With the academic year online, it is the first for everyone to balance class, extracurricular activities, personal problems, and more all at once. Please pray that our members will find peace in Christ and not be too anxious. Please also pray that each campus’ GMMA chapter experiences a safe community online, and not feel too distant, and that they will use the current circumstance to rely on each other for support and prayer.
Regional Coordinator Message:
Despite COVID-19 and the unsureness that it has brought upon us, I am so encouraged to work with our GMMA officers. Seeing the passion they have, the motivation and willingness to serve, I am learning from the officers as well. To have this community in GMMA has allowed me to remember that in God do we find peace, and to trust in Him throughout the process. As we are figuring things out one by one, I pray that our students will be intentional with each other and rely on each other to find spiritual strength and to keep each other accountable. I pray that God will be able to work within us and that we would be able to make a difference to others, even with an online presence.
Vanderbilt and Ohio State University are both new chapters starting this semester in the Midwest region! Both have strong officer boards, and are excited to see God move in and through their campus! The entire Central region was able to have their Leadership Training that took place on Aug 21-22. It was a tremendous blessing with so many mentors from different regions also being able to come and have break out sessions with the chapters! The semester is just starting off with all chapters moving to an online platform to hold GMMA meetings.
Please continue to pray for the transition to online platforms as many students feel disconnected from one another, and for God to bring many new students to GMMA. Please pray for the new chapters (Vanderbilt and Ohio State) to start off with a strong foundation, and please lift up the older chapters in prayer too!
Regional Coordinator Message:
There are a lot of hardships many individuals are going through right now in the GMMA family. Please pray for healing, guidance, direction, and peace for some of these students. God has really been placing a sense of surrender to Him in this season of life. The things I hold dear and the things I believe to be blessings from God, I feel God asking if I’d be willing to surrender anything for Him; to choose Him over everything. I feel the Lord has shaken me up to help me see just how much I’ve been fixating my eyes on this world and not on Him. I pray that the Lord may continue to lead me in this season and draw me closer than ever before, and for me to choose Him again and again.
Regional Outreach & Needs:
Please pray for our chapters that even though school and meetings are virtual and there is a limited opportunity to fellowship, that they will still have a passion to serve the Lord. Please pray that every member, officer, mentor, and coordinator will continue to grow in their faith with the Lord. Please pray for the GMMA fundraiser that even virtually, GMMA will have success in supporting our missionaries.
Regional Coordinator Message:
We are very grateful to hear from the mentors from Australia and the US. Dr. Jonanthan Choi, a general practitioner (GP), who is currently practicing in Sydney metro, shared about his journey as a Christian doctor in the rural parts of Australia. Dr David and Mary Roh shared their wisdom and encouraged to trust in God who is faithful and good. Dealing with the pandemic is certainly challenging but we are grateful for the technology that brings us together!
Regional Outreach & Needs:
Please pray for the students who are taking their mid-term exams and the young-health professional for the job interviews. Also please pray for the upcoming guest speakers. Through their testimonies, God’s glory may be revealed.
Regional Coordinator Message:
We have started a prayer wall through an online platform called padlet. If anyone wants to pray for the Australian students, young health professionals, and mentors, please have a look. Also, anyone is more than welcome to leave a prayer request and we will pray for you as well!
You can explore all of the GMMA chapters, including information about the leadership, meeting times, contact, Instagram handles and more, on our website here.
If you know any healthcare professionals who would gladly serve as mentors for these chapters, please email us at email@example.com.
Please make sure to use Amazon Smile so that a percentage of your purchase comes back to GMMA/Kamhc incorporated in the form of a donation.
There are many incredible ministries and organizations you can choose to support through Amazon Smile, so we thank you in advance for choosing to support GMMA and partnering with us to help others smile through His kingdom work!
Our healthcare community serving together for His glory.
As many are facing new challenges due to changes in education, professional training, and
workplace due to the pandemic, we’ve created “GMMA Connects” as a space for
Please share and connect to the inquiries if you can assist in
any way. You can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of the
month to be listed in this section.
Connection Need: PA rotation sites
Specialties: Women’s Health and Pediatrics
Dates: 10/26-11/27/20 and 2/8/21-2/8-3/12/21
Name: Elizabeth Lee
School: Drexel University
Description: I’m currently a 1st year PA student at Drexel University and because of the pandemic, our school is having a hard time finding rotations for us so I’m reaching out to potential sites on my own. Each of our 6 core rotations is 5 weeks and I’m currently missing 2 of them. I’m missing both my 2nd (10/26/20 – 11/27/20) and 4th rotation (2/8/21 – 3/12/21). Women’s health and pediatrics are the specialties I’m still trying to find. I’m open to both in and outpatient settings and am willing to go to any location. Keeping you all in my prayers, that our trust in our God will continue to strengthen as we fight this pandemic. Thank you so much!
Have you ever been oeverwhelmed or haevy-laden on your shoulder because problems you are facing are too heavy? If so, do you trust your own stength or wisdom to bear that burden? Or Are you going to bring those burdes to the One who can take care of it and who promised that you will find rest for your souls as you learn from Him?
GMMA adapted ECHO prayer app so every GMMA member can pray together at 9 PM every day.
Here is the link for GMMA-Echo Instruction for your information. https://youtu.be/zchhVrmtPSM
2020 Virtual Global Missions Health Conference
When: November 12 – 14, 2020
Attend the world’s largest conference for medical missions this fall and stay informed and inspired.
Early Bird price, just $50 for students ends 7/31/20.
Type FRIEND2020 promotion code for extra $10 off.
Register at medicalmissions.com.
Are you interested in serving with GMMA? Utilize the talents and gifts that God has provided you and serve with us! Please contact your area of interest above!
Until next time,
Please share about GMMA and let us all remember to Arise and Shine for His glory.