It was the first GMMA conference that was initiated, planned, prepared and run by 2nd generation GMMA student chapters. We thank God that He provided wonderful speakers and would like to give special thanks to Sarang Community Church that they willingly opened their facilities for GMMA CA Regional Conference. We are eager to hear about how our attendees were blessed on Saturday.
Over 150 people who came to the conference gathered together to praise God and participated in different plenary sessions, group discussions and workshops. The subjects of group discussion sessions that were covered by healthcare professionals, a missionary and a pastor were about missions from clinical, academic and long term missionary perspectives. It also covered the areas like doing ministries as women healthcare professionals and how to serve God’s community and home as women healthcare professionals.
During plenary sessions in the morning, Pastor Ryun Chang challenged us to be a humble servant of God as a mission-minded professionals as he reminded us of the past mistakes that Christians made in the history while we tried to evangelize people by our own ways, not considering nor respecting the different cultures on the mission fields. His own experience, being humbled by not successful as a scholar made him go to Mexico as a missionary with humble attitudes. So, God was the One who used him to teach many indigenous seminary students so that they would be humble servants of God. Dr. John Kim expanded on the character more that Christian should uphold as servants of God’s kingdom, sharing his own conversion story of how he listed so many sins on the paper that he had committed in the past and repented his sins before God. He was such an example of a humble and godly leader to motive 2nd generations at the conference as he shared how he cleaned the bathrooms as Jesus set an example for His disciples to follow in His steps when He washed His disciple’s feet.
We had one more group discussion time along with many workshops at 3 different time slots in the afternoon. Dr. Michael Soderling shared that he was a long term missionary in Guatemala and focused on doing operations as an OBGYN doctor. But, he found that mission is more than doing after he met Dr. Dan Fountain and was challenged by him. He learned that it is more being than doing, but being transformed to be more like Jesus along with the people he served in the community. Now, he defines “health” in a new way that it starts with the right relationship with God and includes not only the physical health but also spiritual, emotional and social aspects as well. Dr. Peter Chung, GMMA president, shared his experience after his conversion that to solidify his identity in Christ than his career helped him to serve his patients. He also challenged the attendees to have evidences that we are born again. He said that it will be proved by our passion to listen to God’s voices like a new born baby craves for mother’s milk.
Dr. David Roh, also told the attendees that his real identity is in the fact that he is loved by a loving heavenly Father while his medical career is only a tool to share the love of God. Dr. Raymond Choi shared the opportunities available for dentist in the mission fields and brought people from different stages of becoming dentists for student attendees. Dr. Joseph Chun reminded us that God calls us to go beyond the confines of medical care and share His love from a holistic healing and spiritual platform.
During the 2nd workshop time slots, Dr. Scott Lee encouraged the students to try their best at where they are now. Answering one student’s question if they have to be in the top 3 % of class, he was very transparent, bold and vulnerable to tell the story that he didn’t have a high school diploma. The reason that he is standing here as an assistant professor at the Stanford School of medicine and a faculty appointment at UC Berkeley is not because of him, but it is because of God who graciously and faithfully guided him as he has been trying to trust and depend on God throughout his life. Dawn Jung, R.N. shared her passion for God’s words and passion to share God’s words with people as a seminary graduate and how she was engaged in mission trip to find out how nursing can be a one of the best tool to share God’s words and His love with people on mission fields. Dr. Susanna Choi and Dr. Mary Roh showed how passionate love they have as a Christian women healthcare professionals as they share their daily walk with God from having habits to have a quiet time before they see the patients.
The highlight of the day was that students gathered with 2nd generation healthcare professionals together held hands in hands in small and big groups, shared how they were blessed and prayed together. Dr. S Peter Chung made a closing remark that our commitment to bring the Next Generation to the fore of the mission field by either mobilizing or supporting teams form home; mentoring students and trainees as Christian health professionals; networking with professionals in our area; and sending teams to the healthcare needs all around us is the motivating force behind our organization.
We want everyone to stay networked, defragment the vast networks of mission organizations, and partner together under the central goal of sharing God’s love through our vocation. Keep an eye out for next year’s NATIONAL CONFERENCE which will be held on June 24th– 25th in LA.