GMMA August 2020 Monthly Newsletter
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, God provided me an opportunity to pray and meditate about the post COVID-19 GMMA ministry. This pandemic has changed the face of missions among a plethora of other things: many mission sites have had to close their doors to foreigners, some of our missionaries have been banished or forced to leave due to cuts in support, college campuses have turned to online classes, and group gatherings have been prohibited.
Our GMMA ministries have been traditionally through in person contact. In this ‘untact’ era, where social distancing is strictly enforced, our medical missions conferences, short term medical mission trips, and campus ministries have been significantly impacted. Will our ministries be ‘back to normal’ once the vaccines are available? When will we be able to return to our mission sites? There are many such questions that we can’t answer at this time. However, I firmly believe that there is God’s purpose and providence in all that is happening right now.
This is an opportunity for us to rethink about our future medical mission paradigm. Since doors to foreigners are closing, more mission initiative has to be handed over to the local nationals. Currently, there are mission organizations empowering indigenous believers with basic medical skills to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through medical care. Others are training the students and professionals at the local government hospitals, medical schools, and mission hospitals. Maybe the time has come to focus more on this educational ministry, where we build personal relationships with the local students & professionals and disciple them. This would help empower these individuals to care for their communities independently.
Focusing on community health evangelism is important. Some of the GMMA leadership and students were trained in the principles and practice of community health evangelism. And short but impactful mission trips to work on specific public health projects with the locals might be feasible. In addition, we can even provide support to the locals remotely. All of these actions are designed to give the local communities ownership, while simultaneously allowing us the opportunity to evangelize.
For the upcoming year, until we can resume our medical mission trips, we can focus on training our students in basic and advanced missions training. Dr. Peter Chung developed “GMMA Plus” curriculum with the help of other professionals and student coordinators. This will provide our students with well-rounded Christian training and assist in campus ministry development. Our college ministries will also focus on our students at a more individual level, reestablishing the relationship between mentors and mentees to highlight discipling. In addition, we are continuing to utilize the SNS and online tools. God blessed us with over 40 student chapters, 60 mentors and 200 student officers, and we are still growing. We will continue to invest in people to raise more Christian health professionals who are molded in Jesus’ image, and who bring God’s healing to all nations.
We are living in a truly unprecedented time. However, God will provide us with wisdom on how to continuously carry on the Great Commission regardless of our circumstances. And within the tumult and chaos of this pandemic, let us strive even harder to listen to His voice.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Sang-Hoon Ahn, M.D., M.P.H.
GMMA Mentor, Dir. of Professional Dev
Clinical Associate Professor | Division of Medical Oncology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
How thankful we are that GMMA professionals are serving so faithfully even when their work schedules are intellectually and physically tiring.
August is an especially busy month as we are preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year. Aside from attending our new chapter officers’ training via Zoom sessions to meet the new officers, nationwide mentors gathered through Zoom to get to know each other and to discuss ways to better serve the students. Dr. Young Kwang Chae, M.D (medical oncologist and researcher), who serves as one of the mentors for Northwestern, was the special speaker for it. All agreed that only through the love of Jesus, they are able to serve the next generation and be blessed.
Prayer meetings resume every month so professional members take turns contributing through their prayers and musical gifts. For the August prayer meeting, Dr. William Chan and Dr. Christine Jun served. Dr. David Choi traveled to meet Dr. Martin Del Campo of Samaritan’s Purse to do an interview for the student chapters. The interview entailed questions regarding medical mission experiences and advice. Professional members are carefully making time to safely meet in small groups to share fellowship and prayer.
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 Siloe Ministry in Mexico. They are one of the eleven sites chosen. You can go to siloeclinic.org for more information.
Regional Health Reports
On August 1st, the West Coast GMMA chapters had a blessed time at this year’s leadership training! Student officers were able to fellowship with other chapters and prepare for the upcoming school year. Praise God for a great leadership training and for all our officers who are so willing to serve!
Some schools are beginning this month, and most are facing the challenges of an online fall semester. Student officers are brainstorming new ideas for their meetings and being creative with how to foster community during these times. Please keep these students in your prayer, as they ask God to inspire ideas for general meetings, recruiting new members, and local missions. Please also continue to pray for God’s wisdom and vision for the upcoming school year!
Regional Coordinator Message:
It was a blessing to help prepare and host the leadership training for the student chapters. I am not only encouraged by my other regional coordinators who worked so diligently to give their best to the students but also by the student leaders who are devoted and excited to serve GMMA. It reminds me that God is still at work even in the midst of what may be a stressful and chaotic time. I am praying that we continue to see God move and join Him in serving and loving those around us!
A lot of the central region GMMA chapters have been keeping in touch through prayer meetings. One area that some of the chapters have grown is through bible studies and accountability among the officers. Multiple chapters felt that the officers has grown closer together, and hopefully, those stronger bonds with each other will support them in the upcoming semester. In addition to fellowship, UT-Austin hosted a Spanish workshop with one of our mentors, Dr.Yun Kim and Pharm-tech Julie Han to help students learn medical Spanish. UT-Dallas has been active in online volunteering
One of the needs for the chapters is finding ways to keep members engaged throughout the semester. Please pray for us that GMMA may be a support group for its members and for the Lord to lead to officers to be a lighthouse for His kingdom in the upcoming semester. Despite the circumstances, please pray for us that we may be active in our pursuit for God on our campuses, personal devotion and outreach.
Regional Coordinator Message:
Due to all the uncertainty, I used to ask God to “open and close doors” for me in my life and solely rely on my circumstances to discern what is truly God’s will. However, a friend reminded me that this practice was lazy and missed out on one important aspect: prayer. The apostles in Acts could’ve viewed every stone thrown at them as a “closed door”, yet they continued their mission because they prayed and knew the will of God. I hope that myself along with GMMA chapter can remember the importance of actively praying. Let’s not let our circumstances, but God be in control of how we face uncertainties in our life.
Like many of the other regions, the east coast chapters were able to complete their officer training retreat! Due to the circumstances, the entire training was done virtually on the evening of July 31 and all day on August 1. Despite the new format, the officers and mentors, led by Dr. Pau Jo and Dr. Peter Chung, were able to share and encourage one another and learn more about the logistics of leading a GMMA student chapter.
Regional Outreach & Needs:
Officers and members from each chapter are facing difficult decisions as students. Many are unsure whether they should return to campus, what their courses will look like, and limitations for student club activities. Chapters will face barriers in recruiting and meeting on campus as they start the school year. Please pray that God would grow each chapter not only in numbers but in faith and perseverance. Please pray for the students that they may place their trust in God in the midst of uncertainty and burdens.
Regional Coordinator Message:
We are thankful for everyone’s faithfulness and consistently participating in our meetings despite the pandemic. We recently gathered for a Kahoot night. It was a relaxing night after a week of school, clinical placements, and work!
Regional Outreach & Needs:
We pray for those who are affected by the explosion in Beirut. Also, we pray for those who are affected by the pandemic, particularly missionaries and Christians in the third world.
Regional Coordinator Message:
We have invited many guest mentor speakers for the upcoming months. For August, we invited Dr Jonathan Choi who is a general practitioner in Australia. We are excited to hear about his journey with Christ and what he does!
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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!
The pandemic brought uncertainty to our lives. Are you full of anxiety, anger or fear because of that uncertainty about our future? Or, are you full of joy and hope despite of all those uncertainties? Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, is simply asking us to come. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28) Let’s come back to the way of Christ, to the life of Christ and to the truth of Christ in prayer. Please join Dr. Luke Shin’s prayer for all healthcare workers.
Lord, we love you. We know you as our father. Today, we gather here grounded in our identity as heavenly sons and daughters and approach your throne with confidence, boldness, and audacity with knowledge that you hear our prayers, even prayers that hide deep inside our hearts. We also gather today as a MD, DO, physical therapist, occupational therapist, dentist, medical assistant, acupuncturist, medical student, and so many other healthcare workers. We also gather here today as brothers and sisters taking care of family members who have been impacted by COVID-19. We also recognize those who are in pain because of passed loved ones. May God protect them, guide them, and comfort them in months to come.
Lord, we praise you and we declare your goodness not in spite of what appears to be chaotic to our human eyes and human affairs. We praise you exactly because of it. You are the same God of the past, present, and future. You are even now pouring out your Holy Spirit and anointing among us, for those who seek you, for those who love you, and for those whom you choose to anoint.
1. We thank you because you’re not scared like us. You are sitting in your throne with your angels, searching for harvest. You are searching for workers. You are searching for kingdom minded, Jesus minded people of God to rise up and seize the opportunity for your kingdom and harvest. So individually and collectively, we declare “Here I am. Use our hands and feet for your kingdom.” Center us in your presence.
2. We also praise you because you are raising our faith. You are increasing our faith in this new season. This is so that our character and anointing will match those of opportunities in times such as these. You have placed exactly where we stand. In the name of Jesus, we cast out fear, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. We invite Holy Spirit now and fill our hearts with tears of joy, excitement and hope in this new season. Let us be a people of prayer. Awaken us to a greater understanding of who you are and regarding your kingdom. Deepen our relationship with you.
3. We also praise you because you are teaching us how to love. Let’s not forget what Jesus did on the cross. Let’s not forget the blood shed for each one of us. Use every ounce of love in us to become compassionate and effective healthcare workers. More importantly, let us become ambassadors of the gospel for those people desperately seeking to hear, to experience, and to know you as our father.
Lord as people of God, we rest in your sovereignty. We move because of your Holy Spirit. We proclaim your goodness regarding salvation, eternal life with you, and faithfulness through generations.
Lord I pray for GMMA and for this generation who are hungry for your presence. Out of this generation will arise mighty warriors, faith giants and Jesus freaks who will change the landscape of Christianity and medical mission. You will scatter our names across the world and fill our passports. So upon each one of us, pour out your Holy Spirit and anointing. Upon each one of us give us the ability to teach, to evangelize, to reason with disbelief. Let our calling be in this new season of life, “physicians” of mens’ heart and fishers of men.
In Jesus name we pray
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.