Sunday, January 29, 2017

Transformed Doctors, Transforming the World!

Getting behind a great vision

"Transformed Doctors, transforming the world!"

     We are approaching the five month mark here in Bristol as of February 1st and wow, are we working with some great folks at CMDA headquarters!   53 staff serve in the Bristol facility, supporting over 40 distinct ministries of this 18,000+ member organization.  As of January 3rd, I (Mike) moved into Dr. Gene Rudd's office and officially took the mantle of the Executive VP of CMDA.  Gene has graciously moved into a different office and continues as my coach and mentor in providing training and encouragement in my new position of leadership. Gene was honored in early December by our VP for Communications, Margie Shealy (see pic below) with the Kindness award, given each month to the CMDA staff who shows Christ-like kind behavior to our other staff in a remarkable way.  Gene's daily life is filled with examples of acts of service and kindness to all of us who serve with him.  He is an incredible role model and challenge to me!
Dr. Gene Rudd (my coach) receives the December "Kindness award" from VP for Communications, Margie Shealy

The last 10 days were very busy and important for the governance of CMDA as the annual winter Board of Trustees meeting took place in St. Petersburg, FL on January 20th/21st. During the two days of meetings, we heard some encouraging statements made by Board members:
"CMDA is about raising the flag of Jesus Christ first and foremost, not our own flag."
"CMDA is looking for the key result of instilling righteousness in medical students and residents across the United States."
"We are about discipleship in this organization.  Any key measurement that indicates that we are doing this better should be of great importance to all of us."

     Stories of transformation....they abound at CMDA.   Medical students and residents making commitments to serve Christ in their careers.   The estimate is that approximately 30,000 health care professionals and their spouses/families are touched regularly by this ministry and then get involved in touching a lost and dying world through compassionate care in Jesus' name through the various CMDA outreach ministries like Global Health Outreach teams,  Medical Education International teaching teams, domestic inner city clinics for the poor and uninsured, and many others.  And the organization's reach continues to increase.  Already national groups of Christian Physician Assistants and Christian Pharmacists have come under the CMDA umbrella and tomorrow a delegation of Nurse Practitioners are visiting with Dave Stevens and myself to explore a collaborative effort of our two organizations.  Please pray with us as we consider this joining of efforts with US NP's.

I wasn't the only newbie to join this 85 year old organization last year.  Also joining the Class of 2016 was a new VP for Campus and Community ministries, Rev. Bill Reichart, formerly the Atlanta area CMDA director.  Bill and I have become prayer partners at HQ for 2017 and we both have young adult daughters to pray over together. Bill has already been of great encouragement to me as well as a seasoned trainer on fully utilizing social media to get out our important messages from CMDA. (He formerly worked for CRU with university students) The CMDA Board was thrilled over the new strategic plan Bill has generated to grow the campus and community ministries across the USA on medical and dental campuses and in dozens of communities across the country, under our four Regional Directors.  The other leader new to the team is Mr. Scott Rimell, new VP for Digital Media and Marketing.  Scott came from Precept Ministries and prior to that had worked for medical publishing giant, Elsevier.  I joked in CMDA chapel the other day that the three new VP's would start a Christian singing group called the "Newboys"!

Praising God for generous friends and answered prayers

In our Christmas Chuppdate we asked you to pray with us and consider helping us erase our first ministry financial deficit in our ministry career, associated with the move to CMDA from WGM.  We are so grateful to Jehovah Jireh that He remained faithful to His character of "meeting all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19).   We had set a goal of year end donations of $25,000 for December to help erase our deficit and we saw God's people give $24,698, just $302 shy of our hoped for goal.  As a result we are now slightly ahead of our monthly goal for support and entering 2017 encouraged by the generosity of so many who have trusted us to be following God's leading in our lives in this move to a Stateside ministry of raising up the next generation of Jesus' followers in medicine and dentistry. If any of you did not receive our hard copy Chuppdate in December, please drop us a short note at with your mailing address and we will add you to our list for the next Chuppdate. 
Dr. David Stevens showing Mike the TV interview "ropes"

Family Update

December was a rather remarkable month for our family as just 5 days after moving into a new home here in Bristol, Pam slipped and fell and broke her left (dominant) wrist.   This required an anesthetic in the Bristol Regional Medical Center for reduction and pinning by our new friend and CMDA Board member, Dr. Lisle Whitman.  For my very independent and self-sufficient wife and friend, being out of commission for the holidays was a bit of a bummer.  Christmas in a cast....these memories will be with us for some time!  She and we survived the ordeal and she is now minus the pins and cast and well on her way to getting normal function back again in her left wrist.  All three of our daughters are now together here in our home in Bristol with Kayla (senior) and Ashley (freshman) attending Tennessee on-line school and Melody having moved up from Spartanburg, SC with plans to transfer this year to ETSU in Johnson City, TN, continuing her exercise science major.  Our son Steven continues to live outside of Indy and is working nearly full time at O'Charley's restaurant, not far from his girlfriend's family in Greenfield, IN.  
Our family the week after Christmas with amazing mild temps!

Prayer with Praise

We celebrate an incredible year in 2016 with successful transition to ministry with CMDA in August and now I have fully moved into the role that Dr. Stevens invited me to consider in May 2015.  The CMDA staff are great encouragers who are passionate about being part of a ministry to Christian healthcare providers positioned all over the world.  We thank the Father for a successful winter Board meeting last weekend in St. Petersburg and then a very fun opportunity to talk about medical missions this week (Tuesday) at Quillen Medical School in Johnson City, TN, with the 20+ students in the CMDA student chapter there. They listened and thanked us repeatedly afterward for giving them a fresh perspective from the field on what it looks like to serve Jesus Christ as a cross-cultural health care missionary. Many of the students are very interested in serving in mission overseas in coming years.

Please pray with us over the following opportunities to serve:
1. Mike travels to southeast Asia on Feb 9th for about 10 days to represent CMDA at the biannual CMDE event for missionary continuing medical and dental education.  He has two talks he is preparing for leaders and missionary managers on "Leadership from the Second Cultural Chair" and "Burnout Prevention and Management for Team Leaders".  
2. This is the time of year for budget preparation at CMDA.  Our experienced auditors report that the organization is either the most or second-most complicated not for profit they work for in America.  Please pray for patience for Gene Rudd as he trains Mike and for Mike to be a quick financial study!
3. Just finished course #6 (Strategic Planning) of 14 total toward an MBA at Crown University.  With many travels in the next two months have decided to delay my next class til May.  I still have a ways to go but have received many encouragements from friends, Dave and Gene, and CMDA Board members that this is "the right thing to do at the right time."
4. Meetings this week with Christian nurse practitioners reps, leaders at Samaritan's Purse in Boone, NC, and leadership of Project MedSend here in Bristol about future projects and priorities.

Thanks so much for standing with us! We covet your prayers dear friends!

Fanning the flame until He comes to get us,

Mike for Pam, Melody, Kayla, and Ashley.

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