When I heard about the AMM conference that was to be held from July 6-9, I felt both excited and conflicted. The news was exciting in the sense that I would be able to experience one of my first medical conferences as a medical student. However, I also realized that I had some other personal matters to take care of during that time and considered whether or not I should sign up.
Despite my hesitation, I went ahead and registered, not knowing that God had a few blessings in store for me. I was inspired by the testimonies of God’s faithfulness and providence in the ministries of Dr. Fam and Dr. Riesenberger. These stories never fail to impress me of the infinite wisdom, care, and power that God exercises on our behalf in fulfillment of our needs. Through them, I was reminded that God is still unchanging in His faithfulness towards me and that I have nothing to fear for the future, except that I forget how He has led me in the past. Among the various concepts and principles that Dr. Landless shared with us was the encouragement for not just church leaders but every church member to be involved in laboring for souls. Too often, I am guilty of reserving the responsibilities of ministry to the ministers when in fact, God has given the privilege of sharing the good news of the Gospel to all who are part of the body of Christ. This model of Total Member Involvement thus not only calls pastors to be active participants in fulfilling the mission of the three angels’ message but also individuals in other occupations, including health professionals.
An aspect of the conference that I particularly admired was that it provided attendees with the opportunity to apply what they had learned over the weekend by participating in the Adventist Community Services outreach event. However, as I had just finished my first year of medical school and thus had almost no experience with patient contact and applied practical skills, I felt like I had little to contribute and was nervous about volunteering. While this event was able to benefit a substantial number of the community by providing free health screenings and consultations, I realized that I was also blessed through it. Growing up as a Seventh-day Adventist, I often took the health message and its truths for granted. Through this experience, my eyes were opened to the deep interest that many people have for their health but have a limited amount of knowledge as well as access to medical services. Without the information that is so readily available to me, many are unable to recognize their need to make wiser choices in their lifestyle and diet as well as how they are to satisfy their spiritual hunger. As a result, I was able to develop a better appreciation of the meaning of Oswald J. Smith’s words when he said, “no one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.”
One of the many important lessons that I learned during the conference was our responsibility in the partnership that we share with Christ. As Mark 4:26-27 reveals, every member of the church is to do his or her part by planting seeds of truth, love, and compassion. This work is not easy and requires patience, sacrifice, and diligence. There will be times when we feel discouraged and fear that our effort is in vain and fruitless but we are reminded that it is God who truly gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). When we faithfully employ the talents of time, energy, and other resources that God has blessed us with, not only will ministering to others change their lives but ours as well.
– Eugene Looi