Student Experiences at NZ CMF Conference

Kia ora whānau,

By way of introduction, we are Rob Chan, Tim Lee and Andrew Wilson, a delegation of Victorian medical students who represented CMDFA at the recent Christian Medical Fellowship New Zealand (CMFNZ) conference in Queenstown. Over the course of 5 days, we experienced excellent Kiwi hospitality and grew closer to God through a series of talks and fellowship with other believers while enjoying his beautiful creation.

Andrew Wilson:

The conference was themed Beside Still Waters - reflect, rejoice and refresh and that essential theme was what struck me the most throughout its duration. Ever since the second day, when the unreliable nature of the camp’s wifi brought my aspirations of pre-conference study to an untimely halt, I found that there was a certain serenity in putting my phone away for 5 days and being almost uncontactable. No, I didn’t miss the usual stream of texts and emails. I was too preoccupied by spending time with my spiritual family and worshipping my Creator God. And of all the things I heard, one lesson has especially remained with me: that the Sabbath is a day for rejoicing. Although they exist in a very different form under the New Covenant, our Sundays still present an invaluable opportunity to spend undistracted time with our Creator, growing closer to Him and learning more about His desires.

Tim Lee:

Arriving early for the student pre-conference, we were led by Ross Pettigrew, a general surgeon, through a number of key talks, namely: our motivation and aspirations for medicine, the relevance and opportunities for medical missions, and a reflection on the Hippocratic oath. Having been part of the organising committee for IMPACT 17, it was nice to be on the receiving end of the weekend. I was challenged as Andrew was, by Dr. Steve Withington, whose bottom line was that Sabbath rest brings us a taste of God’s genuine goodness, and not just a growing hunger for a week ahead. With nearly a 50/50 split of medical students and doctors, it was a pleasure being able to mix with older and more senior colleagues in a leveled environment. It was really a blessing to be sent by CMDFA to attend this conference, so thank you to those who supported us. And I really hope this partnership continues sending students to and from NZ in fellowship.

Rob Chan:

Beside Still Waters: I could not think of a more fitting name for a weekend of spiritual refreshment beside the glorious vista of Lake Wakatipu. Highlights included Royal New Zealand Airforce Chaplain Di Woods leading us in times of quiet contemplation and Judge Andrew Becroft’s excellent reflections on the life of Daniel. Waking up on Saturday morning to find the campsite blanketed by soft snow: unforgettable. Though the weather was cold, our hearts were warmed by the amazing hospitality of our Kiwi brothers and sisters, who forgave our Australian origins and took us in as their own. Many thanks to Dr Ross Pettigrew, the South Island’s finest son, who graciously took us under his wings and showed us around. Also thanks to the wonderful people of New Zealand for introducing us to the culinary concepts of lolly cake and breakfast pizza. It was a true blessing to represent CMDFA among our Kiwi brothers and sisters in Christ.

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