As a mainly volunteer organisation, I am sure most of us have been heavily committed to serving our patient populations and working within our churches and communities at this time. 

Michael and I are writing today to encourage you, and ask that all will understand, more than ever before, what it is to think globally and act locally.  The impact of this coronavirus is only really beginning to take a grip of the world population and the times ahead are going to be very challenging. 

We will need to be very open and dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in these times to conduct the partnerships and services to which HealthServe Australia will need to commit. The Apostle Paul’s words, at the beginning of 1 Corinthians, can be a great encouragement to us at this time.  Paul says in 1:7 that, because of our ‘in Christ’ status, we as Christians are not missing any spiritual gift while we wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 

This is a time that we really need to believe that.  To Paul, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom.  We really need to believe that.  Paul says in 1:9, “God is faithful, and you were called by Him to partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

All the partnerships that sustain the relationships within HealthServe are filtered through this ultimate partnership to which God calls us. 

Michael has taken the initiative and has established a nightly Zoom prayer meeting. 

Hopefully, you will have received an invitation to one of these by now. 

I think the WhatsApp channel also has access to this prayer time. 

Please consider being involved as often as your time allows. 

At the end of 1 Corinthians, Paul tells of Stephanas, who was one of the first Christians in a region.  Stephanas and his friends, Paul says, have made up their minds to devote their lives to looking after the Christian brothers. 

“I do beg you to recognise them as Christ’s ministers, and to extend your recognition to all their helpers and workers.” 16:17-18

The COVID-19 era will require Christians who share the gospel, Christians who join in the fellowship of the Spirit, Christians who are sustained by the pastoral care that devolves to the Church, and Christians who are willing,like Stephanas, to serve their brothers.  Christians at every level of contribution need, as Paul recognises, the recognition as Christian “ministers.” 

 One of the core-values the HealthServe Board has chosen to inform our activities is ‘wholeness’. 

All the good that is done in the name of HealthServe is directed towards the wholeness that issues from, not only human dignity and wellbeing, but the sense of human flourishing when we are in fellowship with Christ. 

Michael and I would encourage all to be tender-hearted and open to giving at this time. 

We are not specifically requesting that gifts be given through HealthServe, although this will be a clear and ongoing need.

  We hope that our fellowship in HealthServe has taught us to be givers whenever we see the need or sense the prompting of the Spirit in this unfolding context.  

Jacques Ellul, who coined the phrase ‘thinking globally and acting locally’, is a perceptive Christian thinker that may help us at this time.  We are pulled up sharply by the fact that all human action is only effective if it is filled with the fullness that God gives it – that it only accomplishes anything if God gives it the power to do so. 

Ellul says, “the actual events of our world only acquire their value in the light of the coming kingdom of God.”  He goes on, “God never constrains us.

  He is a God who shocks us by repenting of a planned judgement, who changes His plans according to human decisions, who answers prayer, who refuses to violate us, and who patiently suffers our folly.” 

And so Ellul suggests “the ambiguity of history awaits the choices we make.”  

Finally, I am offering these two quotes as a way of encouraging us.  Ellul suggests the Christian ought to place him or herself at the point of contact between two currents – the will of the Lord, and the will of the world.

  He/she does this because, “God does not preserve the world on one side and save it on the other.  He preserves it by saving it, and he saves it by utilising this preservation.” 

Michael and I trust you are encouraged by the connections that we share through HealthServe Australia, and that you are sustained by the bonds of fellowship with other Christians that God has given you as companions in this journey of life. 

We also know that God has given us the companionship of the Holy Spirit. It is our earnest hope that, at this time, the imagination and guidance of the Spirit will help us both strengthen the Christian fellowship that we share, and guide us into a participation in the life of the world that is about to experience an apocalyptic moment in its history.

 In Christ, 

Paul Mercer, Chair & Michael Burke, CEO 

Code of Conduct

HealthServe Australia is a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct reflecting HealthServe's compliance with industry standards of good practice, transparency and accountability.  If you have any complaint or concern please click here  and you will be redirected to our complaints form. A copy of our Complaints section in our Procedures Manual can be accessed by clicking here.

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HSA works in partnership with other international organisations, complementing their strengths with health resources. It has a special relationship with the largest group of Christian health professionals in Australia, the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia (CMDFA) through which it was established. Many of the CMDFA members have worked for a number of years overseas in health work.

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