Discipleship Deserves Our Investment
June 20, 2019
Hi and blessings to you!
Thank you for your review, feedback, and shout-outs given toward last month’s newsletter. It was our first newsletter for this ministry and we pray that it blessed you. I give a personal shout out to my colleague and graphic designer Mariah, whose talents helped our content to shine. I pray that this month’s content blesses you as you read the story of one of our medical students who shares her journey of faith and how CMDA, her godly community and her peers have helped to disciple her faith.
We also learn from other students about their faith journeys and desire for discipleship from the healthcare community. Discipleship deserves our investment. As one who has been discipled, continues to be discipled and disciples others, there is great fruit that will bear out when we pour our time and resources into others. It is an investment that will last beyond this life.
I am excited to partner with you and others in discipling our medical and dental students, along with healthcare professionals here in the Washington, D.C. area. Our students desire mentoring and guidance as they pursue their educational and career goals while maintaining their faith, ethics and morals. As you consider how and where you want to invest your time and resources, I ask your support toward this ministry or one that you are led to give to where fruit will bear out today, tomorrow and in the eternal. Discipleship deserves our investment.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9, NIV
Thank you. God bless you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.
Nicole D. Hayes, CMDA Area Director, Washington, D.C.
Her and Our Success Formula: “Seek Ye First”
By: Nicole D. Hayes, MPA
CMDA chapter president and second-year medical student
In mid-November, Howard University CMDA chapter president and second-year medical student, Cherna Cherfrere, accepted my invitation to share her journey of faith for this month’s newsletter. Her story inspired me and I am delighted to share it to encourage you in your journey—and also to see the continued role CMDA plays in helping to develop one’s faith.
Godly Community “A Must”
Cherna Cherfrere was born in Haiti and later raised in North Lauderdale, Florida by her parents along with her three brothers. Raised in the church, Cherfrere had an early foundation in Jesus Christ, where she also served and taught Sunday school. Knitted to a strong godly community at an early age, their discipleship helped to nurture her growth in the Lord. Although, around age 17, she experienced “ministry burnout” and began to skip church. During this time she says, “My faith took a hit.” She was not seeking God as before and fell into a lifestyle that was not conducive to her relationship with the Lord.
After completing her undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University (FAMU) and in her desire to pursue medical school, she knew that in leaving Florida she would need to surround herself with a godly community. She wasn’t sure what this godly community would look like. However, Jesus’ words spoken in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (KJV) helped to direct her. She knew that she had to move toward God’s people. Her college classmate, who was studying for her Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), brought Cherfrere to the godly community who helped prepare her for medical school.
“I knew I wanted to pursue God but didn’t know where to begin,” says Cherfrere. After spending time with her classmate and seeing people her age wholeheartedly seeking and living for God, this served as a catalyst for her journey with Christ after graduation.
“They pushed me toward my dream,” she says.
Was Medicine in Her Future?
It took her fourth attempt to pass the MCAT. She admits that the three previous failed attempts rocked her faith. A strong academic performer whose undergraduate studies were fully-funded through scholarships and as one who excelled in her undergraduate studies of molecular and cellular biology, Cherfrere approached the MCAT somewhat cockily. Devastated by those failed tests, she doubted whether God wanted her to go to medical school—even though she desired this career since childhood. It was after her third time taking and failing the MCAT that a pastor’s message spoken to her in a dream encouraged her. He said, “Someone is taking the MCAT and you’re going to do fine.” And she did. In fact, she scored five points higher than her average practice exam scores!
In that time, she also did clinical and clerical work, and participated in a medical mission. God was preparing her. God was giving her dreams of going to a professional-looking city with many people dressed in suits. God was showing her beforehand that He was sending her to a city like Washington, D.C. Howard University was her only interview and the only school she was accepted. She knows now without a shadow of a doubt that God has led her to pursue medicine—and God was leading her toward His people.
“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”
Cherfrere has been the Howard University CMDA chapter president since this April and says that CMDA, her fellowship with her HU CMDA bible study group and being president “has developed my faith.” Cherfrere initially learned of CMDA through a campus career fair.
“I didn't go through campus ministry training prior to, so this was unchartered territory for me. But that meant trusting the Holy Spirit,” says Cherfrere.
Through fellowship and regular bible study with her classmates, Cherfrere has noticed great growth in her faith. She is thankful for the godly community that the Lord has knitted her to at Howard University through CMDA, particularly since she was still getting acclimated to her new environment in her move from Florida to Washington, D.C.
“Our journeys are so different from one another but so encouraging,” says Cherfrere. “I love hearing from my classmates who are some of the brightest minds I’ve ever encountered — how they read the bible and approach scripture — and how they take concepts used to study medicine to study scriptures is amazing.”
Cherfrere says that she and her classmates, in their “prayers to be different” and to truly live as Christ’s Ambassadors in a world of compromise, are seeing their prayers come to fruition. They are each growing in their spiritual gifts, growing in medicine and seeing God’s faithfulness. As they are making God's Name known, they see Him show up and show out.
Cherfrere excitedly recalled how coming into CMDA, they had no chapter money. They put up their own funds to host an ice cream social and to do so, would have to purchase the ice cream. However, someone donated so much ice cream that they did not have room to store it all! After handing out the ice cream at their first event, they gave away the rest to many who were grateful to receive the cold treat on one of this summer’s hottest days. This testified to them that God cares about our smallest and seemingly insignificant concerns (like ice cream) as He does our greatest concerns. God honors His promise to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
To this example, Cherfrere says of God, “You know how they know it's going to be ME? Because it’s going to be big.” That's how our God works!
As Cherfrere’s faith and trust in the Lord deepens, she relies on Him for everything—ever so leaning on Him in the challenges of balancing life and medicine. In her moments of feeling overwhelmed, she prays for God to help her achieve balance—in her role as sister, medical student, as a woman of God and as Howard University CMDA chapter president. God has shown her in areas that she can't manage how He steps in and takes over.
When asked what she would say to encourage others in their walk with the Lord, she shares these solid and sure words of direction: "’Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else will be added to you.’ We worry so much but God literally gives us the formula for success. God gives us peace when we seek Him, and that can look differently for each of us depending upon where we're at in our journey. I've seen doors opened for me that no one else could have done and it happened in such a way that I could not deny that it was Him,” says Cherfrere.
“If we come to our Father and trust Him, He will provide. We don't have to step on other people for anything. He will provide for us if we seek Him first.”
Her and our success formula is indeed sure: Seek God first.
CMDA CHAPTER VISITS
Enjoyed a great visit with George Washington University CMDA chapter co-president and second-year medical student, Steven Hung and GWU CMDA bible study and first-year medical student, Jordan Mullings.
Both shared their journeys of faith. Steven and his family came from Taiwan to live in Washington State, whereupon he invited Jesus into his heart at age 10. Jordan, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says that “he was a born sinner and saved shortly after” gave his life to the Lord at age 6. Jeffrey Sich, Ph.D., is the GWU CMDA campus faculty advisor. Like most students, Steven and Jordan shared that their group would love physicians and healthcare professionals to speak on how to address real-time issues with grace and truth.
Enjoyed meeting with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical students (who are also officers) during their CMA bible study as we discussed Daniel 4. The students shared great reflections on the passage as King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled in his pride and arrogance and led to praise God. Uniformed Services University is located in Bethesda, Maryland, sharing the same campus with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, formerly known as the National Naval Medical Center. I look forward to visiting with them again soon!