- Karen Chung
Karen is a fourth year medical student from Queen’s Medical School, prior co-chair of CMDS. She has been involved for all four years. God has given her a heart for Africa, miraculous experiences in Ghana and Ethiopia and leadership opportunities to serve the poor in Hamilton and Kingston. He has given her a passion for plastic surgery and global health.
I have started my final year of medical school at Queen's University and would like to share the lessons I have learned. The intended audience of this piece is for my brothers and sisters starting medical school. It is my whole-hearted prayer that God will use these three (or four) years to bring Him as much glory as He created you for. There is no other wish.
Dear God, I commit this piece to you. I pray that I will write the words that You want me to share and I pray that you open hearts to receive the words You would like shared.
Prayer is powerful.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
We are righteous because of Jesus Christ.
In my second year, I had a dream. I had just finished reading Heidi Baker and had the repeated, recurrent dream of seeing the Acts 4 church come true. I longed to see medical students, professionals, undergraduate students, homeless people and drug abusers eat together, giving and sharing as there was need. I told this dream to as many people as I could from multiple groups: Geneva House, Morning Prayer Group, Joel’s Bible Study, Bethel Church and prayed. God gave me a heart to listen and to obey Him. On my birthday, God did a miracle. He made this dream come true. See the article of the actual event and here for the Facebook page as God answered prayer.
Location: Martha’s Table, a local soup kitchen happily agreed to host the event.
Food: Metro, No Frills donated funds for food.
Doctors (in and out of CMDS) donated funds for food. Betty’s Byre and her sister a local Kingston Farmers Market donated fresh veggies and apples, lots of beautiful apples.
Service: A Christian brother from Queen’s Acapella group, heard about it and volunteered this group to perform there. My Queen’s Medicine classmates and my brothers and sisters from CMDS, Geneva House, Morning Prayer Group, Joel’s Bible Study, Bethel Church came to volunteer: clean dishes, cook food and serve the homeless.
Chefs: Chef Luke Hayes-Alexander, one of the youngest and most innovative chefs in Kingston designed and volunteered his time to make the appetizer. Chef Clark Day, the head chef of Aquaterra, one of the finest restaurants in Kingston donated food and designed and volunteered his time to make the main course and dessert
My God worked in the details. Here’s a quick snap shot:
I woke up on a Saturday feeling so sick and incredibly nauseous. I felt God pushing me to go to the Kingston market place and ask for a donation. On my walk there, I was relying completely on His strength and I made a plan: “Okay God, I’m walking. I’m going to ask for a donation. If they say no, I’ll ask for a discount. If they say no, I’ll just buy it all and worry about the money later. I give it all to you.” I walked up to Betty’s Byer and I told her about this dream.
“How much do you want?”
I was blown away. We needed apples for dessert and Chef Clark Day was thinking of doing an apple crumble because it’s very easy (core the apple, put in oatmeal, sugar, bake and serve with vanilla ice-cream). I went to pick up the apples from Betty:
“Karen, I picked out the most beautiful apples for you. These are the best of the best, with no bruises or blemishes.”
Over 140 apples were donated. These apples were free.
Make friends outside of CMDS, get involved in Christian communities outside of medicine. Get involved in the community. Live as though each day is your last.
My Christian family nourished me so I could serve my classmates and patients. They prayed for my friends, for my patients. They prayed for me when I was sick. They brought me coffee, snacks, and love when I was studying. They wrote me cards of encouragement. They were the family I could call at four in the morning.
We worked together to serve our Kingston community. We visited strip clubs with food. We had bi-weekly cooking sessions for the HIV/AIDS regional service just before our prayer meetings. We are in the middle of raising $15,000 to build a kitchen for the HIV/AIDS nutrition program in Kingston. We walked around the community offering prayer and food to the homeless. We held surprise birthday parties for each other.
God gave me friends in my medical class who were so beautiful, inside and out. I love them and He loves them more. I continue to commit these friends to God and pray that I exemplify who He wants me to be. These friends see my actions and words, and they know I am a human who has been given a heart for Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that one day they will come to Christ. I pray in Jesus’ name, that my speech will be full of grace and seasoned with salt.
You and God know the sins that are holding you back from truly denying yourself to live as Christ did. Reflect on them. Then, share these sins with those close to you and to confess and repent from them in prayer. Please ask God to banish all the spiritual demons and thoughts that are not from Him. Ask your brothers and sisters to hold you accountable.
There is absolutely NOTHING that is more worthwhile than living for God. When you are tired and serving patients and no one wants to take call on the long weekend, it is my prayer that you would take the spot. When you are tired and you’ve been asked to see one more patient, it is my prayer that you will cry out to God, beg Him for strength and thank Him for the opportunity to keep serving. Then document this story and share it on this blog.
You will be tempted. Know that God has given you victory to overcome it. Make a list of acts of service you can do when you’re tempted. Pray for others, document your testimonies, study for what you’re passionate about, go outside and be a Christ-centered example to your friends, worship God, cook for others – the list is endless.
Connect with me on twitter @loveselflessly