Trust is indispensable to good relationships for individuals and organizations.

Commerce depends on it and so many other things in life too. We look for reliability in so much of our day-to-day lives at work, at school, and at home.

EMAS Canada has relied on trust to deliver healthcare, medical aid, and education by thousands of Canadians to people in need for close to 75 years.

Over the years, voluntary team leaders and their teams have faithfully implemented programs on almost every continent, building relationship through generosity and selfless service. By limiting operations to the same bases overseas, friendships with host communities were established. We depended on them to look after us, and we kept our promises to them year after year, and so they trusted us. Volunteers trusted team leaders to guide them into service roles fitting their skills while providing logistics and safety abroad. Donors trusted us with their funds.

The Board has worked hard to guard this good standing and through its policies and practices earned the distinction of accredited membership of the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities.

Our differentiating characteristic among benevolent societies and charities is that our programs are started by volunteer team leaders rather than a central organizing body. This gives team leaders broader responsibility because the organization depends on them as program initiators and managers, people recruiters, and fundraisers. It also makes for a diverse group of teams and programs.

To the casual observer we might appear to be siloed personal ministries, however, there is a shared vision, reaffirmed by the leaders; and there is a congruence of service foci and shared core values holding us together.

We approach a new year following a prolonged time of uncertainty, and there may well be turbulence ahead.

These last two pandemic years will test our foundations, how we lead God’s people to works of service, and how we steward resources God has entrusted to us.

  • It is no longer prudent and, in some cases, necessary to deploy large teams of volunteers.
  • We are responsible for many people who want to serve through medical missions.
  • People overseas put their trust in us to aid in medical education and to augment healthcare
  • Many donors who want to see healthcare and medical education advancing in underserved areas trust us with their funds

At the personal level, each of our leaders needs to affirm their calling to medical missions in the context of our understanding of God’s purpose for the world.

At the cooperate level we need to decide on how much more unity we want by sharing pooled resources through a central organizing body and serving at common international locations.

Both needs could lead to a radical shift from the EMAS Canada of pre-pandemic days. They may mean we become more cohesive, and that we will develop an even greater level of trust.

The result will be trusting one another with more of our resources, giving ourselves greater leeway to allocate people and funds where needed most and better being able to meet the needs of the people we serve.

It is this trust among us that will strengthen the foundation on which EMAS Canada has been built and will define how we work together, and with whom, post-pandemic. Thank you for trusting us to steer EMAS Canada through the years ahead.

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All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)

Feature image: Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash 

A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.


Executive Director’s Blog