In 1948, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children was restructured and there would be the construction of a new building and the acquisition of new equipment. A group of local doctors, dentists and pharmacists founded the Evangelical Medical Aid Society for the purpose of sending medical equipment from the old hospital to needy mission hospitals overseas. Hospitals in Africa and South America were the first beneficiaries.
For the last seven decades, Canadian healthcare professionals continue to serve every year. Our mission has grown beyond equipment distribution to long-term projects through short-term missions, and healthcare training.
EMASsary, the EMAS Canada newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 1, published in September, 19981, featured news of a couple and their sons that would serve overseas as career missionaries.
Other stories included a collaboration between EMAS, a Canadian University and a Nursing School in eastern Europe; a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse in Asia; joining a consortium of NGOs to develop infrastructure for a teaching hospital in Africa; and partnership to provide advanced training for healthcare workers in another Asian country.
That newsletter, 24 years ago, stated that EMAS Canada was “evangelical, transdenominational, and practical”.
As we look forward to celebrating our 75th anniversary in 2023, we recognize that our mission and values have not changed.
We are thankful for the couple that will live in the Caribbean for the next three months, preparing our clinic to start seeing patients. There are new communities of faith in the same region that resulted from our medical work and gospel-sharing missions.
Recent collaboration with University of Zimbabwe lecturers and the donation of teaching aids from Georgian College in Ontario, for training national healthcare workers, shows that our openness to collaborate still bears fruit.
We are coming alongside the Catholic Church in Burkina Faso with another international charity to help construct a hospital and secondary school for girls.
Our future in Asia remains bright because we have ongoing and new invitations for health education and medical programs.
Will we serve for the next 25 years?
Only God knows, but the past suggests we will.
Wishing you a pleasant Christmas, and good health and joy in the year to come.
Look out for details about our 75th anniversary celebrations here.
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1. Prior to 1998 An earlier version of EMASsary had been retired in the mid 80s and FOCUS the CMDS Magazine was the source of information on EMAS’ activities.
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
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