It's been a busy month for VCF!
It began with our first ever stand (at least in my memory!) at the BVNA congress which was held at the International Centre in Telford. What a really blessed time and a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some lovely Christian vet nurses. Thank you to everyone who came along to the stand to say ‘Hi’ and we are really looking forward to welcoming you into the fellowship and supporting you in any way we can as you share God’s love in the place that He has put you.
It was lovely to meet again with Bonny Millar, ex-president of the BVNA, and we look forward very much to an interview with her in the next VCF News.
The following week it was the VCF CPD meeting in Cambridge. With a number of members of VCF who are experts in their particular fields, we are hoping to begin a series of VCF CPD meetings. These will provide not only high quality CPD, but also the opportunity for members to meet one another and share together as well as being able offer these meetings to vets generally as an evangelistic outreach.
October’s meeting was hosted by Dr. David Williams at St John’s College, Cambridge. Entitled “Eyes, Evolution and Evensong” David gave a fascinating talk about the eye and its amazing complexities, and how once you look at something that has evolved in such an incredible way you cannot help but believe in a creator God. He took us back to those pond dipping days as children, where you get that lovely jar of green water and considered how the amoeba had developed a pigment spot attached to a cilium which allowed it to move towards the light for its nutrition. He then went on to talk about how the eye has developed from there to the complexities that we now see in the mammalian eye.
We then looked at the problems that we come across with the eye, from retinal dysplasias to perforating corneal ulcers and how we can best treat or manage them.
David graduated from St John’s College then returned as ...... and was a wonderful, enthusiastic guide to show us around the college. He detailed its history, how it had come about and many of the folk who had been through its doors and whose portraits adorn its walls.
The meeting then concluded with a wonderful service of Evensong in the stunning St John’s Chapel. The reading for the service was taken from Luke’s gospel, Chapter 10, Verse 2 where Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” It was a vivid reminder that there is still so much to do and that we all have a role to play.
The day was not only a great way to learn about the eye, but was so much more as VCF members were able to meet together and share the challenges of being Christians in veterinary practice as they have that unique quality of being brothers and sisters in Christ. Old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships made and the Kent group continued to grow in numbers!
Being in Cambridge for the course also allowed the opportunity to visit a number of the folk at the vet school including Dr Penny Watson (Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine) who has a real heart for supporting the students there. (Watch out for a future VCF CPD meeting with her). It was good to meet a number of the students and to hear some of the issues they face and consider again how VCF can best support them. Please be praying for all of these young folk. They each have their own ministry at the college, as well as facing the challenges of the veterinary degree, and really value the support, encouragement and prayers of vets in practice once they qualify.
The current run of VCF meetings ended with a number of people getting together early on Saturday morning for coffee and Danish pastries at the BCVA congress in Hinckley (Front cover photo). To see folk meeting up once again after the first BCVA breakfast meeting last year was incredible. Folk who met together for the very first time last year, and have not seen each other since, just chatted as if they had known each other for years, as they came together with that common bond of veterinary practice and their desire to show their faith in the way that they live their lives.
We considered the passage from Luke chapter 10, looking at what is the harvest field today and who are the workers.
For every one of us, that harvest field is different and unique. For some it will be clients on farms, or in the consulting room or colleagues at the practice, in the operating theatre or over coffee in the staff room (if you have a staff room, or get time for coffee!!). For others it will be different veterinary practices they visit as they travel round as company reps; it may be people they speak to on the phone through their work, students they teach and support, members of the public making appointments or having insurance claims processed, or the challenges of managing a veterinary practice.
What stops us from being the workers? Are we too busy with the practice part of our work, do we not know what to say or how to share our faith, are we concerned about being ‘allowed’ to talk about religion in our work place? In John 6:9, John tells of a boy who gave up his packed lunch and Jesus took the little that he had and produced a miracle which is still talked about 2000 years later.
Just think, if something that you did that was so small produced such a miracle that people still marveled at in 4016!!! The boy didn’t have a theology degree. As far as we know, he hadn’t been praying all day about what he could do, he didn’t have hang ups about how he should share his faith, he didn’t have eloquent words to use. He was just prepared to give Jesus what he had, most likely with no concept of what he was doing, and God multiplied it beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Not only that, but he had so much back that it wouldn’t fit in the lunch box he had started with.
As I have the immense privilege of meeting, speaking with and praying for members of the fellowship I continue to marvel at the amazing ways that God is working through the veterinary profession and how he uses every single one of us in that work. Whether folk have time to be involved with VCF things or not, the fact that there are so many folk working within the veterinary profession who are sharing his love through their work is just amazing.
My prayer is that you will know God right next to you in all that you do for him, and that in the unique place that he has put you, you will have that confidence to give him your packed lunch and watch for the miracles that he will perform with it. When we are weak, then in Him we are so amazingly strong, and he can, and will do more than we can ever hope or imagine for his glory.
It really has been a blessing to see so many folk recently. As the London Vet Show approaches and we are planning another breakfast meeting there, and the VCF Conference comes up in March of next year, I pray that you will be able to join us and meet with and encourage one another in your various ministries by sharing all that God is doing through you.