By: Dr. Gina Wintermantel, Affiliate Ministry Director
Since Christian Veterinary Mission was founded, we have focused on encouraging veterinary professionals to use their gifts for God. This includes veterinarians in the U.S. and around the world. Our relationships with international vets, who we refer to as “CVM affiliates,” has been such a blessing as we share in our faith and worship of the Lord, as well as exchanging valuable knowledge of veterinary diseases and treatments for the local animal population. Our desire is to expand our opportunities to work together in order to carry out the Great Commission, as we believe that working together is far better than working alone.
Dr. Marty Langhofer is a long-time CVM friend who has committed himself to building relationships and mobilizing veterinarians in Romania. He has made numerous trips over the years to visit and encourage veterinary professionals and students. Dr. Langhofer has also provided opportunities for students from Romania to participate in externships in the U.S.
In 2015, three Romanian veterinary students attended Shortcourse, our annual conference in Kansas City, MO. While there, Dr. Langhofer introduced the students to Dr. Billy Meyers from Georgia, who worked with the student Christian Veterinary Fellowship (CVF) at the University of Georgia. When Dr. Myers told the CVF students at UG about the Romanian students, the UG students gathered together, prayed for the Romanian students, made cards of encouragement, and sent them t-shirts.
The Romanian students were delighted to receive the gifts. As a result of ongoing encouragement and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the students have come together and decided to form their own CVF group at the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Timisoara. In addition, some of the Romanian students are going on short-term mission trips through CVM. This new student group in Romania now has the vision to plant seeds of faith within the students at their university, and also to reach out into the practicing veterinary community.
God has used His Holy Spirit and His people to ignite a flame of love in Romania. This is one of the blessings of being a global organization. Veterinary professionals from different parts of the world can impact one another, and further the work of Christ. CVM desires to help build these connections between veterinarians and students around the world so that He may be glorified.
One of the other blessings of working as a network is the opportunity to share in ministry together in a global setting, and be a visual demonstration of the body of Christ. As followers of Christ, we long for the day when every tongue, tribe, and nation will praise the Lord together, (Revelation 7:9). In our world today, mankind spends a great deal of energy focusing on differences and causing division. When veterinarians from different countries come together to serve on short-term teams, we visually demonstrate the united body of Christ! A diverse group of people from different backgrounds and cultures, yet transformed by the love of Christ and united together in the purpose of bringing glory to God. As teams of international veterinarians serve together, we are a testimony to the world of a God who reconciles.
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Over the past 40 years, the Lord has richly blessed CVM through our relationships with veterinary professionals around the world. We have learned from each other, and challenged one another to grow in our faith. As we continue forward, CVM has a desire to continue to be a catalyst for the formation of new international Christian veterinary groups, as well as continuing to network, encourage and challenge our existing global affiliate partners. As we serve together and combine our spiritual gifts and our professional gifts, we can better carry out the Great Commission the Lord gave us.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,