Elma T. Jocson, MD, a native of the Philippines, is a missionary with General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving at Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia. She worked at the United Mission Hospital Tansen (UMHT) in rural Nepal from 2001 through 2007. In 2008 and 2009, Dr. Jocson prepared as a pediatric surgeon at Philippine Children's Medical Center.
Ganta Hospital is a major medical facility in northeastern Liberia. Established in 1926, Ganta's facilities were badly damaged during 14 years of civil war and in 2004 were virtually destroyed. The hospital is coming back, and even in the worst of times treated thousands of people every year, sometimes providing services in tents.
Elma Jocson is a life-long United Methodist, the daughter of a Bible Woman in the Philippines, who was taken to meetings of church women from an early age.
"When I was to go to college, I asked my mother what courses to take," she recalls. "She suggested I choose from the ministries of Jesus--teaching, preaching, and healing. I didn't want to be a teacher or pastor, because there is no money in those professions. I chose medicine, because doctors are rich, and I wanted to be rich and famous!"
But God had other plans for the young woman. She did short-term mission work and was challenged to enter full-time service. "That meant saying goodbye to my dream of being rich. I also wanted to be married and have a family. Full-time missions meant a complete change of career path. I sought God's word and prayed. My parents gave their blessing. My church family was rejoicing. I was waiting for a direct confirmation from God. It came during Sunday worship when I was the liturgist. The reading was Psalm 16: 'Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.' To cap the experience, the choir's anthem that Sunday was, 'I'd rather have Jesus.'"
Dr. Jocson acknowledges that her call is not finished. "The call continues as I continue to serve [God]. The call is constantly challenged as I experience loneliness in a foreign land. In times of doubting [God's] provision for my future, the call is to persevere in faith. What I love about serving God in mission is the constant challenge of trusting God at all times, in all circumstances."
Elma Jocson studied medicine at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. She completed her residency training for family and community medicine at Ospital ng Maynila, and then continued with general surgery at the Rizal Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the Philippine College of Surgeons, and Fellow of the Philippine Society of General Surgeons. Before her tenure with Global Ministries, she worked in Good News Clinic and Hospital in Banaue, Ifugao.
Elma is a member of the Marikina United Methodist Church in Marikina City, Philippines. She is passionate in teaching Bible studies and Sunday school. She loves cooking, hiking, and having a good laugh with friends. She is the eldest daughter of Mariano Jocson and Magdalena Tiamzon.
Elma Jocson is available for Covenant Relationship support in California/Pacific Annual Conference , Virginia Annual Conference , West Michigan Annual Conference , West Ohio Annual Conference .
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