A Founder’s Legacy


Remembering Dr. David S. Topazian, DDS, MSc, MPH

“The memory of the righteous is a blessing.” Proverbs 10:23

Memorial Service

Use the play button above to view the inspiring memorial service celebrating the life of MedSend founder Dr. David S. Topazian. The service was held on January 6, 2018 at Black Rock Church in Fairfield, Connecticut and we are grateful to the church for providing the video.

In Tribute to Dr. David S. Topazian

Through his life of service to the Lord and to people, Dr. Topazian left a rich legacy in the lives of so many. His friendship, compassion, wisdom and prayer were greatly valued and will be greatly missed, as shown in the written tributes below. Please feel free to add your own tribute by using the button below.

Topazian Tribute button

I have had the privilege of being mentored by many fine men of God and Dave was one of them. Dave displayed qualities that I have always wanted in my life: vision, courage, Spirit-filled ambition, perseverance, fiscal prudence, even a willingness to sing God’s praises without the support of musical instruments! I’m so glad I lived close enough in Dave’s final years to visit him and Deidre on a regular basis. I thank God for the immense blessing of knowing both these choice servants of the King!

– Douglas Christgau

This wonderful man touched so many lives that only eternity will show what the true value was. He and his dear wife came to Haiti many years ago when we were serving in a desolate area with no electricity. They bought us a kerosene freezer which was such a blessing. I’ve never forgotten. That is just one small thing in a chain of myriads of givings.

– Ben and Gloria Loyer

I remember Dave from the days when we were on the  board of what was then CMS, now CMDS. He was the sole representative from the dental profession and displayed a grace and intelligence that helped change the name of the organization to reflect the growing number of dentists in the CMS. He is now fully enjoying the fruits of his selfless devotion to God and the nations!

– Patrick Lester

Dr. Topazian’s warmth, charisma, and commitment were fully evident in the interactions I had with him.  I am so appreciative of the work he did for MedSend.  It allowed my family to serve in Nepal for 4 years and touch many lives.  He leaves a tremendous legacy of faith and love for the nations.  Dr. Topazian, you will be missed.  Thank you for a life well lived!

– Doug Lindberg

What a joy to know and serve with Dave and Deidre, especially during the CMDA-CMDE conferences in the ’80s and ’90s. Their lives spoke loudly of JESUS and and their love for Him… we are so blessed to have known and served with them through the years. Peace to the family…the Lesesnes of Chapel Hill, NC

– Hank and Jean Lesesne

I have know Dr. Topazian through my association with Black Rock Church since the mid eighties. His selfless, calm demeanor, friendliness and warm smile never changed. He respected every person who he encountered regardless of their station in life. He was a very understanding and caring guy. One of those rare types who made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. It makes sense that God would give him the talent and vision to launch MedSend. Obviously he was grounded in his love and commitment to the cause of Christ as he blessed so many souls throughout the world. Truth be told, I am a bit envious and that motivates me to be more like Dr. Dave! My condolences to his family at the loss of such a pillar within the body of Christ.

– Carl Stenger

David Topazian was and still is and will be one of my true heroes in the faith! Early on when I joined CMDA, I met him and he has truly been an encourager of our work with Family Medicine Medical Education Missions ever since. Even though not geographically close, I have always considered him and Dr. Dan Fountain as critically important mentors in what we have done at the In His Image Family Medicine Residency and In His Image International. MedSend has enabled a number of our graduates to get to the field much earlier than they would have and they have contributed greatly to medical missions. It would be hard to count the number of lives they have been impacted and I firmly believe that it has been because of Dr. Topazian and his incredible vision for and understanding about launching people into medical missions that so many people have come to faith and been discipled! My dear brother David, rest in peace in the arms of our Lord; I know that your reward is incredible!! John R. Crouch, Jr. MD President, In His Image, International Founder & Executive Director Emeritus, In His Image FM Residency

– John Crouch, MD

Sometime in the late 1990s I attended a Trinity University Bioethics conference; Kate and I shared a suite with the Topazians. We not only met delightful new friends but an incredible visionary. I shared our plans for developing family medicine residency education training in Kenya but that small church hospitals could not afford to both pay to send a resident and hire their replacement. Could MedSend help globally? Dave replied, “Indeed! MedSend should be doing this; but I’ll have to wait a little while for my Board to get behind this goal.” It has taken a “little while” for the National Scholars program to be initiated, but this important MedSend ministry expansion has always had a dedicated visionary advocate from the very beginning. God bless our memories of this faithful servant that we would also be found faithful.

– Bruce Dahlman

I met Dr. and Mrs. Topazian just once. A number of years ago a mutual friend invited me to join him at dinner in the Topazian’s home. These years later I remember the warm hospitality of the Topazians. We walked with Dr. Topazian in his garden. He spoke very specifically of forgiveness, and how offering forgiveness impacts those we love. It was a special evening. It was an honor to meet Dr. Topazian. Because he lived, so have many others. The developing world has benefited because of his vision, and his determination to put feet on his vision. Family and friends mourn. He will be dearly missed. But heaven rejoiced when he arrived! The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die. Psalm 116:15

– Edward Elliott

I am a MedSend grant recipient and am so thankful for Dr. Topazian’s work in founding this ministry. My husband and I are full-time missionaries in rural West Africa serving among unreached people groups. Without MedSend, we would have not been able to leave for the field for many years. Thank you!

– Melissa

His love, devotion, work and inspiration never faltered.

– Bill Heaton

I met Dr. Topazian in 1989 when he was a missionary pastor in Venezuela. He brought me to the Lord and kept in contact with me through my struggles. I am truly thankful for him and Deidre and fondly remember them at my wedding. I thank God for bringing such an amazing human being into my life. I have supported Project Medsend since its inception and will continue to do so. Every month when I send my monthly support I will continue to remember the man who co-founded a much needed and compassionate organization. An organization that gives unselfishly to others just like he did. Among my tears sits a smile because I know that Dr. Topazian now walks with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

– Lizzette B. Nazario

We are all so grateful for all that Dave has done to facilitate medical missions through MedSend and for all this family has done. We are sorry for your loss.

– Tina Slusher

Dr. Topazian came to Bakersfield many years ago and introduced a number of us to MedSend. What a wonderful concept! I have been participating in MedSend ever since. What a privilege! May GOD continue to use his servants wherever they are. I am too old (88) to go myself but I praise the LORD I have the privilege of having a part in sending MedSend recipients who do go.

– Don Loos

 Dr Topazian challenged us (as medical students at the time) to memorize John 15 in one weekend. This passage has gems of truth which continue to be revealed in ever increasing power in my life. He also had a passion for souls and offered himself as a coach for us to practice sharing our faith. His encouragement of my stumbling efforts have stayed with me all these years.

– Name withheld for security reasons

Dr. David S. Topazian was a kind, generous, caring, charismatic, exciting, joyful man. My Uncle David took me to my first professional baseball game (The NY Yankees) and my first professional play (The Crucible). He did so many kind and generous and loving things for me as a boy, then as a rebellious teen, and then as an adult that I can’t and won’t even begin to try to recount them here. I will always remember with great affection his own affectionate personal nickname for me, Jonjee. Nobody else had or has ever called me Jonjee. When I close my eyes, I can still hear him softly say ‘Jonjee’ in that wonderful voice of his. I will never forget Uncle David’s charisma and excitement when it came to “Project MedSend”, especially in MedSend’s early years. I fondly remember the times he told me with great excitement all about his vision, his goals, and his fund-raising tours around the country in the early years. MedSend is a tremendous organization that now serves as a substantial part of the wonderful legacy Uncle David has left behind as he rests in peace with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Dr. David S. Topazian was a great man who served God with enthusiasm and charisma and joy. I never once saw him angry and never once heard him complain about anything. Not once, and, boy oh boy, did I ever deserve his anger and complaints on quite a number of occasions as a rebellious teen! God Bless You and Rest in Peace with the Lord, Uncle David. 

– Jonathan R. Topazian

I first met David Topazian at a CMDE conference in Malaysia. I was impressed by his enthusiasm, grace and love for the Lord. He excelled at encouraging people. On my first home assignment (early 1980s), I learned of (and was shocked by) the escalating debt of medical students. So I especially appreciated David’s vision and implementation of the new Project MedSend. When I first heard him speak about this, I learned that he wasn’t just providing a quick method to get to the mission field, he was teaching the principles of living a healthy financial lifestyle even before leaving home! He had a great saying that I can’t quite remember, but it included “wear it out” and “do without”. Somebody please fill in the blanks… I miss David’s smile and infectious personality.

– Neil Thompson


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