What NCF loves

February 14, 2017

ncf_logo_square_complete_transparentTake a close look at our NCF logo and you’ll see what we care about most. See the four hearts? They symbolize :

  • Love for God
  • Love for God’s Word
  • Love for God’s people of every ethnicity and culture
  • Love for God’s purposes in the world

These four loves are covered by the cross of Christ. The tips of the cross point outward, expressing the outward mission of NCF to reflect the love of God in our lives as a response to his love, grace and truth. We humbly respond to God’s invitation to be a part of his healing work among the nations.

Every NCF member receives a logo pin that shows support for our common purpose of representing Christ’s love in our nursing practice. If you are not member, join the NCF professional network of Christian nurses that supports you—and your faith!

Become a member of NCF today. Let’s share the love!

From the Heart

February 14, 2017

2132017jcnheartWhat is the most tender moment you’ve experienced as a nurse, or a time you sensed God’s loving embrace in a hard situation?

We’ve collected short stories of nursing care and compassion that communicate the heart of great nursing and God’s care. Be inspired with our “From the Heart” Topical Collection of articles from Journal of Christian Nursing.

JOIN NCF and receive free access to all of these stories and articles from JCN.

Let the stories of other Christian nurses warm your heart!

Why Suffering?

February 13, 2017

2132017sufferingAs nurses, we regularly encounter suffering. We also suffer. Suffering is a part of life, and we all ask, Why?

I’ve asked a lot of why questions. Why could I never get pregnant? Why did my brother die at an early age? Why did Hurricane Matthew kill so many and wipe out more of Haiti’s infrastructure? Why did a friend get cancer? Why can’t we alleviate a patient’s severe pain?

There are no answers to these questions. And no answer will change fact that suffering happens, and it is awful.

It seems the more valid question is: How do we cope with suffering? The Bible teaches principles that help me deal with suffering:

  • God is faithful through suffering and accomplishes bigger, even better, things than we can imagine. The most poignant example of this is Jesus who suffered to bring about the redemption of the world.
  • We can learn through suffering. Suffering focuses our attention on God like nothing else; it molds our faith and character in profound ways. Suffering can accomplish God’s purposes in our lives as we cry out to him and learn to trust and follow him.
  • Pain and suffering will end when God accomplishes the final redemption of the world. We will see for ourselves that “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor 15:54).

Even if I never understand what God is doing in suffering, I’ve learned he is worthy of my trust.

As you face hard things, bring your pain and questions to God. Dig deeper into his Word and prayer. Trust God and learn to hold on to his strength and unfailing love.

I encourage you to improve your nursing practice and learn how to respond to suffering by reading our feature article, “Entering into Suffering: Becoming a Transformed and Transforming Healer,” in Journal of Christian Nursing, Jan/Mar 2017 (1.5 CE credits offered). This article hits home for nurses.

A suffering world awaits us.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Christian Nursing

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Read Kathy’s full editorial in Journal of Christian Nursing, Jan/Mar 2017, p. 6. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

Impacting Students and Educators

January 24, 2017

1242017nsgschoolRecently I had the joy of “meeting” Jodi virtually. As part of our efforts to equip and encourage NCF student leaders and faculty advisors, we are hosting monthly leadership training webinars. Jodi came to our scheduled online call and said she had restarted the dormant NCF chapter at her nursing school in Texas. In the first semester, almost 20 students from her cohort were involved in NCF meetings.

Since the school has both regular and accelerated programs, Jodi’s vision is to reach all eight cohorts and all 800 students in the program! She is identifying potential Bible study leaders in the other cohorts. Can you imagine the impact new NCF Bible study groups could have on nursing students and faculty?

As we start a new semester, I am thankful for our student leaders and faculty advisors. They, like Jodi, are sacrificially giving of their time and energy to bring the Kingdom of God to every nursing class, every cohort, and every clinical group.

Will you please pray for student leaders and faculty advisors who deeply desire God to restore and refresh them for his service?tim

Timothy Lin, MA, is the NCF Student Ministries Director and a senior area director in Kansas with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Give to nursing student ministry.

NCF Resolutions

January 23, 2017

newyearThe new year offers a time for reflection and reaffirming our purpose. God used NCF in 2016 to bring nurses and nursing students closer to him, just as he has been doing since the 1940s. Here are some ministry highlights from 2016 and expectations for 2017.

In the 2016 Fall semester, Tim Lin began as our Student Ministries Director, providing excellent leadership and a vision for how to grow our NCF student groups in quantity and quality. Over 100 student groups met on campuses to study God’s Word; 4 new groups started and several groups reactivated. We joyfully report that 14 students placed their faith in Jesus Christ for the first time!

There are 24 NCF Nurse groups that meet regularly around the nation, and we received one or two queries a week from nurses wanting to start nurse fellowship groups in their community. Our global partnerships also are significant. NCF-USA has been meeting with the NCF International Caribbean and North America Region (NCFI CANA) to plan a regional conference in July 2018.

As we resolve to continue God’s work in 2017, here are my resolutions for NCF this year. Please pray:

  • For God to bring many more nursing students to faith in Jesus this semester. I am praying for double the number who came to Jesus in Fall 2016.
  • For the Holy Spirit to increase the number of student groups and empower faculty advisors, student leaders, and InterVarsity Campus Ministers who make NCF groups happen.
  • That more nurse fellowship groups will begin as the Holy Spirit leads and He will provide everything needed for nurses to meet around God’s Word.
  • That God will increase the number of new NCF members and that current members will renew their annual membership in the NCF professional organization.
  • For God to provide financially, bless NCF donors, and meet the budget needs of this ministry.

Thank you for praying that the Holy Spirit will lead NCF, every day and in every detail, as we work to grow student ministry on campus and professional ministry to our members and to nursing.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Christian Nursing

A Story of Global Partnership

December 30, 2016

12302016samandmargaretWhen Rebecca Mbok died in childbirth in 2006, along with her child, news of the tragedy spread throughout a global network of Christian nurses. Her husband, Sam Mbok, was the much-loved leader for the Fellowship of Christian Nurses in Nigeria. He also served on the Board of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI).

Ten years later, in November 2016, Sam Mbok found himself in Minnesota, sharing his inspiring story of how God met him in his grief and sadness with nurses and students at the Twin Cities NCF meeting. He recounted how God moved him from tragedy to strategy to improve the health of mothers and infants. He spoke on God’s Plan for Improving Global Health and shared what God has been doing in Nigeria.

One of the nurses stated, “I was so moved by Sam’s response to the tragedy of his wife’s death and his development of an effective strategy for preventing maternal and infant deaths. This testimony is so potent. It helps us to realize that God does bring good out of some of our most painful experiences.”

Sam’s journey from tragedy in Nigeria to sharing strategy in Minnesota is a story of global partnerships involving a supportive network of nurses around the world.

Two years after Sam’s wife and baby died, Sam shared his grief–and emerging hope–among the 400 Christian nurses from around the world who had traveled to Jos, Nigeria for the NCFI Global Conference. By then, Sam had started the Rebecca Mbok Foundation (RMF) to promote maternal and child health and reduce mortality.

God’s call to help mothers and babies was heard by Margaret Taylor, a nurse midwife in Minnesota, who attended the NCFI conference and stayed for 11 days of service in rural Nigeria.

Margaret knew about resources which could be helpful in Nigeria. The American College of Nurse Midwives Global Outreach Department developed Home Based Life Saving Skills (HBLSS), a strategy to instruct health care professionals to teach community leaders and pregnant women how to identify pregnancy/newborn complications early in order to save their lives.

The HBLSS teaching is accomplished by using “take action cards” in the form of pictures. Each problem identifies 6 actions the learners can take to sustain life. Trainers are asked to encourage learners to teach their neighbors. This approach helps to reach a population missed in countries where women do not give birth in hospitals because of finances.

In 2009 Margaret and a nurse midwife colleague, Linda, spent a month in Nigeria, teaching and working with 42 participants (nurses, midwives, and a doctor) and some public health officials. Participants practiced by teaching groups of pregnant women what they had learned. They were presented with certificates and welcomed as new health care providers to train community leaders and pregnant women.

After the course, God also opened doors for Sam and Margaret to talk with top national health officials and receive their affirmation about HBLSS being an effective strategy for reducing maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Margaret returned to Nigeria in 2011 for follow-up that included retesting the trainers individually on their retention of what they remembered. The retention result was 98%!

Margaret also provided problem-solving with leaders and talked with them about gathering statistics for research on outcomes they were seeing. The leaders continued to train others.

Throughout the partnership of Sam and Margaret in Nigeria, people around the world were praying for this significant opportunity of spiritual and professional collaboration.  God answered prayer!

As a result, 862 participants have been prepared and training is ongoing. Initial statistics record that maternal and infant mortality has been significantly reduced by eliminating avoidable causes of death that can be addressed through simple knowledge and skills, which HBLSS provides.

1112016mn220NCF Nurses in Minnesota continue to discuss God’s plan for improving global health through partnerships like the one Sam and Margaret developed. “We are praying for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are sharing Jesus’ compassion in Christ-centered healthcare,” said Mary Thompson, former NCF Director.

Sam knows that NCF nurses are praying for him. He left his globally-minded friends with these prayer requests:

  • Pray for God’s Kingdom to expand with the holistic salvation of mothers and children through the Rebecca Mbok Foundation (RMF).
  • Ask God to send us to people and organizations to be partners in this work.
  • Pray for funds to expand the work of Home Based Life Saving Skills (HBLSS).

Sam is grateful that nurses in the USA and around the world are vitally connected through NCFI to equip and encourage Christian nurses to integrate Biblical principles and Christ-centered values within clinical practice, leadership, education and research.

“Sam’s work is fulfilling the NCFI mission and he has given us a glimpse of what God is doing in Nigeria. We are linked to this ministry,” said Mary Thompson. “We pray that God will continue to open our eyes to what He is doing through Christian nurses and students globally through NCFI. It is exciting to be involved in God’s work in our world!

Discover more about NCFI and NCF/USA.

What’s Your Life Story?

December 20, 2016

12202016christmas

The coming of Jesus changed everything for Mary and Joseph. When the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will be with child” (Luke 2:31), it took courage for her to say, “May it be done to me according to your word” (v. 38). Everything was at stake. Pregnancy could ruin Mary’s life and had huge implications for Joseph. Yet when God spoke to Joseph he did what the angel of the Lord commanded (Matthew 1:24). Jesus’ coming completely changed Mary’s and Joseph’s life story.

When Jesus changes our story, do we give him the same response as Mary and Joseph? If Jesus simply asks, “Stop, listen, and take a moment to focus on this patient,” what is our response? When he asks more difficult, even impossible, things such as apply for that job, or serve at the homeless shelter, (or be the National Director of NCF), what is our response? It takes courage to say yes to Jesus.

The reality is, Jesus will change your story in small, big, and overwhelming ways. But like Mary and Joseph—like all the life stories we read in the Bible—Jesus makes our story better. Mary and Joseph raised the Son of God! As nurses, our life story changes the lives of others.

As you celebrate the coming of Jesus, ask God what he wants to do in your life. I pray you will hear his voice and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to have the courage, like Mary and Joseph, to say yes.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

 

Significant Moments

December 1, 2016

11292016oruRecently, I’ve been focusing on how to seek and receive God’s direction, how to find and stay in that place where I hear his voice. What I want is to understand God’s leading and the right actions, words, or decisions for everyday situations. This can feel like instinct or intuition. But as Christians, it can be the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As nurses, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.

I remember how God’s whisper created a significant moment in my life the summer after I became a nurse and I traveled from Texas to Iowa to help my grandparents move. Mom and Dad said, “When you drive through Tulsa, Oklahoma, check out the campus of Oral Roberts University. It’s beautiful!” They had wanted me to do my undergraduate work there.

I took their advice, parked the car, and walked around the ORU campus. A thought hit me to find the nursing department and see what it looked like.

I was walking down the hall of the mostly empty office area when a faculty member (the only one there!) asked what I was doing. I think she listened to the still, small voice of God and stopped to talk with me. She heard my passion for nursing and envisioned something great for my life. I had absolutely no inclination toward further education, but an hour later I was applying for the master’s program in nursing.

Two months later, I began an adventure that changed me forever!

Recently I was invited back to ORU as a featured speaker for students, faculty members and community members. I spoke about “Expecting God in Nursing” and used the story in Luke 5 about how the disciples responded to a strange request from Jesus. As they obeyed and let down their nets, they saw Jesus in a new light. It’s a great reminder of what happens when Jesus shows up and calls us to new levels of trust in him.

Hearing and responding to the still, small voice of God can create significant moments.

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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

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–Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

The Still, Small Voice of God

November 22, 2016

ID cardIn everyday nursing practice, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God—at the bedside, in the classroom, leading an organization. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.

Once I had a patient with Bipolar II disorder who had been difficult to manage since admission earlier in the day. He was extremely anxious about the loss of his state-issued identification (ID) card.

As I introduced myself, he immediately begged for help. I told him I knew this was important, and I would look into it with him after I assessed all my patients. He persisted. I started to get irritated, then a still, small voice said, “Kathy, you’d be anxious if you lost your driver’s license (my ID card). Talk to him.” So I sat down and asked him to tell me step-by-step what he remembered about the card. He mentioned the hospital safe where we keep patient valuables, but he said he’d already looked there.

He then said, “Do you think God would help me? Would he? I don’t think he would…” The still, small voice said, “Ask if he wants you to pray with him.” I cringed. He’s so manic: is that going to be helpful? I’ll check to see if he has medication for anxiety. He kept spitting out words, then exclaimed, “Lady, please, you’ve got to pray with me!” I thought, How can I pray? If we don’t find the ID, then what?

Jesus’ words came to mind, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven…” (Matthew 18:19-20, NIV). I remembered what Jesus said about having faith, even as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). So I prayed with him, asking God to help us locate the ID card. Silently I prayed, God help me know what to do. I know you know where that card is.

As we finished praying, I noticed a security guard at the nurses’ station. I asked him about the ID card, and if he would check the safe. He said no, he’d already looked. I countered, “It would help him calm down if I could tell him you’ll check the safe one more time. Take your time so I have something to tell him for a while.”

In less than an hour, the guard came back with the card in hand. He’d found it in the wrong patient envelope. I grabbed the card and ran to my patient. We hugged, and he cried as we realized God had answered our prayer.

Responding to the still small voice of God can create significant moments.

kss110Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

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Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

NCF Membership Christmas Special

November 14, 2016

11112016memspecial

Save 30% on NCF membership with a special Christmas offer for nurses! JOIN NCF at 30% off the regular price in all membership categories from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2016.

Add NCF as a professional nursing membership on your résumé. As a member of NCF, you’ll receive the Journal of Christian Nursing, as well as continuing education and publisher discounts. Your membership also demonstrates your support for ministry to nurses and nursing students. Learn more about the benefits of NCF membership.

Here are four ways you can take advantage of this Christmas special:

  • Join NCF and strengthen your faith and your nursing practice.
  • If you are already a member, renew your membership now and extend your membership by one year.
  • Give the gift of membership to a colleague, supervisor, nursing student, or nurse friend.
  • Pass on this membership special to other nurses and invite them to join NCF and take advantage of the Christmas discount offer.

arrowRemember to enter Promo Code Christmas2016 during checkout in the InterVarsity Store. (Shipping is free so check “No Shipping”)

Now is the time to join NCF and become a part of a large network of Christian nurses who are devoted to serving God in healthcare.