A Lifesaving Ministry

392011aedReflections from Sue Palo, NCF member

For me, being a nurse was always more of a calling than a job. I felt called to my avocation as a child. My grandparents lived with us and one day I saw my mother crying. She told me that my grandfather was not well. I was only 7 and didn’t understand his cerebrovascular dementia. I only knew that he needed help every day. I instinctively tied his shoes for him and took his hand in stores so he wouldn’t get lost.

As a nurse, I became certified as a CPR instructor. In 2007 I was on my church board and proposed that we purchase an Automatic External Defibrillator for our large church and community center. I sensed the discomfort with this topic among the other council members, but our pastor thought we should get one. The council then voted in favor of it. Since then I have taught Basic Life Support skills to ushers, Sunday school teachers, pre-school teachers, and administrative staff.

A few months ago an usher called me who had been in one of my CPR classes. He said he was on a trip with his family when there was a terrible car accident. He got out of his car to help. The EMTs told him to do CPR on a man who had been thrown from a motorcycle and was not breathing, with no pulse. He did CPR — and the man came back to life!

CPR really does work. I felt incredibly gratified to teach someone something that made a difference. This usher said that what I was doing was a ministry. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but he was right. This is what teaching CPR is all about – it’s a ministry to save lives.

As Christian nurses, we remember that:

  • Churches are community gathering places.
  • Cardiac arrests happen.
  • Doing CPR can make a difference – saving one life at a time.

I love these words from 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

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