Archive for the ‘Global Missions’ Category

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.

Nurses in Haiti Ask for Help

October 20, 2016

10182016haitiIn the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, nurses in Haiti are deeply moved to meet the physical and spiritual needs of thousands who have lost their loved ones, homes, and communities. They are pleading for our help.

We need urgent funding to provide 200 disaster relief kits with emergency supplies, medicine, clothes, shoes and nails for rebuilding,” said Cassandra Bioche, president of NCF Haiti.

“Even more, we especially need your prayers for Haiti because we know we serve a great God who can make the impossible become possible,” urges Cassandra.

Each disaster relief kit costs $60 US.

“Our goal is to raise $12,000 to provide 200 kits for Haiti-NCF to distribute to disaster victims,” said Phyllis Ferrier, the Caribbean/North American (CANA) representative for Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI). “This is our window of opportunity to demonstrate our love and support of NCF Haiti and the nurses who are assisting those suffering in a tangible manner.”

NCF Haiti is partnering with several organizations who will provide leadership and volunteers to assist the injured, the displaced, and the grieving.

Please consider making a contribution to equip nurses in Haiti to care for people deeply affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Tax-deductible donations can be made through NCFI at http://ncfi.org/donate. Please designate as ‘Haiti appeal’ in the reference note during payment and save your receipt from PayPal for your records.

Your contribution of $60 will provide basic supplies for one kit for nurses to distribute to hurricane victims. Please help.

A final word from Cassandra: “We are waiting for your prayers, your assistance and your love for Haiti.”

MAKE A DONATION


NCF-USA and NCF Haiti are member movements of Nurses Christian Fellowship International.

Finding Life at Urbana 15

January 22, 2016

urbana15

“What story will you tell with your life?” This invitation to tell God’s story deeply challenged 16,000 participants at Urbana 15–including hundreds of nursing students–who gathered in St. Louis for InterVarsity’s student missions conference.

“At Urbana 15, we challenged this generation to tell Jesus’ story with their lives, and to learn from stories that are different than theirs,” said Urbana director Tom Lin. “I pray that this generation will give their whole hearts to Jesus and surrender their lives for God’s global mission.”

Catch the excitement of Urbana in these brief summary videos: Find Your Life and What Story Will You Tell?

During December 27-31, thousands of Urbana participants worshiped God together through music and drama, studied the Gospel of Matthew, prayed for persecuted Christians, and engaged with hundreds of mission-focused seminars and mission agencies.

NCF staff connected with more than 200 people at the NCF exhibit about serving God in nursing. Nursing students got excited to start Bible studies for their friends to learn more about Jesus.  They also discovered the Journal of Christian Nursing and other NCF resources that offer a Christian healthcare perspective to influence their nursing practice.

“My first Urbana conference was in 1990 and this was the best yet,” said Bonnie Hann, NCF Campus Liaison. “I loved talking with nurses and nursing students who were passionate about loving God and serving others with their lives. Some even expressed interest in NCF staff positions.”

Overall, students at Urbana made serious commitments to follow Jesus Christ:

  • 681 students made a decision to follow Jesus in faith at #urbana15
  • 5,418 students committed to taking the book of Matthew back to campus and sharing with friends
  • 9,254 students committed to praying for the global church
  • 5,058 students committed to short-term missions
  • $1,000,000+ raised for our global missions partners

See all the Urbana 15 videos at urbana.org. Be inspired by speaker David Platt’s call to prioritize love for Jesus over service to Jesus. Listen to the audios for healthcare seminars, particularly the seminar on Whole Person Care by Jane Hall and Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner.

“We are praising God for the many significant conversations at Urbana, especially with nursing students who are clearly gifted in leadership,” said Jane Hall, NCF Director. “Please join us in praying for students to take active steps to fulfill the commitments made at Urbana 15—it’s only the beginning of following Jesus for a lifetime.”

Why They’re Going to Urbana

October 16, 2015

Urbana ScholarshipsUrbana is not just another mission conference; it’s a mobilization of God-centered, visionary college students for a new generation of world missions.

InterVarsity’s Urbana 15 takes place December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. But this is only the beginning for the 16,000 participants who return home more inspired and committed to follow God’s leading and make a difference in the world.

Urbana’s impact cannot be underestimated. Rev. Billy Graham said, “Half of North American missionaries can trace their vocational call at least in part to Urbana.”

For nursing students, their “mission field” starts with nursing school as they and their classmates seek answers to big questions about life, suffering, death and how to offer hope to patients.

On campus, Nurses Christian Fellowship helps them navigate these questions and find a foundation for their lives and nursing practice that is centered in the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

The nursing students who applied for NCF scholarships explain why they want to attend Urbana 15:

  • “I’ve heard that Urbana is the opportunity of a lifetime. I know the speakers will challenge us in our Christian faith. I have really struggled the past few years in my walk with God and I know this conference will push us as well as encourage us.” –Jael S.
  • “I have always wanted to go to Urbana which only happens every three years so I do not want to miss this opportunity!  I have a real heart for missions and feel that Urbana will enhance my love for missions.  I think it will help me get connected with like-minded people as well as organizations to affiliate with in the future.” –Marissa P.
  • “In high school I did a local mission trip. In college, I went on a short-term mission trip to Thailand. I loved serving the people there and want to continue serving God’s people. Now that I’ll be working soon in the nursing field, I want to know how I can be missional, whether that is locally or globally.” –Kirsten S.

Our vision is that Urbana 15 will launch a new generation of nurses committed to loving God and serving others around the world. It begins with students who have a vision and passion for God’s healing among the nations – students like Jael, Kirsten and Marissa.

Want to help make a difference? Do it now through the NCF scholarship fund.

Urbana 15: Every life tells a story

March 10, 2015

Find Your Life Urbana 15 VideoGrace was a nursing student who was deeply challenged by her experience at Urbana 12. “Life is so much more than school and my daily struggles,” Grace said. “I want to live for what matters eternally: to glorify God and to love others.”

Similar life-altering experiences await 16,000 students, missionaries and speakers who will gather for the Urbana 15 Student Missions Conference, December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. Nursing students will join with others from around the world to hear from God, reflect, pray, worship, and consider their future role in God’s redemptive work.

Hundreds of healthcare students will attend special seminars to help them learn how to practice healthcare as ministry. Leading daily Scripture expositions will be Dr. Patrick Fung, Director of OMF International, who will add his perspective as a medical doctor to his biblical teaching.

Since 1946, God has used the Urbana conferences as a key transformational moment for thousands of people who have responded to God’s call by spreading the good news of Jesus in their neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth. View past Urbana events.

God’s love doesn’t hold back. “I came to Urbana 12 for direction on where God was leading me, but those questions were unanswered,” reported Danny, also a nursing student. “Instead, I was captivated by Jesus again and repented of my sin of indifference toward him. He convicted me of the need to cling to him as a child clings to a parent. I have increasing clarity that Christ is always leading me. He is the answer that I needed.”

As sponsors, InterVarsity and NCF staff are diligently preparing for Urbana 15. It’s not too early to make plans for Urbana 15. Already 857 people have registered. Encourage the nursing students you know to attend the conference next winter break.

Scholarships are available for NCF nursing students starting April 1. Contact NCF for an application. Please support students attending Urbana 15 with a special gift to NCF Scholarships.

Every life tells a story. If you’re a nursing student, what life will you live? Find out at Urbana 15.

Curious about Healthcare Missions?

October 6, 2014

MedicalMissions.comYou’re invited to connect with thousands of other people interested in healthcare missions at the Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC) on November 6-8, 2014 in Louisville, KY. It’s a unique opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers, attend seminars, ask questions, and interact with a wide range of exhibiting organizations.

Nurses Christian Fellowship is a partnering sponsor for the conference. GMHC is a gathering where Christian nursing students and nurses can discover God’s call on their lives, especially those seeking opportunities around the world to use their gifts, knowledge and skills. Grace Tazelaar, NCF Mission Director, will be hosting an NCF booth at the conference. Stop by and say hello.

This year GMHC will feature special sessions on the outbreak of Ebola that has ravaged the lives of so many in Western Africa. The devastation of Ebola became even more real as several people in the medical missions community were infected and brought back to the United States for care.

Dr. Kent Brantly was one of them. He works with Samaritan’s Purse and SIM in Liberia. Dr. Brantly’s story caught the attention of a nation and the world — no one could understand why men and women would serve people with such a dangerous and fatal disease. Their inspiration to serve others was something deep and eternal.

Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife Amber will be sharing their story in a live interview with Dr. David Stevens during one of the plenary sessions at GHMC. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear their story in person.

Several breakout sessions will be offered for those seeking to learn more and become more engaged with Ebola around the world. Please visit MedicalMissions.com for more information on 2014 GMHC Breakout Sessions and the other clinically related Ebola sessions.

Please pray that nurses and nursing students will embrace God’s mission to care for the needs of others around the world.

You are Part of Something Bigger

September 25, 2014

World Student Day 2014World Student Day is October 17, 2014.

NCF students and InterVarsity students are part of a global movement reaching the world for Christ. We are members of the International Fellowship of International Students (IFES).

Make plans to pray with others in your NCF group on October 17, 2014. Learn about specific opportunities and challenges facing students around the world. Open your heart and mind for what God is doing on campuses in Nigeria, China, Norway, Brazil, Pakistan or Egypt.

Sign up here for instructions, resources and ways to participate in World Student Day. Find out more about IFES in this video, “You Are Part of Something Bigger.”

Our God is a global God. Our faith is a global faith. Our mission is a global mission. We’re praying to support our brothers and sisters around the world on October 17, 2014. Will you join us?

Discovering Real Mission

February 27, 2014

WSU NCF

Nursing students who go on short-term mission trips are often personally transformed by serving in another culture, but how does their experience influence their mission on campus when they return?

The students at Wichita State University (KS) discovered an inspiring connection when they prepared posters and shared mission trip experiences with their Nurses Christian Fellowship chapter. At the meeting, an NCF faculty advisor gave a brief devotional on journeying with God. She then served as a roving reporter to each display, asking students questions about their mission trips.

After exploring the basic questions of who, what, when and where, students were asked, “How did this experience change your life and commitment to Christ?”

One student felt too ordinary to accomplish much for God, but the challenges of the trip showed her God really does do extraordinary things through ordinary people like her. She went to Central Asia to build relationships with local college students as an outreach with local churches. Several college students she met that month came to understand and believe in Jesus!

Another student said she was terrified to share her faith. She was surprised how easy it was to share her faith in East Asia and be bold for Christ by using some simple tools. She learned to ask people questions, sit with others at meals, or start conversations by wearing a multicolored “gospel bracelet.”

Each student said the key to helping people in these other cultures was to build genuine relationships with them. All of the students were humbled by experiencing God’s powerful presence on their trips.

Taking it Home

Students then were asked, “How did your trip help you see your campus or clinical areas as a mission field?”

Initially everyone was stumped by this question. Then all at once several students in the group called out the answer: “Build relationships!” It was an electrifying moment as everyone realized their mission on campus was to do the same thing right here – to pray for God to bring people into their lives that need relationships and to be responsive to the Holy Spirit to make connections.

Students also learned great lessons about best practices in short-term missions. Each student was part of a mission group that had long-term ties with local churches and healthcare providers. They discovered how their short-term efforts have long-term impact as they came alongside the people who lived and worked in the country. The students learned humility and grace as they played with children, or helped college students practice English, or handed out healthy snacks and talked about nutrition. They developed great respect for local churches and health workers who have few resources but accomplish amazing things.

One student said he realized every small task, even though it seems like nothing, is significant when done for Jesus. When people see you are willing to serve in whatever way is needed, they want to know more about who you are and why you do what you do.

Students were provided with resources from NCF Missions and the Journal of Christian Nursing on best practices in short-term healthcare mission.

God spoke powerfully to the group as he translated the students’ short-term mission experiences into the realization of living missionally in school, in the hospital – and wherever they are today.

by Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
Editor, Journal of Christian Nursing
Staff, Nurses Christian Fellowship USA

Connie Jarlsberg: Nurse with a mission

June 6, 2013

Connie's Strategic CallingNursing is far more than an occupation.

From my early student days when I was involved in a Bible study with Nurses Christian Fellowship, I understood that God had called me to nursing for more reasons than just making a living, developing good clinical and observation skills, and giving excellent care. God wanted me in nursing because he had a strategy in mind. Nursing is that place where I can be obedient to God’s call to follow him, to be a disciple and make disciples.

Each of us is strategically placed where God can use us. He calls us to obedience. And as we obey, he transforms us. He asks us to give of ourselves—to see, listen to, and meet the needs of those in our care.

Why do any of us do what we do? I hope that we who are Christian nurses would say it’s because God has given us meaningful work where he can use us. In other words, he’s given us not an occupation but a vocation, one in which we have opportunities to trust God to send us into mission wherever we are, caring, giving of ourselves, and meeting needs. It’s also a calling to discipleship—to go and make disciples wherever we are.

May we all go with an attitude of worship to the place God has called us to, whether in homes, in an inner-city clinic, in a large academic hospital, overseas in a mission hospital, or in a classroom teaching basic community health. And may we return at the end of our shift knowing that we have worshiped well as we’ve lived out the vocation God purposed for us.

Moreover, for all of us who follow Jesus, may we follow the exhortation of 1 Corinthians 10:31 and let our occupation be our vocation as we bring glory to God always.

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Connie Jarlsberg has served as NCF Missions Specialist since 2008. Recently she returned to Uganda, East Africa with WorldVenture to teach and minister to students and nurses. Connie is working with numerous non-profits to plan seminars on holistic healthcare (body, mind and spirit) for children at risk in Uganda.

Have Stethoscope, Will Travel?

March 22, 2013

Global Health OutreachHave you considered using your nursing skills to minister to others outside of the United States?

The challenges are many – time away from family and work, experiencing life in a culture different from your own, and communicating in another language — perhaps through an interpreter.

The rewards are also great – an opportunity to be a part of a committed team of Christian healthcare professionals providing healthcare for those in need, moving outside of your comfort zone and experiencing God at work in new ways, and broadening your understanding of God’s Kingdom and his purposes.

For the past thirteen years, Nurses Christian Fellowship has partnered with Global Health Outreach (GHO), the short-term missions arm of Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). Our partnership provides nurses and nursing students with an opportunity to participate in a quality healthcare mission experience.

There are trips with a variety of healthcare emphases throughout the year led by trained leaders and conducted in close collaboration with host country partners who are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Check out all of the GHO mission opportunities to see if there is a good fit for your interests, talents and resources.

by Grace Tazelaar, NCF Missions Director