Archive for the ‘NCF International’ 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.

Jesus as Our Role Model

August 1, 2016

812016womanatwellAs Christian nurses, we have Jesus as our source of strength and role model. I love how Jesus sees all of us from the perspective of God’s Kingdom. This perspective teaches us how to see and think about people and thus how to care for patients and their families and collaborate with our co-workers.

We read about Jesus who met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-26. Jesus sees the woman and knows who she is; still he decides to spend time with her. As we read the text, we can sense the gentleness and the intensity of their conversation, and how Jesus touches her deeply in her spirit. She becomes convinced that she has met the long-awaited Messiah. This makes her a witness for Christ.

In Luke 19:1-10 we read about Zacchaeus up in a tree. Again, Jesus acts beyond the rules and norms and sees to the heart and longing of this man. He greets Zacchaeus in the tree and invites himself to dinner with him. This transforms Zacchaeus. Jesus acknowledges this sinner to be a saved son of Abraham, and Zacchaeus’ transformed heart shows itself in action.

One of the stories I like the best from the gospels is about the blind beggar outside of Jericho (Luke 18:35-43). Try to imagine the crowd of people and all the noise. In the middle of this, Jesus recognizes the one who needs him. He stops and asks this wonderful question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Have you noticed that Jesus often asks questions when he teaches and meets with people? He is interested in understanding people—who they are and how they think. Having Jesus as our role model challenges us to consider these questions: Am I interested in understanding people? Do I take the time to stop and listen to people in my path who may need me?

Will you join me in following Jesus’ example and practice this question: “What do you want me to do for you?” I’m interested in hearing about your experiences from using this question. Please share your comments below.

Tove Giske
President, Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)

 ncficares

Photo credit by Angelica Kauffman – Upload 1: repro from art bookUpload 2: Own Work, photo taken by Cybershot800i., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8988425

NCFI World Congress Brings Shalom

July 11, 2016

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In June, 300 nurse leaders from 35 countries gathered in the Philippines for the 2016 World Congress of Nurses Christian Fellowship International. The theme focused on “Healthy Lives in a Broken World: A Christian Nursing Response.”

As Christian nurses, how do we respond to our broken world? What are our personal and professional responsibilities–and our limitations? How do we live the life God created for us– as healthy, holy, and joyful people?

Diverse speakers shared their vision and experiences of living healthy lives in a broken world. Nurses of all generations, as well as students, found opportunities for personal and professional inspiration, sharing, networking, and discussion.

Daily Bible exposition was presented by Rev. Dr. Paul Stevens who raised the question, “What is the good news of the kingdom of God?” He defined the good news as “the life-giving, shalom-bringing, transforming rule of God in people and all of life, including the world.”

Stevens used Luke 9:46-10:42 to present a picture of what it means to be a Christian. “It is traveling with Jesus in a new exodus journey on which we bring kingdom wholeness to people, places and all things,” he said. The participants explored three dimensions of the Kingdom and the implications for our work in the world:

  1. Being Kingdom Ministers: What does it mean to be followers of Jesus today?
  2. Having a Kingdom Heart: How does the ministry of Jesus relate to the nursing profession?
  3. Developing a Kingdom Spirituality: How can we practically thrive—not just survive—in the pressures of caring for people?

What is it like to be a kingdom minister? “It is challenging; it totally demands our all,” Paul Stevens concludes. “It is life-giving to ourselves and others, and it is supremely joyful.”

7toveThe joy overflowed as Tove Giske was introduced as the new president of Nurses Christian Fellowship International. Tove is a professor of nursing in Bergen, Norway. Also acknowledged was the visionary leadership of outgoing NCFI president Barbara White, Dean of Colorado Christian University School of Nursing.

New NCFI board members Carrie Dameron and Amy Rex Smith will join Linda Rieg and Kamalini Kumar from the USA as part of the NCFI board.

Download the presentations from all of the NCFI global speakers. The next NCFI World Congress will be held in Denver, Colorado in 2020.

My Work Christ’s Home

July 7, 2016

772016myheartchristshomeWhen I was a new Christian more than 24 years ago, a fellow believer gave me a booklet, My Heart Christ’s Home, written by Robert Boyd Munger in 1951. The story is about a new Christian with Christ in his heart who invites the Lord into all areas of his life through the metaphor of a home.

For example, when the new believer shows Christ the library and the recreational room, Christ points out the importance of inviting him into our reading materials and into our leisurely activities. Christians are often tempted to compartmentalize faith. We may keep a focus on Christ in our family and on Sundays, but we may be tempted to leave our faith out of our non-Christian relationships, television or movie choices, or our work environment.

As I reflected on the simple yet powerful truths found in this story, I thought of nursing. As Christian nurses we seek to live out Christ’s life and teachings in our clinics, schools, and hospitals. Christ doesn’t want to just come into the comfortable areas of our work and reside as a guest. Christ wants to dwell in every work relationship, every patient encounter, every project, class and meeting.

I encourage you to take time to allow Christ to walk through each area of nursing. Even if we consider ourselves mature a believer, I believe each of us will find a locked closet, a dusty cabinet, or even a hidden room that we have kept from God’s Spirit.

The good news is we can always repent: Robert Munger wrote, “I saw it in a minute and dropping to my knees, I said, ‘Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master and Lord.'”

This reminds me of  the words of Jesus in John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come into him, and make our abode with him.”

Let’s welcome Jesus to fully move into our work and into our hearts!

NCFI CARES

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

R is for Rejoice

April 1, 2016

412016sunriseThe Bible tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord, always. I say it again, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). The definition for rejoice is to be glad, joyful, or to celebrate. Do we celebrate the works of God in nursing?

When was the last time you enjoyed the perfectly timed answer to prayer, such as that much-needed staff person or piece of equipment? When have you been delighted by the basic pleasures of life, such as an enjoyable meal with a colleague or a simple gift from a student or patient? What are some joyful rewards of patient care, such as listening to an older adult share a childhood memory, laughing with a five year old’s cute story, or celebrating with a toddler who masters a new toy or activity?

These are enjoyable moments in nursing.

The Scriptural idea of rejoicing in prayer is to remind us to recognize all the blessed moments of our work. At the same time, we want to celebrate with our Heavenly Father who provided them.

We are also reminded that celebratory prayers don’t just occur with worship and during designated times of prayer. We can have a heart of gladness that permeates our life and spills over into multiple moments of the day.

 Let us remember the words of the psalmist, “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2) and rejoice!

NCFI CARES

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Peter’s Wisdom

March 21, 2016

3212016roosterDuring the Last Supper, Jesus warned Peter that he would be sifted by Satan and deny him three times (Luke 22:31-34). As the evening continues, Peter repeatedly denies Christ. His denial is not quiet, but vocal and wholehearted. After the third denial, Peter hears the rooster crow—and his heart breaks.

Our hearts break with Peter, for his personal sin becomes part of our redemption story.

After reading Peter’s experience, we are not surprised when he uses the metaphor “devour” to describe Satan’s tactic for Christians. I am sure Peter felt sifted, distraught and close to being devoured. Thankfully, in the same passage, Peter reaches out to all of us with wisdom:

“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Peter encourages us to stay “sober and alert” which means we can’t get complacent about Satan and assume he’s on vacation. We need to “resist him” by being strong in our faith, not a faith filled with words and strength, but a faith dependent upon Christ (1 John 5:5). The true victor in the war with Satan is Jesus, thus our prayers are to him.

Peter depended upon the prayers of Jesus who told him, “I have prayed for you, Simon (Peter), that your faith may not fail.” In the same way He tells us, “I have prayed for you, _[insert name]  , that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).

I thank God for Peter’s wise words to us.

NCFI CARES

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Serving NCF from Haiti to the Philippines

March 8, 2016

382016haiti

In the message below, Phyllis Ferrier invites all NCF nurses in the CANA (Caribbean and North America) Region of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI), to help send two NCF Haiti delegates to the NCFI International Congress, June 2016, in the Philippines.  As a country member of NCFI, NCF/USA is eager to help send two nurses to represent NCF Haiti, the newest NCF in our CANA region.

Please take a minute to read Phyllis’ message and to ask God to provide the funds needed to help our NCF friends in Haiti. Thank you!  Jane Hall, NCF/USA National Director

Dear Friends of the NCFI CANA Region;

I am writing to you on behalf of the NCFI CANA* Regional Committee.  We are raising funds to sponsor two NCF Haiti Delegates, who are planning to attend the next NCFI International Congress, scheduled for June 2016, in the Philippines.

Both Cassandra (NCF Haiti President) and Vanessa (NCF Haiti Vice President), have played an active role in the Leadership of NCF Haiti, since it’s official inception in 2014. The cost of sponsoring these two delegates is approximately  $5,700 US. All USA donations are eligible for a Tax receipt. Donations can be made either by:

 1. Mailing a check made payable to NCF International to:

Nurses Christian Fellowship International
c/o Mr. John White
2321 S. Juniper Circle
Lakewood, CO  80228

2. Making on online donation to NCFI through Joy to The World

All Donations need to be clearly designated for:  NCFI CANA Sponsorship Funds

In closing, please feel no pressure to contribute. However, if you would like the opportunity to bless our dear friends from Haiti, your donations would be deeply appreciated.

Thank-you and may our Awesome God Bless you!

In His Love,
Phyllis Ferrier
NCFI CANA Regional Chair

___________________

* NCFI CANA (Caribbean and North America) is a region of the global ministry of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI).

Vigilance In the Trenches

June 2, 2015
WW I trenches

Studying French“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The comradery of our Christian brothers and sisters is an important aspect of standing firm against Satan. We are reminded of this truth in the teaching of both Jesus and Peter (Luke 22:31-34 and 1 Peter 5:8).

When we are feeling discouraged by the attacks of Satan, or our faith is being tested, we know our brothers and sisters around the world are also “in the trenches.”

Are you familiar with the expression or metaphor “in the trenches?” It is a reference from World War I when front-line soldiers lived and fought daily in deep ditches or trenches. They were dirty and bloody, malnourished, wounded and sick, yet their bravery and determination helped them overcome the enemy.

This same reference can be applied to Christians around the world fighting against Satan in God’s holy war. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

All of us are in the trenches resisting Satan and staying faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. The next time you feel like you are spiritually bruised and tattered, hold fast. You are not alone. For across the border, beyond the continent, and around the globe, millions of our brothers and sisters are fighting the same war.

We are in the trenches together standing firm in victory.

But how can we stand firm in the trenches of spiritual warfare? Spiritually, we must practice focused vigilance, similar to when we are observing a patient who is very sick. We watch their vitals for changes while monitoring their signs and symptoms. Attentively we use our nursing knowledge and assessment skills to watch for complications. We are taking notes and ready to respond if our patient becomes critical.

The same attentiveness is needed to guard ourselves against the lures of Satan. Like Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:1-11, we will be enticed by Satan to sin. We must trust the Lord to strengthen and guide us.

The Lord not only helps us during temptations, he seeks to develop our faith through the process by teaching us faith lessons and increasing our love for God. I have found this prayer helpful from 2 Thessal​onians 3:3, 5:

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

Let’s stay actively vigilant and ready to respond to Satan’s temptations.

We are not alone!

NCFI CARES

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Spiritual Nutrition

April 20, 2015

Spiritual NutritionWhen I reflect on the building blocks of nutrition for physical health, I am reminded of the importance of the building blocks for spiritual health.

For example, protein found in fish, chicken and beans builds muscle for physical strength. When patients lack healthy protein sources, signs of malnutrition appear. Without Jesus, the living Messiah, we can lack basic nutrients of life. In 2 Timothy 2:1, Paul writes that “the promise of life” is in Christ Jesus.

Starches found in bread and rice give us daily energy, whereas Scripture is our spiritual bread. We need to nourish our faith daily through reading and studying God’s Word. Jesus responded to Satan by quoting from Scripture, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Vegetables supply the nutrients for each cell in our body, yet many of our diets lack an adequate intake. Thus, I couldn’t help but think of prayer in comparison to vegetables. Although prayer is vital for our faith, we often fall short on the amount of time we spend in prayer. Being busy isn’t an excuse. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

The building block of our faith is also found in praise and worship. I think of this as fruit. When we lift our voices in song exalting the goodness and excellence of our gracious Heavenly Father, we experience the sweetness of his presence. It is rich in nutrients, yet leaves us hungry for more and more! “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Eat from the bounty of the Lord’s Table, feasting on all the sustenance he provides–both physically and spiritually. From Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

A toast to health!

NCFI CARES

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.