N.C. Baptist nurses minister, fellowship together
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
February 18, 2011

N.C. Baptist nurses minister, fellowship together

N.C. Baptist nurses minister, fellowship together
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
February 18, 2011

Providing a caring touch in times of sickness. It’s what

nurses do.

But some nurses in North Carolina unite to help even more

people and to administer the gospel into people’s lives.

“It’s kind of been my life, my niche to be able to be part

of a fellowship of nurses,” said Donna Rodgers, outgoing president of North

Carolina Baptist Nursing Fellowship (NCBNF).

While leaving her presidential role, Rodgers will continue

to lead as health center director and contribute to the organization.

Built around Psalm 23 — “He Leads … We Follow” — brought

nurses from across the state together for NCBNF’s annual meeting. The event

featured an indoor prayer walk with stations set up for each verse of Ps.

23:1-6. There was also a time of continuing education credits as the nurses

studied about diabetes.

The group met Feb. 5 at Caraway Conference Center. Some

chose to come the night before to stay but others drove in for the day.

On mission

Nurses who had traveled to India and Honduras as well as

ones who had served with World Changers and Victory Junction shared their

experiences with the group.

Claudia Hayes, who has been a member of NCBNF for about 20

years was one of the nurses who went to India. Her group, which was traveling

with the International Mission Board (IMB), served among victims of human

exploitation. They treated and ministered to women and children in the slums

and brothels. Human exploitation is a focus of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU).

“It was good for me … to remind me prostitutes are people,”

Hayes said. “No one goes into this business happily. They want to get out.”

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

North Carolina Baptist Nursing Fellowship members gather at Caraway Conference Center Feb. 5 to gain some continuing education credits and hold their annual meeting.

A member at Hillmon Grove Baptist Church in Cameron, Hayes

expressed a lifelong desire to go to India.

It was while she was a GA (Girls in

Action) that she first heard of a woman doctor who served in India. Learning

that women there didn’t always get the care they needed was “part of the reason

I became a nurse,” Hayes said.

One woman they met “wants to give her life to Jesus,” but

knows her life is not pleasing to God. Financially, these women do not have a

lot of options, Hayes said.

Many of Hayes’ recent mission trips — South Africa,

Honduras, India, Camp Mundo Vista — were discovered through her involvement

with NCBNF.

Rodgers sent Hayes and other e-mail recipients an IMB

newsletter and pointed out there was a nursing opportunity. Hayes called the

number to find out more information to let others know about the opportunity.

The person at IMB asked what her interest was, and there was one spot left on

the India trip.

“All these years India has become a focus for me,” she said.

“I have always felt that’s where I wanted to go.”

She and her husband have also adopted a village in India

through North Carolina Baptist Men. Hayes is the BNF consultant for Little

River Baptist Association. Through Little River she was able to serve on a

medical team that went to Armenia as a project for Baptist Men.

Reports, officers

Members reviewed materials including reports from each

person serving in a leadership role as well as a budget and minutes from the

2010 annual meeting.

For 2011, Paula Louise Tutherow is president; Hayes is

president elect; Sandra Blankenship is secretary/membership; and Jill Foster is

treasurer. One change in leadership for 2011 is the combination of the program

and professional development committee leaders into one position. This was

already done on the national level.

Ruby Fulbright, executive director treasurer of WMU-NC,

encouraged the ladies to draw parallels in their surroundings to share

spiritual truths.

“A good shepherd knows where to find food and water,”

Fulbright said about the theme from Psalms. “He talks to his sheep. Christians

are familiar with the voice of their Lord.”

Fulbright shared about Lottie Moon who went to serve in

China. At first she continued to wear Western clothes keeping separate from the

Chinese people she went to serve.

Later in life her letters to the U.S. reflected a change in

heart. She wrote of self-consecration and living among the Chinese people in

Chinese houses wearing Chinese clothes.

“Everyone of you in this room has at least one spiritual

gift,” Fulbright said.

She encouraged them to be leaders in the area of their

spiritual gift.

BNF history

The national BNF was founded as a part of the national

Woman’s Missionary Union so when NCBNF was formed in 1983, it was sponsored by

Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC).

Rodgers said the one-day format that was used this year is

already in the works for 2012 but they are planning to meet in March instead of

February. They will use the feedback from the recent meeting to determine what

continuing education credits to offer as well as weigh any changes that might

need to be made.

Rodgers, who has been a member since the beginning of the

group, works annually with Cabarrus Baptist Association with fair workers. As

health center director, Rodgers finds nurses who will volunteer at Camp Mundo

Vista. Rodgers was hired as a nurse there but thought this would be a good

ministry for the NCBNF. The volunteer nurses help to meet the camp’s

requirements and also save WMU-NC money.

Being part of the BNF “has provided a way to serve the

Lord,” Rodgers said.

The member of Parkwood Baptist Church in Concord gets

excited about her work.

“I don’t have to go to a job every day,” she said. “ I get

to go to a ministry.”

BNF members collected funds to donate toward a window at

Camp Mundo Vista where Rodgers has spent much time over the years. So far 42

windows are in place. Rodgers said even those have made a big difference.

Membership in North Carolina Baptist Nursing Fellowship

costs $20 for professionals. Students are allowed as members at no charge.

Rodgers said there are local chapters in areas that have expressed interest.

The BNF provides guidelines for forming those local chapters.

For more information, call (336) 349-2723 or e-mail [email protected].

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