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