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

    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 ncbnf@wmunc.org.

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    2/18/2011 8:14:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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