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Greetings from the PACEA Region

Giske, Tove

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000565
Department: NCFI Your Global Connection
Free

Tove Giske, PhD, RN, is professor of health studies at VID Specialized University, Bergen, Norway. She serves as president of Nurses Christian Fellowship International.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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New to NCFI, Sheng Wei Su, nursing student at Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan.

I attended the 2018 PACEA (Pacific and East Asia) Regional Conference because I wanted to learn more about God and Christian nursing. This was my first international conference and first exposure to NCFI.

I found it helpful to learn about spiritual care. I discovered how appropriate spiritual care can help patients. In my classes and internship, it was not customary for nurses to use spiritual care in Taiwan, even when they are Christians. I think spiritual care should be used when needed and believe that the biggest challenge for nurses is that they do not feel prepared to offer this type of care. During my internship, I saw many nurses standing at the end of the bed, far from patients in pain, saying, “I will think about what I can do for you.” In Taiwan, nurses need more training in spiritual care. I left the conference being aware of spiritual care and will be looking for opportunities to provide spiritual care for patients.

The other great thing about the conference is that I met many friends from other countries. I hope to become involved in NCFI moving forward and follow as God leads me. I enjoy nursing and want to reflect on what I can do, not only for patients, but also for nurses.

A Long History with NCFI, Chieko Fukushima, Japan

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I have a long history with NCFI. I came to Chicago as an exchange nurse in 1972. There I worked in a psychiatric hospital, where I recognized that medicine could not help people in deep guilt, who are punishing themselves. I cared for a patient from a Christian family and tried to remind him that Jesus' love and forgiveness can free a person from guilt and self-hatred. As a result of the patient's complaint, I lost my charge nurse position. I felt forsaken by people. However, Jesus said, “Follow me” (Luke 9:57-62). I was hesitant, but decided to follow. In September 1976, I drove to Philadelphia for an NCFI conference, singing, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

There, I connected with Christian nurses who listened and prayed for God's guidance in my life. I was introduced to NCFI by serving at the NCFI booth in Tokyo and later at the International Council of Nurses 1977 congress. There, I was an answer to prayer, as I was the only Christian nurse at the NCFI booth who spoke Japanese. Since 1980, I have brought Japanese nurses to NCFI conferences to encourage them and offer an opportunity to fellowship with Christian nurses from around the world. God led me back to Chicago for NCFI discipleship and training before he called me back to Japan in 1982 with a desire to serve nurses and students. A small group of Japanese nurses started NCF in Japan in 1983.

For the 2018 PACEA conference, I brought 10 young Japanese Nurses Christian Fellowship (JNCF) members to gain a Christian passion for nursing. The next generation of JNCF nurses started a Facebook page to interact with both Christian and non-Christian students and nurses in Japan.

I leave you with the words of Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV), “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” I received these words of encouragement when I left for Japan in 1982. They have provided strength to stay faithful to the calling I first received in 1976.

Pray for growth and opportunities to share God's love with nurses in the PACEA region. More information about PACEA at http://ncfi.org/ncfi-regions/pacific-and-east-asia/

© 2019 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship