Department: NCFI Your Global Connection
This brief narrative by Bing Titus offers a glimpse into the work of NCFI in Papua New Guinea (NCFPNG)
FACTS ABOUT PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG)
- - located in the South Pacific
- - population of 8 million people most living in rural areas
- - the most culturally diverse country in the world
- - 850 languages in 4 regions, 21 provinces
- - English is taught and used in education and administration
- - Pidgin and Motu are the most commonly used day-to-day languages (Wandertours, n.d., Factsking, n. d.)
- - 96% of population identify as Christian
NCF WORK IN PNG
Papua New Guinea Nurses Christian Fellowship (PNGNCF) was birthed in 1993, following the 1992 Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI) world conference in Fiji. Margaret Street, an international board member of NCFI from Australia, was instrumental in establishing PNGNCF. I, Bing Titus, was elected as the first president in 1993 and, together with five other members, we took on the responsibility to lead PNGNCF. I have served as the president for 25 years.
We have a national committee, run by volunteer leaders. Since 1996, we have arranged national and regional conferences biannually, so more people can attend. In the four regions, 150-plus attended and at the national conferences, 200 to 300 attended. There are approximately 1,000 members nationally.
Nurses involved in NCFI leadership have taken responsibility for planning regional and national events. In doing so, they have developed their leadership skills. In addition, they also pursue leadership roles in their nursing careers. For example, in the PNG nursing symposiums, NCF is generally well acknowledged, and nurses are afforded opportunities to take the spiritual lead in morning devotions prior to the main programs.
SPIRITUAL CARE EDUCATION
We emphasize the concept of holistic care in our conferences and meetings. Members are encouraged to use prayer and Scripture as tools to guide them in their course of duty. We are grateful for resources, such as Spiritual Care by Shelly & Fish, and The Christian Nurse by Chan Kum Sum that contribute to our knowledge and spiritual care development. In-service programs also introduce the concept of spiritual care in my hospital.
GOD AT WORK
Because most people living in PNG (96%) identify as Christian, when people are hospitalized they often seek God. Our local team reaches out to patients in the wards, where we sing, and share the Word of God. NCF functions in major hospitals throughout the country and in rural and urban healthcare settings.
Sometimes we feed patients with food that members bring. Although patients are served with hospital catering services, this is an extra blessing. It is a significant way of demonstrating love. At times, we have insufficient supplies, and we look to God for his sufficient grace that sustains us. We experience God's grace in our weakness, and we see Christ's power work through us (2 Corinthians 12:9-12). In areas where no physician is available, nurses deliver babies. Here, nurses provide medical and nursing intervention, assess, diagnose, plan, and treat patients. We see mothers with obstructed labor, and nurses are responsible for high-risk deliveries.
In 2018, we arranged two regional conferences, bringing together many nurses from the rural health centers, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. The conference aim is teaching of the Word and evangelism. Through regional conferences, the objectives of enhancing, empowering, and renewing spiritual strength and spiritual growth are implemented.
THE BLESSING OF NCFI
I acknowledge NCFI and the International Board for its continuous support. Together we plan spiritual events that bring nurses from across the world together, forming a family worldwide.
Shelly J., Fish S. (1977). Spiritual care: The nurses role
(3rd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Sum C. H. (1994). The Christian in nursing
. Kuala Lumpur: Academic Art and Printing Services.