From CMF news - winter 2009 - partnerships [p08]
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There are moments when you get a sense that God is moving, and all you can do is either get on board with what he is up to, or just get left behind. This year has had that sense very strongly in terms of CMF's ministry with Christians in nursing and the allied health professions. As reported this summer, the General Committee expressed a strong desire for CMF to support work among Christian nurses and allied health professionals, a feeling that the Executive Committee has subsequently echoed.
Since that General Committee endorsement, we have seen the Royal College of Nursing change its position on assisted suicide from opposition to one of neutrality. At the recent AGM of the College, I was present as several nurses (Christians and non-Christians) raised questions about this – in fact this single issue was the one most discussed outside the official agenda.
The CMF London and SE conference brought together about 60 doctors and nurses to look at the issue of advocacy for Christian health professionals facing opposition to expressions of faith and conscience in the workplace. In Leicester it was my privilege to help run and to speak at a conference for about 20 nurses and allied health professionals on the same issues.
In November Kevin Vaughan and I spoke at a conference for about a hundred Christian health workers at the New Life Centre in Lincoln. Kevin and I spoke about the Saline Solution course and witnessing to Jesus in the workplace – and several nurses came up to me afterwards saying how much they needed to hear this, and to feel they could 'stick their heads above the parapet'. At a long panel discussion in the afternoon we were able further to explore the challenges of standing up for Jesus in the workplace.
From all these events it is clear there is an awakening among Christians in all health professions for the need to take a stand, and show the love and compassion of Jesus in the NHS in a way that cuts across the culture of targets and throughputs.
To this end, CMF and Christian Nurses and Midwives are working on a series of Saline Solution courses – with events in Bristol and Liverpool already planned for March/April and further events under consideration. Internationally, we are working with PRIME to mobilise more Christian nursing educators to teach whole person care, spiritual care, and nursing leadership courses in Eastern Europe and other regions of the world. We are also looking to develop work among nursing and allied health professional students. Watch this space, or go to the Allied Professions pages at www.cmf.org.uk/alliedprofessions for news, articles and events.
Sharing news of PRIME is a testimony to God's blessing, and an opportunity to indicate our thankfulness for his anointing on this unique mission. We sow seeds of God's presence at the educational sources of the secular rationalism that has an imprisoning effect on much of the care of those who suffer.
In the financial year to June 2009, PRIME completed 47 separate teaching visits to 15 different countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. We involved over 60 different tutors serving for more than 867 days and providing teaching and training to well over 4,000 individuals.
The pace continues. Recent visits to Zambia, Moscow and Arad in Romania have been very fruitful. Courses in many other nations are imminent. Two conferences in UK are widening the vision and sharing responsibility over a wider group. Plans are in hand for significant contributions to major international conferences next year: NCFI (Romania) and ICMDA (Uruguay).
PRIME Portugal is established, as is PRIME Zambia, and PRIME Australia promises to be a really strong influence on that side of the world – functioning under the wing of HealthServe Australia.
Thank you all so much for all the prayers and support. If you sense God's nudge to add your support too, or especially to come and strengthen the team, do respond please. Could it be that he plans to hand on to you the baton from those who by necessity find they must soon relinquish leadership? Do read Gideon's story in Judges 6-8 – we often ignore the final lesson about the importance of succession...