Rosa Lopez, the regional chair, says 'The challenge for NCFI in Western Europe is encouraging and supporting the established nursing fellowships in the face of secularism, and helping them to connect with and support Eastern European Christian nurses working in their nations. In the East it is about developing supportive communities for Christian nurses and connecting those leaving to work in the West with Christian fellowships in their host countries. Training in spiritual care, leadership and witness are also a key part of our work, and sharing the resources and learning that we are all doing through the internet and conferences. This is hard, because Europe is a very multilingual region, and there is no one common language that is widely used.'
It was great for us in the UK to host a European NCFI conference here last year and to build relationships with our nursing brothers and sisters in the rest of Europe. It made us realise how blessed we are with our own resources at CMF and how the Lord is enabling us to invest in the next generation of younger nurses and midwives being trained and released into leadership. This is an acute area of need for many of the European nurse fellowships where faithful older nurses have served for years (and decades!) but are struggling to raise up younger leaders.
Wanting to share some of our experience and resources, we responded positively to an invitation to speak at Danish (DKS) annual conference last March - just before lockdown happened. I enjoyed trying to encourage and help the current leaders to reach out and plan for leadership opportunities for student and young nurses. We hope this will be an ongoing relationship with Denmark.
On an international level, this year's World Congress in Colorado was cancelled due to Covid travel restrictions. It is now being planned as a virtual conference for July 2021, with the title 'Opportunities and Challenges in Nursing Today: A Christ Centred Response'.
The good news in that now all of us can easily (and cheaply) tune in and join in from all over the UK - without even leaving our couches! Please keep an eye on this link for more details: ncfi.org/events/ncfi-world-congress-2021
Please join us in praying for our international partners in nursing and in the gospel. If any of you would like their regular newsletter so you can pray specifically, register on their website at ncfi.org/resources
Pippa Peppiatt is CMF Head of Nurses & Midwives