I knew from an early age that I wanted to be in the field of medicine. I wanted to be a doctor but my dad thought it would be too difficult to be both a mom and a doctor. I was the first to graduate college in our family. It was with a Bachelors in nursing, not medicine. My first job out of college was with the Indian Health Service. This gave me a taste of cross cultural medical work that would flavor much of my career.
I did take a break from nursing to be a mother but re-entered as our family joined Mercy Ships International as medical missionaries. The model they taught was using the two hands of the gospel, hope and healing. Our travels to Africa and Central America further reinforced my desire to work with underserved populations. I felt led by God to continue my education and become a nurse practitioner to put more tools in my toolbox for our missions work. After graduation, I was not finding a position that fit my desire to work with the medically underserved.
A call came from Phoenix AZ to join the staff at Neighborhood Christian Clinic. Here I was able to fully use what I had been trained to do. Believing that we are all image bearers of God, I seek to treat the whole person, addressing their spiritual as well as physical needs. I feel that the part I play in restoring others to health fits nicely into the body of Christ. By doing what I do, I am given opportunities to speak the love of Christ to hurting people in deed and frequently in words and prayer. When prompted by the Holy Spirit, I can ask, "would it be helpful if I prayed with you?" This offer is rarely refused and often opens the door to spiritual needs. I am no longer with Neighborhood ministries but continue to work with the underserved members of our community in the NOAH Clinics of Honor Health. When the opportunity arises, I travel to other countries to join others in the Body of Christ as they seek to be extensions of Christ.
Even though I wasn’t able to become a doctor, I function in much the same capacity as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I love what I do and appreciate being used by God to offer hope and healing to His image bearers. His vision for me has been much better than I could have planned.