A Tangible Difference | Operation Renewed Hope & MBU Nursing
Hope is something every person needs in a dark time. No matter what personal, financial, spiritual, or political struggle someone may be experiencing, hope is a word full of light. In an unbelieving world, Christians are to be a light and share the hope of the gospel.
Sharing the hope of the Gospel to an unbelieving world is something that the senior Nursing students get to do as part of their curriculum. The MBU Nursing department partners with Operation Renewed Hope (ORH) to travel to countries such as Peru, Uganda, Ukraine, and Panama to provide medical services, dental care, optical care, and prescriptions.
Hope (n.): a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.
When the Nursing students and faculty travel with ORH, people come from miles around to receive medical care. The people of these countries hope to have their physical needs met in a tangible way.
Luke Cleghorn, a 2019 Nursing graduate, traveled to Uganda with ORH his senior year. He shares, “I had the opportunity to work with a couple different physicians transcribing orders and prescriptions, gathering vital signs, and assisting in minor procedures as needed. I also spent time working in our pharmacy filling prescriptions for patients.”
“The bulk of my time was spent in patient triage. My background in Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services helped me rapidly and accurately assess a large number of patients,” Cleghorn states.
While the nurses are glad to provide physical help to the patients, they look forward to sharing the Gospel with the patients.
Hope (n.): someone or something on which hopes are centered.
Ann Schmoeckel (’10 BSN Nursing, Maranatha Baptist University; ’16 MSN/Ed, RN, Concordia University Wisconsin), a member of the Nursing faculty at Maranatha, has traveled with ORH five times, once as an ORH team nurse and the others as MBU Nursing clinical faculty. She has personally been impacted by watching patients when they are exposed to the gospel. Schmoeckel shares, “As faculty on these trips I don’t always get to interact with patients directly to meet their physical needs, but I get to see many different areas of the clinic as I work with the students and the ORH team. In all of these different areas I see the progression of how caring for people’s physical needs softens their hearts to hear the Gospel at the end of the clinic. Even if the person does not make a profession of faith, he or she has heard the Word.”
She continues, “On the one trip that I was able to travel as a nurse on the ORH team, I worked alongside a doctor one-on-one with patients. I saw the longing in these people’s eyes to know about the Someone Who loves them even as they told of their physical problems. We met physical needs as we could, and because of this many patients allowed the doctor to pray with them. What a blessing it was to partake in this.”
Cleghorn states, “The nurses I worked with on this trip were great examples to us on how to perform our jobs and how to display the love of Christ through our actions to those in our care.”
These patients see the love of Christ tangibly demonstrated through their caregivers. Patients receive the gospel through kind smiles, gentle medical treatment, and then a verbal presentation. Christ modeled this structure of reaching the lost during His ministry on earth. He saw the people in need and met their physical and spiritual needs (Mt. 9:35-36; Lk. 9:11).
Elizabeth Stille (’14 BSN Nursing, Maranatha Baptist University; ’20 MSN/Ed, RN, Herzing University), another member of the Nursing faculty at MBU, shares, “Every patient that comes through the clinic has the opportunity to hear a Gospel presentation while they are waiting for their medications to be prepared at the pharmacy. While we may not be able to communicate without an interpreter, a smile and a caring touch cross through every language and culture. “
Hope (v.): to expect with confidence.
Maranatha’s senior Nursing class has taken a trip with ORH every year (except for 2020) for the past five years. Each time, students’ eyes are opened to a broader nursing field, they make a difference in people’s lives, and they share the Gospel.
Cleghorn shares, “The trip made a lasting impact on my life and I consider [it to be] the highlight of Nursing school. I decided to travel again with ORH because I saw the team making a tangible difference in people’s lives, the lasting spiritual fruit from the trips in the form of numerous people accepting Christ, as well as new churches being established, or existing churches being bolstered in the villages we visited. I saw ORH team members sacrificing their time and resources to meet physical and spiritual needs, and they challenged me to do the same.”
Schmoeckel adds, “I get to watch and work alongside the students from the beginning as we raise support to sharing testimonies after the trip. As the students see God work, I can see them grow in confidence in God and the use of their nursing skills for ministry. It truly fulfills the mission of MBU as we, through the School of Nursing, seek ‘to develop leaders for ministry in . . . the world to the praise of His glory.’”