A Chinese Atheist Receives Christ

Midwest, USA – 1989

About two years ago, my friend and I were going door to door calling to share the gospel with my neighbors. One lady from China named Nina (pseudonym) invited us to come in. She was formerly a radiologist in China, but had moved to the Midwest recently with her husband for his new job in research. She said she was very lonely and was so happy to have some friendly visitors. We spoke slowly so she could understand our English better, and I told her how much I had enjoyed visiting China three years ago. We also shared the good news about Jesus Christ; how He died for our sins on the cross, was buried, rose again, and lives today. We shared how He wanted her to receive Him as her Savior. We asked if she had ever heard this before? She said she had as a girl when she attended a school run by missionaries. After the communist takeover, the school was closed and the missionaries were forced to leave. We invited her to Bible class and she eagerly began to attend.

After about 6 months of faithfully hearing the Bible taught, Nina received Christ as her Savior. She was so happy and really began to grow in grace. We all were praying that her husband, Daryl, would also receive Christ as Savior. One Saturday evening, I invited them to my home to dinner to get to know them better along with a couple other people from church. We had a pleasant time together and the others left first. As Nina and Daryl were getting ready to leave, I mentioned something about how thankful I was that God loved us so much. Daryl said angrily, “How can God love us? I saw hundreds of people starve to death in China during the famines!” I softly replied that the important thing was that he had the opportunity to receive Christ now and that God wanted all men to be saved, but He wouldn’t force Himself on anyone. Nina stood there silently with a pained expression on her face. I bid them both good night. All I could sadly think about was Psalm 14:1:

The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.

About a year later, Daryl burned his legs during an accidental fire at work, and his legs became badly infected. They did not have a primary care doctor, so he continued to return to the emergency room for treatment. Nancy called me and asked if I had any suggestions? I called Dr Pete, my friend who was a Christian surgeon, and he asked Daryl to meet him at the ER where he was on staff. After examining Daryl, Dr Pete admitted him so he could receive intravenous antibiotics.  While Daryl was an inpatient, one of the elders from church visited him daily and read scripture to him and prayed with him. Nina shared that Daryl was deeply touched by the kindnesses of Dr Pete and the elder, even though he was a total stranger to them and an atheist.

In January, Nina told me that Daryl was being transferred by his employer to Miami, Florida. I was heartbroken as she seemed to be growing so much in her faith and he seemed so much more open to the gospel. But we prayed for them to be guided to a good church.

In March, Nina called me and said how much they enjoyed attending the Chinese Baptist Church! She said Daryl had something to tell me and she handed him the phone. “Miss Pam, I heard the gospel in Chinese at the church from the Chinese pastor. Now I understand what you were trying to tell me. I received Jesus Christ as my Savior! I am so thankful that my sins are forgiven and that I have a home in heaven and that I will be with Jesus forever! I am so sorry I yelled at you when you tried to tell me about God.”

I replied through my tears, “Daryl, I am so thrilled that you are now a Christian and my brother in Christ. Let’s pray together right now and thank God.” We had such a precious time in prayer together on the phone, thanking God for His wonderful grace and mercy to us.

March, 1990 – Miami, Florida

The Lord opened the door for me to visit my parents, who now live in Florida, as well as Nina and Daryl and attend church with them at the Chinese Baptist Church. For my sake, they took me to the English service rather than the Mandarin one so I could understand the service. We entered the large bright sanctuary and were greeted by friendly Chinese believers. The service began and after the opening hymn, the pastor asked for visitors to be introduced. Daryl motioned for me to stand up among the hundreds of Chinese brethren. He began, “This is Miss Pam who first gave me the gospel of Jesus Christ when I was an atheist. I hated the gospel back then and yelled at her. But she did not give up on me and now she is my sister in Christ.” My tears rolled down my cheeks as I marveled at the wonderful work of grace God had done in Daryl’s heart as well as my own!

But God commends His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans 5:8-9

Reflection

Nina and Daryl returned to China

Nina and Daryl returned to China

After about a year, Daryl and Nina moved back to China. For a number of years I received a card from them every Christmas. One year, Daryl shared with me how his elderly mother also received Christ. I don’t know exactly when Daryl and Nina went to be with the Lord, but it will be wonderful to be reunited with them in heaven above some day and worship the Lord together!

Face to face with Christ my Savior, Face to face –what will it be? When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ who died for me. Face to face I shall behold Him Far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by! –by Carrie Breck

 

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Patricia St John, RN

An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Faith

A few weeks ago, I was looking over my books to see if I could find a good one to reread. I pulled off the shelf an autobiography by Patricia St. John, RN. Patricia grew up in England and became a nurse during the London bombings of World War 2. She nearly dropped out of nursing school because of illness, but God encouraged her to keep going. By this time, her brother, Farnham, was training to be a doctor in London. While she was spending her day off visiting him, he was called to deliver a baby at a home as the sirens sounded and the bombs started dropping. Together they climbed over rubble and broken glass and arrived just in time. “Never shall I forget the feeling of peace and achievement as we sat, with the world apparently exploding around us, and drank hot sweet cups of tea around the bed with that tiny morsel of humanity cradled in his mother’s arms.”St John RN 1

After the war, Farnham went to a mission hospital in Morocco to try and improve relationships between England and Morocco. He ended up remaining there for over 30 years where he and his wife raised their six children. In 1949, Farnham asked Patricia to join him. Their parents approved, so “oblivious of formalities, I packed and went. It did not seem to have occurred to either of us that this was not the way to join a mission and I received a rather surprised letter from headquarters shortly after my arrival. But I was there and there was no turning back; I remained an associate of the mission through all my years of service.”St John 4 St John 3 St John 2After Farnham married, Patricia felt led to relocate to a village up in the mountains. She moved into a small white washed house with a flat roof which was quickly flooded in the March rains. She was surprised to “meet her saucepan floating across the floor” when she arrived home. Bugs pattered from the rafters in the attic, so she went to buy insect powder. The shop keeper tried to sell her one powder for bugs on the roof, another for bugs in her bed, and a third for bugs on her body. This seemed a little much, but to her dismay, she later realized that she should have bought all three.

As she studied Arabic hour after hour, she discovered what the simple presence of Jesus could mean when there was no other companionship and no one else who could talk English. Also during that time, her lost manuscript of Treasures of the Snow was found that she had written during the war for children about God’s forgiveness in Christ Jesus. She finished writing it, and it was published. (This book is still being published today, is available on Kindle, and is on DVD where it was filmed in the Swiss Alps. It is a beautiful family film which I highly recommend.)

Treasures of the Snow - a wonderful family DVD on forgiveness filmed in the Swiss Alps.

A wonderful family DVD on forgiveness filmed in the Swiss Alps.

Slowly, the village women and children began to trust her and come to her for medicine and Bible stories. Several received Christ as Savior and were persecuted for their faith, but stood strong. The Muslim village officials began threatening the believers and after much prayer, Patricia decided it would be best if she left the village and went back down the mountain to Tangier to work in the hospital with Farnham and his wife.

Patricia visited a hospital in Egypt for two months to study their nursing school, and then returned to Morocco to start a new school with 7 teenagers, their first nursing students. They taught them anatomy, physiology, basic nursing skills, and the Bible. This training was something of an innovation in Morocco, as nearly all the nursing in the government hospitals was done by men. The students did well, but struggled spiritually. The cost was high to become a Christian in a Muslim country. “Only a very few have let their light shine clearly and have suffered.”St John 5She continues on with her autobiography in telling about being “auntie” to her many nieces and nephews, her adventures of driving with her sister in her VW camper in the steps of Apostle Paul, visiting Rwanda to write a book on the revival there, and ministering in refugee camps. The only man she ever wanted to marry was killed during the war, so she remained single all her days on earth. While working as a missionary nurse, she continued to write and publish Biblical children’s stories, many of which are still in print and e-book form today.

After I read The Rainbow Garden to my 8 year old niece, God used it, and she received Christ as her personal Savior. Patricia also wrote a biography about her father, Harold St John, who was a worldwide evangelist and Bible teacher. I am thoroughly enjoying this book currently. So I hope I have shared enough to cause you to read Patricia’s autobiography for yourself and some of her books. I know you will be blessed and encouraged!

But Jesus said, “Permit little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:14

 

Becoming a Dialysis Nurse

Spring, 1989

Ever since returning from the mission trip to Honduras last fall, I have been asking the Lord if it is time to move on to a different type of nursing. After caring for patients in Honduras, it made me realize how much I miss direct patient interaction and bedside nursing. I have now worked in Staff Development for 6 years and have enjoyed teaching other nurses, but am ready for a change. One of my colleagues in Staff Development recently transferred to outpatient dialysis part time on evening shift and is enjoying it. She said there is another opening for a 4 evenings per week nurse. They are closed every Sunday and holidays, and each nurse works every other Saturday. The evening shift extra pay is very good, so my pay would stay the same even though I would be working one less day each week. Each RN is on call one Sunday 4 times per year to cover ICU emergency dialysis.

The Lord gave me peace about applying for the position, so I did. The head nurse called me, interviewed me, and gave me a tour of the unit which is a free standing building across the street from the hospital. The new unit is designed for dialysis with large windows and a nice open layout of 18 recliner dialysis chairs. They do 3 shifts of patients a day Monday through Saturday. There is one RN and one technician for 6 patients.  Day shift dialyzes the 6 a.m. group of patients and starts the next group at 11 a.m. Evening shift works 2-10:30 pm and takes the middle group of patients off dialysis, and then starts and finishes the evening group of patients. They end by cleaning all the machines internally with bleach and vinegar.

So the unit dialyzes 54 patients daily. Each patient comes to dialysis 2 or 3 times weekly to have their blood cleaned for 3 to 4 hours by the machine because their kidneys have gone stopped working. Some patients are waiting for kidney transplants. Some patients, especially on evening shift, work all day and then come for dialysis at night. The main causes for kidney failure are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). Without dialysis, the people die within a matter of weeks from kidney failure. Sometimes the patients become weary of dialysis, and choose to take themselves off of it and go on hospice for their final days on earth.

The next day, the dialysis head nurse called me to offer me the evening position 4 days per week. I would keep my full-time benefits. She agreed to give me every Wednesday off. On the weeks that I worked Saturday, she said my day off would also be Thursday so on those weeks I would have 2 days off together in the middle of the week. The orientation is 10 weeks on day shift and the last 2 weeks on evening shift. I would also need to become ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified so I could run a code if a patient had a cardiac arrest while I was dialyzing him in ICU. I told her I would consider it and let her know by the end of the week.

I went home and prayed for a few days and called my friend, MJ, who was working in dialysis, to talk things over with her again. I could move my Bible Club to Wednesday afternoons and attend prayer meeting at church on Wednesday evenings. Since I had every Sunday off, I could continue to teach Sunday School at church. I always enjoyed evening shift when I was a new graduate because I have never been a morning person. By the end of the week, God gave me wonderful peace that this was His open door. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Dialysis Orientation

I gave 4 weeks notice in Staff Development and started on day shift in dialysis for my orientation. I have to be here at 6 a.m., so arise at 4:30 a.m. which is challenging for me. Every day I ask God to keep me awake and help me learn all this new information. (Remember, I’m the one who fell asleep in statistics class in college and during my nursing state boards!)  They have assigned a preceptor to me who is an experienced dialysis nurse. The first week I watched her set up the machine and cannulate (put the needle in) the special fistula that the surgeon created in the arm of each dialysis patient. They connect an artery and a vein together which creates high blood flow. We use large bore needles for dialysis. One goes in the vein to remove the dirty blood, and the other goes in the artery to return their cleaned blood after the dialysis machine removes the impurities. I watch videos to learn about kidney disease and how dialysis works. It is such a complex process. I feel like a new grad all over again and go home totally exhausted daily from information overload. I ask the Lord to help me learn quickly and so I give good dialysis to each patient and do them no harm. This is definitely the most complex and technical nursing I have ever done. I can see why they don’t hire new graduates into dialysis.

Cobe 3000 dialysis machine I learned how to use.

Cobe 3000 dialysis machine I learned how to use.

To make matters more complicated, the unit just bought 12 new computerized Cobe 3000 dialysis machines, but we still have 6 older Fresenius machines where we have to do more calculations. We have a third type of machine in ICU. Thankfully, I won’t have to learn that one for awhile. They don’t make me take call until I’ve worked here 6 months and am totally comfortable with dialyzing someone independently. There is no one around on Sundays to ask questions where the on call nurse is all alone in ICU. So you have to able to do your own troubleshooting when you run into problems. It’s a huge responsibility for these critically ill patients. It’s good to lean hard on the Lord!