Inspiration from our Faith Community Nurses in the Ukraine
Submitted by Pam Dandre, Faith Community Nursing Coordinator for Ukraine
«Мир Вам», is how Raissa greets people as she enters the homes to minister to them in a holistic way.
“Peace to you.” In a war torn country, Ukraine, where people have lost hope, a greeting of peace brings instance understanding of the intention and purpose of the caregiver’s heart. As Raissa enters the home she assesses the living environment for safety. She brings food, pampers for the bedbound and a loving smile as she helps those she has come to serve. Where did she learn the skills needed to care for “the least of His children?”
Since 2012 the Association for Christian Nurses and Volunteers- Welfare Organization has been training nurses and volunteers how to care for the least of His kids. This includes invalids, orphans, widows and alcoholics. Seminars are held quarterly and include lectures on palliative care, spiritual care, self-care, and social/ethics perspective. There is time for practice during the seminars and that is how we met Natasha. Natasha was a 39-year-old woman who had a large ovarian tumor. She was emaciated and living in a shack in the town where we held our seminar. When we visited her, Natasha could barely walk to open the door. She was quickly admitted to a hospice that we found would receive her free of charge. This was miracle number one. She repented of her sins and began to grow in her faith with the help of the ACNV-W members in the area. This was miracle number two. Natasha remained in the in house hospice for 4 months but shortly after she was baptized she noticed that her symptoms were less. The medical staff was surprised when we asked if we could have a work up to see if her cancer had spread. After many diagnostic tests, she received a call from the doctor one afternoon. “You have no cancer, Natasha.” Miracle number three! She was released within a few days. Natasha has challenges in her life, but cancer is not one of them.
“I’m thankful for this group of believers who have not only helped me by giving me the hope of Jesus, but they walked alongside me when I needed it most and even now they have not forgotten me and we continue to have fellowship and growth together. “PEACE TO YOU.” (Natasha)
If you want to help us defray the cost of the seminars in Kiev Ukraine, the cost of each is $3000.00. This includes accommodations, food, materials and translation/administration. The salary of nurses and volunteers is too low for them to pay for these valuable seminars so we offer them asking only a “love offering.”
Thank you in advance for your help.
Pam Dandre Faith Community Nursing Coordinator for Ukraine,
Kiev City Team Leader for EFCA/Reach Global
Natasha before her healing
Natasha after her healing
My name is Pam Dandre and I have been a missionary in Kiev,Ukraine for the past 15 years. I became the Faith Community Nursing Coordinator for Ukraine in 2008 after completing the foundations course. Since then my colleagues, an Orthodox priest, Educator/MD in palliative and hospice care and MD/educator of Christian Bioethics registered a non profit organization “The Association for Christian Nurses and Volunteers-Welfare.” We currently have 23 members and train nurses and volunteers the Art of Caring in a holistic way. Recently we received a grant to launch a pilot project called Bank of Hope where we put practical feet to the foundational principles learned in the seminars. This can be visiting shut ins, alcohol rehabilitation, orphan care and work with widows and invalids. My main practical experience in between seminars is within our Christian Community Center Logos which is housing 200+ refugees from Eastern Ukraine. There we care for people using the foundational principles of holistic care and help them rebuild their lives in community as they also develop their spiritual lives as well. I have 3 sons and an unofficially adopted daughter. I would love to hear from you if you desire more information. Nurseinkiev@gmail.com