Sunday, August 26, 2012
When Caregivers Come Together - For the Last Time…
October 1972 – October 2012 – the end of an era
By Aubrey Beauchamp, R.N.
Special to ASSIST News Service
SAN CLEMENTE, CA (ANS) -- Forty years ago, when a small group of employees at a newly opened hospital in Southern California started to meet at my home for prayer, I had no idea an embryo was created - an embryo which would grow and eventually become the USA Hospital Christian Fellowship.
Teams traveled throughout the country presenting seminars on “Spiritual Care” and related subjects in hundreds of cities and states. A National magazine, “A New Heart” was born and in 1980 we had our first National Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma and among the notables were Elizabeth Elliot, whose husband Jim, was one of the five American missionaries martyred in Ecuador by the Waorani (also called the Huaorani, or the Auca Indians by non-Waorani) on January 8, 1956. Elizabeth went on to write the best-selling book about the life-changing incident called “Through Gates of Splendor.”
National and Regional Conferences followed for the next twenty years.
In 2000, we launched the “Compassionate Care for the Sick and Hurting” seminar, a ten-week study with handbook, DVDs and instructions. Today, these classes are given nation-wide in hospitals, churches and homes led by nurses, chaplains and other, just ordinary people.
Nestled among the stately Redwoods giants, this will be the 20th time we have been at this location. Another milestone and an appropriate location to say good-bye to an era.
For this event we have an extraordinary array of speakers.
Well known author and surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Schemmer, will cover three plenary sessions which include “Between Life and Death”, “Between Fear and Faith” and “Tinkering with People”, covering End of Life issues and aspects of Medical Ethics.
Medical Missions will have a prominent place with world traveler/missionary Eithne Keegan RN, dean of a Nursing School in Kitale, an agricultural town in western Kenya, “Wells of Life” Project in nearby Uganda. Eithne is also supervisor at a large Trauma Center in California.
Helen Morie, a retired nursing supervisor from Tulsa, had a fascinating and exciting visit to a 6,000-bed hospital in China, possibly the largest hospital in the world. Here we see a glimpse of a rather unknown medical world in a closed country. Helen was also on our steering committee for our first national conference in 1980 and has been on a number of medical missions to Central America.
Spiritual Care has always been the main purpose of Hospital Christian Fellowship and Nurse Georgia Cohen will relate her, sometimes painful, sometimes exciting and unexpected, experiences in this area as a cardiac care nurse. Georgia is also on the faculty of the Medical Strategic Network and has travelled and taught medical students, nurses and other caregivers in several countries besides the US.
A special session will be held by Carol Krejci, R.N., who wrote “Israel – My Personal Journey” compiled during a HCF World Conference in the Holy Land. I was Carol’s roommate at that time and was deeply moved by her 40-day devotional.
This, then, is our farewell to 40 years of ministry in conferences and retreats. Our magazine, “A New Heart” will continue and the “Compassionate Care to the Sick and Hurting” workbooks will still be available. My personal speaking schedule will limited to the U.S. Conferences and preceptorship classes will continue and expand under the capable leadership of the Medical Strategic Network. (www.GoMETS.org).
I want to thank God for the amazing things He has done through our ministry and I stand amazed at His wondrous works! I would like to invite everyone to participate in this event and celebrate with us - October 9-11, 2012 at Mt Hermon. For details see: www.hcfusa.com/Events.aspx.
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