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NCFI PACEA Regional Conference Reports
June 7 - June 11
The Pacific and East Asia Regional Conference was held at the Chientan Youth Activity Center-Chientan, Taipei, Taiwan. Theme: For such a time as this – Christian nursing in a troubled world. Sub themes were: Excellence in times like these, Relevance in times like these, HOPE in times like these, Available to God in times like these.
In such a time as this, you call us now.
You lead us out, to those without.
In such a time as this; hope is in our hands.*
The words of the conference theme song presented by the Taiwan NEF Nurses Choir reverberated through the auditorium at the opening ceremony, and for the next three days continued to be a powerful reminder of the theme of the 12th PACEA Conference. The theme, “For such a time as this: Christian nursing in a troubled world” was both ancient and contemporary in its application. Words taken from the Old Testament book of Esther (4:14), were applied to nurses who face the challenges of a troubled world, as did Queen Esther in her time. She was told that she has been chosen by God as his agent for “just such as time as this”.
In June this year, nurses and nursing students from countries throughout the Pacific and East Asia were equipped and strengthened spiritually and professionally for leadership and involvement in difficult times. Nurses from virtually all of the countries represented had in recent times faced significant challenges, such as natural and human disasters, political upheaval, challenging conditions in nursing and health care, opposition and restrictions to expression of Christian faith. A selection of personal narratives by nurses highlighted this and supplemented the messages of the Keynote speakers by telling their stories of involvement in such troubles, and testifing to ways in which God had enabled them in those situations.
Each day, inspirational Keynote Speakers brought a message on one of the sub-themes: excellence in times like these (Dr Kamalini Kumar), relevance in times like these (Anne Biro), hope in times like these (Tan Wee-King), and available to God in times like these (Georgina Hoddle). Three outstanding Bible talks on the book of Esther were presented by Taiwanese Pastor, Rev Matthew Tsai, who made Esther and the events of her times vivid, as well as applicable to the opportunities and challenges we face in our times.
Dr Barbara Parfitt who was the final speaker, summed up the keynote messages, and gave us some take home reminders of the challenges and encouragements we had received for living as disciples of Jesus and practising our profession in a troubled world. She reminded us about:
HOPE as depicted in the Divine reversal seen in the story of Esther, where the hand of God was always at work. God who is faithful will bring about Divine reversals for us too.
EXCELLENCE in quality, service and leadership which will distinguish our practice as Christian nurses from those around us.
RELEVANCE. A challenge to look carefully at the relevance of being a Christian in today’s world – a Christian world view, integration of our faith in providing health care, and being a Christian within our community.
AVAILABILITY. Do we make ourselves truly available to him? Availability means sacrifice, as we were reminded by the personal story of the Keynote speaker.
As always at NCF International conferences, the opening ceremony with its Parade of Nations, presentation of country representatives, cultural displays and music was a highlight of the conference, as was the delightful closing ceremony and dinner. Our hosts the Taiwan NEF and their wonderful team of volunteers set a very high standard for host countries of future NCFI conferences!
Also contributing to the learning and enjoyment of the program was great variety of interesting concurrent sessions held during the afternoons. Small groups with mixed nationalities enhanced fellowship, encouragement and friendships.
The Chientan Overseas Youth Activity Centre in Taipei City, Taiwan was an ideal venue for the conference. Situated on the west bank of the Keelung River, it occupies an area of 50,000 square meters with excellent facilities including meeting, teaching and recreational areas.
The PACEA planning team, who for two years prior to conference worked on the program and many other aspects, longed for a conference that would bring blessing to many nurses and glory to God. We prayed that it would be the means of furthering his kingdom through nurses in our region. As team leader and conference coordinator I found it a delightful experience to work with this gifted and enthusiastic team, together with Ching-Huey Chen and the Taiwan NEF.
Our evaluations indicated that nurses and nursing students throughout the PACEA Region were indeed blessed and felt better equipped to serve God through nursing, in troubled times. As the song proclaims…‘We will hold on, for you are strong.
In such a time as this, you have walked before*
Marg Hutchison (Australia)
* From the conference song, A Time Like This, written by Rev. Luke Woodhouse.
BIBLE TALKS: Rev. Mathew Tsai
Rev. Mathew Tsai was born in Chang-Hwa, Taiwan. He was top medical graduate of his year at Taiwan University. His work experience has included psychiatrist of Taiwan University Hospital, Superintendent of Heng-Tsun Christian Hospital, General Manager of Lutheran Evangelistic Church, the chief pastor of Don-An EFC.
Pre conference training courses 4-6 June
Pre conference training courses offered were: The Art and Science of Spiritual Care, The Saline Process (in English and Mandarin), and Revitalizing Your NNCF.
Host for PACEA Conference 2018 is NCF Taiwan
Some of the host country NCF Conference Team members are shown here. The Convenor is Dr Chen Ching-Huey
Program Planning team
The regional planning team comprised of NCF members from 9 countries – Australia, Philippines, Fiji, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Mongolia. The Conference Coordinator is Marg Hutchison, PACEA Regional Chair. The Concurrent Sessions team is led by Tan Wee-King. Pre conference Courses Coordinator is Ng Kim Choo, and Sponsorship team leader is Colleen Wilson.