After graduating from nursing school and successfully passing their licensing exam in 2012, Lizz Brubaker and Tawny Brundell joined Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for an extended internship and mission. After the training period, they joined a medical mission team in the Philippines. In Lizz’s own words:
I spent 3 months in New Zealand going through their discipleship training course in which they focus on your relationship with Jesus, and training for being ‘in the field’. I lived in house with 30 other students going through the same thing. The 30 of us were from all over the world. Some of my best friends I met in New Zealand, from all different countries and cultures. We often referred to this time in New Zealand as ‘heart surgery’. YWAM has bases all over the world, and they have numerous types of outreaches like medical, justice, worship, evangelism etc.
The Medical Team, which I was on, went to the Philippines for just under 3 months. Once in the Philippines there were multiple places that had needs so our team was split up based on skills. Another nurse and myself spent our time in a malnourishment center which was part of an orphanage. In the malnourishment center we cared for children that are sick and malnourished, and the family cannot afford to hospitalize or care for the children.
Our main job involved two premature infants who were discharged from the NICU, and the family had no resources to continue giving that level of care. We fed them through NG tubes, regulated their temperature because they were unable to and we treated their seizures, It was the most incredible experience, and absolutely life changing. We were in charge of these twins, all day, every day. We made decisions for the twins of what formula we needed to use, feeding times, feeding amounts, when to change/remove NG tubes, medications and everything else surrounding their care.
It was intimidating being fresh out of nursing school, but I learned so much and had to rely on God more than ever. 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18 was an hourly prayer! We also did medical outreaches to villages in the mountains. There are no doctors for these villages, so as nurses we saw patients, diagnosed, and wrote prescriptions for common illnesses. It is a drastic difference between hospitals here, but I feel as though the experience overseas has made me a better nurse in the U.S.
I am currently an ER/Trauma RN at St Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, PA. Although I am not specifically a pediatric nurse, due to my overseas experiences, the high acuity pediatric patients are assigned to me, and I love it! I went overseas with an organization called “YWAM” (Youth with a Mission).