Living an Adventure Led by God – Part 1

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By Sarah Galloway, Nurse Practitioner in the Middle East


It’s been almost two years now, but it seems like last week: the 2019 Global Missions Health Conference, my fifth in six years. Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky. About 200 mission organizations, thousands of people, all talking about health care and Christian ministry — two of my deepest passions.

 

But I hadn’t come to just talk about medicine and ministry. I’d been coming to GMHC since 2014, looking for a way to work full-time as a nurse practitioner in the international marketplace.

 

My desire to work internationally had been germinating for years.

 

In 2013, my husband, Steve, and I took our kids to Kenya for six months when he received a grant. I subsequently had the chance to take nursing students from the university where he worked back to Kenya to do their global experience.

 

After 18 years in Ohio, where I was a nurse and Steve was a music professor, I found myself working for the United States Border Patrol as a travel nurse, responding to a lot of COVID cases in 2020 and into this year.

 

So, there I was, experienced and well-traveled and willing, wanting to be the international nurse practitioner I felt God was leading me to be. Trouble was, nobody was looking for nurse practitioners.

 

Because nurse practitioners tend to function more like physicians than the registered nurses they are — diagnosing patents, creating treatment plans, prescribing medication — it’s outside the accepted norm for most health communities around the world.

 

The more I asked medical ministries, “Could you use a nurse practitioner?” the more everyone said no. They wanted doctors, physicians’ assistants, dentists, physical therapists, just about every specialty except mine.

 

Until 2019.

 

That year, at GMHC, I looked at the conference program and saw the summary for Scatter Global’s presentation (just before lunch) on marketplace workers. A friend and I walked into the room and could barely find a seat, it was that packed. And while she was interested, I was absorbed. The more I heard, the more excited I got.

 

As I listened, I couldn’t believe how closely Scatter Global’s vision of sending workers into the international marketplace as ambassadors for Jesus resonated with my own. Steve and I have long shared a belief in the very thing that I was having affirmed in the strongest possible way: that we should minister in the name of Jesus while doing our jobs (in our case, nursing and teaching) and getting paid to do those jobs.

 

So, too excited to just sit and eat after Scatter Global’s talk, I hurried over to their booth in the exhibition space and asked the same question I’d been asking for years. But instead of the same answer, I heard, “Oh, yeah — we really would like to use nurse practitioners.”

 

That lit a fire in me and immediately sparked my relationship with Scatter Global. That put us on a career path that’s culminated in my new job at a hospital in the Middle East, where we have lived for two months.

 

What has God shown us along the way? Find out more in Part 2.

 

Register Today for the 2021 Global Missions Health Conference coming up on November 11 - 13! 

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Living an Adventure Led by God – Part 2
By Sarah Galloway, Nurse Practitioner in the Middle East.  There we were, practically boarding our international flight, when we got word that our COVID-19 PCR tests had not been accepted by the authorities in our new country. The PCR tests that we had paid hundreds of dollars to get at just the right time so this wouldn’t happen — yes, those.   This was not the way we wanted to begin our new life in the Middle East.   So, I did what any normal Christian would do in that situation.   I panicked like a 4 a.m. fire drill.   No, I didn’t. What I actually did right away was text our team with Scatter Global and say, “Look, we need prayer. They’re not accepting our PCR tests. Our plane is leaving.”   They prayed, our tests were accepted, and we began our journey with one more hurdle behind us.   Our little PCR adventure is just one example of what I call Scatter Global’s understanding involvement. They get it. They’ve walked these roads, they’ve flown these routes, they’ve filed those papers and they’ve made those phone calls.   At no time in the yearlong process of finding and landing my current job (more on that in a bit) have we ever felt like we were being thrown into anything. It was never, “OK, now you have the offer, go figure it out yourself.” Never.   Instead, just like those emergency prayers at the airport, we have been conscientiously looked after by a group of people who really mean it when they say, “We’re here for you.” They say it, and then they do it.   Another example: After meeting with Scatter Global the first time in November 2019 at the Global Missions Health Conference and telling them about my desire to work as a nurse practitioner overseas (see Part 1), I was handed over to some team members who basically said, “Let’s see where the possibilities are right now.”   They started by asking me, “Where do you want to go?” My husband, Steve, and I share a conviction that where God leads you, that’s where you go. Not, “I have to go to Australia, because, well, I’ve always wanted to.”   We began by searching for possibilities in one Southeast Asian country. They weren’t interested in nurse practitioners (no surprise there).   We then looked at a country in the Middle East (not our current one). Same story. We tried another country that we planned on visiting until COVID shut us out. That lead, too, fizzled.   Finally, in June 2020, on a providentially slow day, a Scatter Global leader who’s proven to be instrumental in our journey texted me:   Can you Zoom right now?   OK, sure.   I got on the call, and all of a sudden, I was talking with an executive in the hospital system that I now work for. From that day on, we were pursuing our current country.   Of course, we know that God has directed it all. But on the human level, it’s been the understanding involvement of a Scatter Global team that has stuck with us and helped us at every step — from brushing up my LinkedIn page to mock interviews to simply answering questions when the process seemed to slow to a crawl —that has made every ounce of difference.   When I got the job offer in April of this year, we had been doing some training on the side with Scatter Global partners, which also has proven quite helpful. And once we did get the offer from my employer, other Scatter Global staff truly kicked into paperwork mode and worked with my employer to make sure they had everything they needed to make this happen.   Settling into a new culture hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. But having our Scatter Global teammates walk alongside us before, during and after our arrival has situated us for success in ways we couldn’t have imagined. And with that help, the stressors of the process and the move truly have drawn us closer as a couple in many ways.   We’re only a couple of months into this gig. I know big challenges will come and threaten to knock us sideways. But with the Lord’s guidance and the understanding involvement of our team, we’ll be ready.   So will you. Check out Scatter Global today and find out what your possibilities might be.