In my last post, I mentioned my trip to Kiev (Sept. 24-27) for an International Saline Training Conference. Our group featured twenty participants (mainly medical students) from eight countries, and I had a phenomenal time. Now that I’ve returned, I want to provide you with this update.
The International Saline materials have one purpose: to train healthcare workers to share their faith in real-life medical settings. Since workers have very limited time with patients in any one visit, effective training must equip them to talk about spiritual concerns within these limits.
Among other critical topics, the conference introduced us to eight strategies, or “tools”, to address this very challenge. “Faith flags” are one of the most useful, and will give you a flavor for the training. Simply put, this tool is a short statement in the course of normal conversation that identifies you as someone who values the Lord, prayer or other similar concerns. They are short (max: 30 seconds), and look for a response from a patient, but do not demand one.
For example, if a patient mentions that she’s having a hard time with a recent diagnosis, her physician might say, “I faced a similar situation in my life and the only thing I can remember is that God helped me.” If the patient shows interest, the physician can go deeper; if not, at least the door has been opened for future conversations. Best of all, this is something nearly every healthcare worker can do in nearly every interaction with patients. Everyone at the conference left with a profound sense that “I can do this!”
Equally exciting, the conference equipped us to teach the materials to others. This, of course, is why I attended. To give you a sense for the potential impact of the training model, consider this:
An ideal conference size is 20 participants, and we plan on offering it twice a year in Philadelphia. If we train 40 people a year, over the course of 30 years we’ll have trained 1,200 healthcare workers who will, in turn, reach many patients for Christ. Not bad, right?
What if, however, each of those 40 participants trained just one other person per year? In that case, in just over 30 years we will have reached the entire world! While we don’t anticipate it going quite this smoothly(!), remember that 1 in 5 physicians in America (not to mention others in healthcare) passes through Philadelphia for some portion of their training. Some will stay and transform the city, while others will go to the “Samarias” and “ends of the earth” that God is calling them to (Acts 1:8). By being faithful right here, we can change the world.
In closing, thanks again for standing behind us and this vital ministry. Your investment of prayers and giving is reaping an eternal harvest that only God Himself can comprehend!
For the King,
Bryan & Sharon Stoudt
Please join us in praying for these concerns:
- Praise God for a simply tremendous conference in Kiev. Join me in begging God to pour out His blessing on me as I begin to offer the training in the months ahead. Pray that God will draw the ‘right’ people, and that He will give them a passion to train others!
- Please continue to pray fervently for our support levels. With the economy still recovering, our account is nearly at a break-even point and I increasingly find myself needing to pull back from ministry opportunities. If you are behind in your giving, or, would like to start contributing now, you can find out more by clicking here.