Winning a DAISY award is, for a nurse, an honor and a recognition of one’s contribution to the profession. It can also be a “fabulous God story,” as Craig Erickson, BSN, RN, CPN, sees it.
Craig, an NCF member and a pediatric nurse at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, has been preparing for several months to serve on a medical mission team in Guatemala in mid-March. Excited for this opportunity, Craig asked his 16-year-old daughter, Paige, to join the missions team. Her answer was yes, but they wondered how. The trip expenses are $1,500 per person.
Within a week of confirming their plan to join the medical mission, Craig received the news that he was a DAISY award winner. “A couple of days later, I got a letter from the coordinator explaining the benefits,” Craig recalls. “One was a grant for award winners going on medical mission trips. And the maximum amount possible was $1,500.” Craig applied for the grant and received the full award—the full payment for his mission trip expense. “This is what God does!” he said.
The multi-professional team will set up a clinic to serve immediate medical problems in a rural mountain area inhabited by native Mayan people. Part of the team will distribute simple water filters for people’s homes to combat water-borne illness that is a factor in the mortality rate.
Craig explained that the team is partnering with Community Health Evangelism (CHE), a grassroots group in Guatemala. CHE works within the communities to teach sustainable health care based on the community’s perceived needs. By training local health promoters in basic health concepts, the organization can build trust with community leaders. This provides a platform that allows CHE to share the gospel with the community leaders who then disciple residents.
Craig expects to serve in Guatemala in various roles day to day, including triage, pharmacy, seeing patients with physicians, and praying with people through translators. Paige is anticipating spending time with the community’s children.
Apart from the medical mission trip, Craig is also helping to launch an NCF nurses group in western Cleveland for nurses who work or live in that part of the city. “Nursing is primarily a calling for me. God providentially provides for my family of eight through the work I do, but if I didn't know God was bringing glory to Himself through the work I do, I wouldn't be doing it. It has been exciting to see the amazing things God has been doing these past few years,” he reflects.
Find an NCF nurse group in your area or get information on how to begin a group on the NCF website. NCF is all about integrating Christian faith and nursing practice.