Erin Hildebrand was a missionary for ten years – before she enrolled in nursing school. As an “older” student, Erin reflects the growing diversity of nursing students today.
In her twenties, Erin travelled the world with YWAM (Youth with a Mission), getting valuable experience as a doula and childbirth educator. In her thirties, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Tyler to become a nurse and midwife.
"My mission is to see women empowered to make life-affirming choices for themselves and their children through compassionate care, education, and support,” Erin said. While working at a maternity home, Erin discovered that the season of pregnancy is an amazing time to offer the hope and love of Jesus to many hurting women. She thrived in that arena and had an opportunity to study midwifery for the developing world through YWAM’s Birth Attendant School in Australia, learning about maternal and child health in some of the world’s harshest conditions.
“For 11 months I traveled with a team of students and staff in Australia, South Africa, and Kenya, introducing Jesus to women and children who were desperately in need of the hope that only he can offer,” Erin said. “Sometimes we assisted local medical personnel in a clinical or hospital setting, or we gathered in a shady place teaching on health basics and hygiene. It was an incredible season that was full of challenge and beauty.”
One day, at a small hospital in Kenya, a nurse called her and explained that there was a young woman who had hidden her pregnancy from her father after he insisted she abort her child. When the time came to give birth, the young woman’s mother helped her find a safe place and then they brought the baby to the hospital. The nurse explained to Erin that it was the young mother’s hope to place the child in an orphanage – a safe option for both of them. “Will you please talk to her?” the nurse asked Erin. She had no idea that Erin had worked with many young girls at the maternity home in similar situations, but God knew that Erin could minister to this new mother.
Erin is in her fifth and final year of nursing school. For four years she was a full-time student – and worked full-time. This year she can focus completely on nursing school because of a Talbot’s scholarship – a great honor. Erin has witnessed God’s faithfulness personally and through the NCF group at UTT. She knows that obediently responding to God’s leading means that no experiences in life are wasted. God can use it all.
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