The winner from last week’s Dreams Coming True post with Gillian Marchenko is Vanessa Brock. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dreams Coming True is a Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).
I am Carrie Dameron. I am a registered nurse and came to know the Lord during college. I enjoy hiking, crocheting and best of all being a grandma. My ministry is nurses4him.org.
When did this creative dream begin?
Oh my . . . I would say around 2005, definitely before the internet went crazy. As a Christian nurse I felt so isolated from others Christian nurses, even though I was connected with a nurses’ fellowship group and knew many Christian nurses. Yet, I thought, “What about those nurses who were not connected to other nurses?” How did they face the challenges of health care and nursing without support from other Christians? I felt a real need to encourage Christian nurses to merge their faith with their profession. Also, at that time, Christian nursing organizations were not using the internet to reach out to the younger generation.
How did this project/idea get started?
In 2007 I created a business/website, nurses4him.org. I published monthly devotions teaching, encouraging nurses on my website as podcasts, one-page publications or sent out as an email. Blogs were not that “in,” and social media was not around at that time. As these venues have become available, I have tried to “follow the trend” with Facebook, ebooks, etc., to reach Christian nurses.
Have there been any unexpected surprises?
Everything has been a surprise!
A writing failure has turned into an amazing opportunity—an unpublished Bible study has turned into a magazine column with Journal of Christian Nursing (JCN) entitled Christian Nursing 101. This has allowed me to reach out to thousands of Christian nurses in the USA and around the world. I say around the world, for I was at a NCFI conference in Chile last November, and one of the speakers was referencing one of the articles in her teaching. WOW! I was overwhelmed with tears of joy and humility. I shared with the speaker that I was amazed that the Lord would take something I wrote in my little room in California to encourage Christian nurses in Latin America and now globally! The Lord continues to blow my socks off!
My second part of the surprise is this continuing international piece, as if that wasn’t enough! The reason I was in Chile was the previous year I had received an email inviting me to join a team of international nurses to teach spiritual care to Christian nurses around the world. Yeah! One of the nurses was from Norway, and she liked my writing in JCN and asked me to do a series of articles with Bible studies for nurses in Norway. I wrote the articles based on faith, compassion, prayer, and excellence with accompanying Bible studies. These articles and Bible studies are now compiled into a booklet—Our Faithful Journey in Nursing: A teaching on Faith, Compassion, Prayer and Excellence in Christian Nursing. The booklet has been distributed in Sierra Leone and Denmark and is available on Kindle. I am currently “hanging on” because the Lord has me on this amazing ride and I just try to remain faithful to Him and let him drive!
What makes your website stand out from the crowd?
Originally, it was the only Christian nursing ministry that offered online resources; that has changed with the internet and Christian ministries recognizing the reach of the web. Right now, nurses4him.org reaches international with inexpensive/free resources. The Kindle publication, Our Faithful Journey in Nursing, is available through all the Amazon Kindle markets for $1.99 USD, so Christian nurses around the world have access. I also give the printed booklet for international distribution with nurse leaders.
What are the goals and intentions of this website?
To continue reaching out to individual and community of Christian nurses nationally and internationally. I personally feel that our Christian faith is under attack, especially in health care, and I encourage nurses to stay passionate with the purpose of Christ through prayer and community (online or in person)!
Many have creative ideas but have trouble following through with them. What advice would you give to creative types who start projects eagerly . . . but then enthusiasm drizzles off?
Great question . . . I would say if it is truly a “ministry” that the Lord has given you a passion about, then stay focused. I will admit I have had times I got off track with my purpose and/or got busy with my work and family obligations. The Lord tapped me on the shoulder and kept repeating to me, “This is your ministry!” I kept hearing this . . . so I quit volunteering at my church with the prayer group, women’s ministry, etc. The Lord has and continues to tell me and teach me to “stay focused.” Go to church to be fed and refreshed, so that you can be poured out through the talent I have entrusted you with! Harsh words . . . but ones I need. I would say, too, if this is truly a work of the Lord (like a missionary, pastor, Bible study leader), then depend on him, stay focused, and allow the Lord to be the CEO.
What are the biggest misconceptions people have about starting a ministry?
One thing I bumped up about in the writing industry is “your niche is too small”—I don’t see what I do as selling books or doing a project. I see it as my ministry . . . some people feed the poor, help out in the nursery, etc. This is my talent and my passion, thus it isn’t about selling books, etc.
Creating something is one skill. Marketing and promoting it is an entirely different skill set. How has that gone for you? Shocked by the amount of work marketing takes? Or pleasantly surprised?
I do struggle with the idea of “promoting” my website/works.
Any marketing mistakes you would avoid?
I am unsure if I would pay for a book to be published, especially with the advent of ebooks, etc.
What social network has worked best for you?
Facebook—I have noticed people really like to “like.” My blog doesn’t get much “written response.”
How can we find your creative dream come true?
My website theme/mission is based on Acts 2:42: “An online resource for merging nursing passion with Christian purpose enveloped in prayer.” I created a ppt narrated video entitled “Passion and Purpose for a writing ministry.” The teaching is from a writers conference, helping Christians find their passion and purpose. The free video can be found here.
Do you know of someone whose dream has come true? Is it a dream that helps create community? If so, let me know! I might be able to feature their Dream. Please email (email@example.com).