Nurses spread CURE values

There is a running joke in the Philippines that “the best export of the Philippines is the Filipino worker!” Countries worldwide appreciate the Filipino work ethic: hardworking and reliable, with an exceptional approach to caring for others. When we ask our patients what they dream of becoming when they grow up, many tell us, “I want to work overseas to provide for my family.” Millions of Filipinos are currently working overseas, where the wages are considerably higher and, honestly, there’s a bit of adventure to be had.

Like other Filipino hospitals, Tebow CURE Hospital has seen its share of nurse turnover since we opened our doors, and most of the nurses who leave do so to serve in another country. While they’re at Tebow CURE, they learn skills they didn’t learn in nursing school—skills found among CURE’s core values.

CURE’s five core values are: Being Christlike, Being Childlike, Restoring the Broken, Intentional Relationships, and Integrity. Many of our employees already embody these values, but at CURE, employees learn how to incorporate them within the workplace. If our nurses move on, they take these values into their new work environments. In a lot of ways, Tebow CURE is a missions training center! Although CURE’s mission is to minister to the underserved in developing nations, when former CURE nurses serve in their new capacities overseas, their unique approach to nursing does not go unnoticed by their co-workers and patients.

We recently got in touch with several nurses who were “sent out” from Tebow CURE Hospital to ask how CURE prepared them for their new work situations. We currently have former employees working in other parts of Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand! We asked, “How have CURE’s core values and spiritual atmosphere helped you in your job overseas?” The answers were overwhelming, thought-provoking, and encouraging.


Cyra

Whether playing with the kids as our children’s mentor or fulfilling nurse duties, Cyra always served with a smile!

Cyra began as our first children’s mentor but took the opportunity to put her nursing degree to use when an opening became available. Today, she serves in the United Kingdom. “I had the privilege to work at Tebow CURE for more than two years, and what an enriching season it was. I remember with delight many of my meaningful ‘firsts,’ skill- and character-wise. I learned as a nurse, grew as a person, and was loved like family. Health management is different here, and prayer doesn’t play a vital role. This transition was overwhelming, but, as I learned at CURE, work is what you make it. So whenever I am frustrated with patients, their families, or co-workers, I am always reminded to be intentional when building relationships and to appreciate the beauty of its reward. I look back on the joy people experienced at CURE when love, prayers, and compassion were given to them, and it inspires me to do the same with the people around me now. Through all the tiring and trying situations I find myself in, I try to be cautious with my response, knowing that the real work is always my being … being like Christ. Truly, ‘it begins at home,’ for it began at CURE with me, and I will forever be grateful that it did.”


Shine

Shine ensuring a patient’s comfort in the post-op ward.

Another former Tebow CURE nurse, Shine, is currently working in Australia after being a member of our surgical staff. She tells us, “One thing that I really liked about working in CURE is the way that we pray for our patients, their families, and the whole surgical team. I believe this makes CURE unique and special. Unfortunately, we don’t practice that here where I am working; however, I still continue praying for the well-being of our patients in my own way.

“Furthermore, one of the significant core values of CURE imbued in me is being Christlike by always showing compassion when communicating and caring for every patient that I meet. This gives me a sense of fulfillment as a nurse and motivates me to continue giving 101% each and every day.”


JoBelle

JoBelle and Aron chat as she takes his vitals after surgery.

JoBelle, previously a ward nurse at Tebow CURE, is now in the Middle East and finds peace in her identity in Christ when struggling with cultural and religious differences. “I think it’s extra challenging for me given the fact that I am in a non-Christian country. All the core values of CURE are somewhat innate to my work as a nurse, especially being Christlike and having integrity. What has helped me here, though, is having that intentional relationship with others, collaborating with other people despite differences in race and religion, and building genuine trust and partnerships.”


Nadine

Nadine and Loudel share a smile the day after Loudel’s surgery.

Nadine is another former ward nurse who carries a heavy load with a hopeful spirit at her current job in the United Kingdom. “I was used to healing the ‘physically sick,’ and praying easily rolls out of my heart and mouth. Here, I am taking care of people whose aim is not to get well but rather to have a good quality of life in their remaining days. Because their memories are failing them, they don’t even recognize God. I realized that healing the sick does not always mean the body, but can mean lightening their spirits as they are about to meet our Creator. As much as I can, I try to be childlike when I talk with my patients, as this can brighten their mood and dim the depression they are going through. A simple smile and ‘God bless’ is enough to make me happy, even if they forget it the next minute. Every day is a challenge, and I am always grateful that I came across CURE. It made me a more Christ-centered nurse and individual.”


Myra

Always looking for a reason to have fun, Myra takes a moment in between surgeries to celebrate her birthday!

Myra was part of our surgical staff before heading south to Australia and would love to work for an organization similar to CURE. Until then, she uses what she learned here to serve others on a spiritual level. “Tebow CURE had a great influence in my profession and personal life, especially my spiritual life. Before I worked at CURE, I was in the Middle East, and now, here in Australia, the significant difference is the spiritual aspect. Only at CURE does the surgical team pause before surgery to pray for the patient and their family.

“When I decided to stay in Australia, I searched to see if there’s a branch of CURE there because I want to continue to work with a mission. Unfortunately, there’s no CURE in Australia, but I continue to work with CURE’s heart to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God.”


Vasily

Even behind the surgical mask, Vasily can’t hide that smile!

Besides being an excellent scrub nurse in the operating room, Vasily is known for his ever-present smile and positive attitude, and his co-workers in New Zealand notice it. “People here are nice, respectful, courteous, and humble, but they don’t talk about religion. During conversations, I make sure to tell people I’m a Christian, and that I trust God with all the decisions in my and my family’s life. All of my team members here have noticed from day one that I have a contagious smile. They ask how I’m doing, and I tell them, “Always great!” I tell them I live every day for the same purpose, for God and family. I’m not failed when I’m true to them. At CURE, I learned to restore the broken by being compassionate. Here in New Zealand, there are a lot of native Maoris who feel discriminated against, alone, and afraid. I try to build intentional relationships by leaving a mark on everyone’s life. One time, my senior nurse, who is a self-proclaimed atheist, told me she was going to have knee surgery. I told her I would pray for her. She answered, ‘I don’t believe in God.’ I replied, ‘No worries, I do.’”


Being overseas isn’t easy. Missing home, family, and friends is a difficult tradeoff for many. One nurse confessed, “People here have different beliefs, and being spiritual is not a thing. I don’t feel a spiritual atmosphere here. I miss my CURE family, and I don’t have a family here.”

Even when we’ve spread apart, we’re thankful for the support and the prayers that are said daily for our patients, family, and our co-workers, past and present. It’s what helps bind us together as the CURE International family, no matter where we are serving.


Photo of the Marlene Bray

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Marlene, the CURE Storyteller at the Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City, Philippines! I’ve lived in Davao for three years with my husband, Dan, and our son, Andrew. I get to spend my days with some of the coolest kids around, capturing their remarkable lives through photos and stories. Beyond that, I like trying bizarre foods, listening to bizarre music, and hanging out on some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Yes, I still pinch myself daily – I can’t believe I have the best job ever!

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