LOUISVILLE—This year, under the leadership of their president, Anne Partenheimer, the Kentucky Baptist Nursing Fellowship is restructuring their annual meeting to include a Refugee Loss Simulation.
The Refugee Loss Simulation is presented and led by Refuge Louisville staff and hosted by Walnut Street Baptist Church. It's sponsored and funded by Walnut Street Baptist Church Health Ministry, the Eliza Broadus State Missions Offering and the Cooperative Program.
This event was inspired by the nurses' participation in a similar exercise last September at the National BNF annual meeting. Additionally, at their 2018 Annual Meeting, the National Woman's Missionary Union will host a similar event.
"It had a profound impact on all who participated and raised our awareness of the obstacles and trials, such as hunger, danger from political factions, and environmental hazards, the refugees face as they flee their homes," Donna Mitchell, a nurse and member of Kentucky BNF, shared.
"The emotional impact of this type of 'relocation' is almost impossible to put into words. You have to experience it. And that is what the simulation enables you to do," Mitchell continued. "You become immersed through scenarios and actions taken along the 'journey' that will stir up emotions and physical reactions you cannot imagine."
Because Louisville is home to thousands of refugees, "Our community could definitely benefit from understanding what those refugees experienced and their continued struggles as they attempt to learn a new culture and way of life," Mitchell continued.
This year, Partenheimer's first year as the Kentucky BNF president, the meeting has been restructured to extend the reach and influence of the Kentucky BNF to reach more healthcare professionals and encourage them to get involved in the organization.
"My vision for Kentucky Baptist Nursing Fellowship is to allow more opportunities to reach and witness to nonbelievers by increasing local mission events," Partenheimer said. "As nurses, we are a synergistic group that is more effective working together."
Following the simulation, the Kentucky BNF will proceed with their annual business meeting. Officers for 2017-2018 include: Partenheimer, as president; Benita Decker, Jan Dempsey, Dolores Gilmore, Donna Mitchell and Charolette Rock, as executive board members; and Wanda Walker, as the adult and churchwide mission consultant for Ky WMU.
This simulation is free and open to the public (pre-registration required) and includes lunch. For more information, visit kywmu.org/bnf or call 502-489-3453. (WR)