Nursing Heart Friends,
Truth to tell, there was a lot I didn’t know about founding or running a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2012. Seven years later, knowing all the work Nursing Heart has taken, the frightening moments that have come and gone, and how much sacrifice it would take on the part of so many, I should have had a bit more trepidation at its instigation. I believe Nursing Heart has been brought about by forces greater than myself.
Nursing Heart required leadership especially if it was ever to have its own life. Critical to the process of having a non-profit is a qualified functioning Board of Directors. Board membership has to be about more than just being a group of supportive, compassionate individuals. They have to understand Guatemala and govern from an on-the-ground perspective.
In year three of Nursing Heart, I was introduced to an anonymous benefactor who had been contributing since the beginning of NHI and was asked if I might be willing to help his organization as a consultant and receive his offer of increased support. With the help of this donor, I was able to add staffing, grow our programs and sources of funding, and engage consulting services.
With resources and a hard-working staff and leaders from institutions, Nursing Heart grew. In year four, we clarified our Mission and realized its dual motivations of helping small pueblos in Guatemala with the healthcare needs while utilizing the services of willing institutions from the USA who through the process have access to the culture. Even though we have never directly marketed the work of Nursing Heart, we have grown the number of groups we host and the budget it takes to support them. All the while we have learned what it means to build partnerships that foster hope and public health. Becoming a fully recognized Guatemalan Association in year five, we now can operate as an independent organization and not as an organization helping other NGOs provide services in this country.
When asked one year ago, in year six of the organization, if I would consider full-time work with our benefactor, I approached the NHI Board and shared that I thought NHI could take the bold step to pass the leadership role on to a new Executive Director. The NHI Board supported me in this direction and implemented a search process to find a replacement. That process is complete, and NHI is now in transition with the ED designate, who will work at my side over the next six months and gradually assume the role. We are so blessed to have the time to allow this to unfold. In these months, the ED designate, and I will clarify the spirit of Nursing Heart and review all aspects of the ED role while making our way through the busiest time of utilizing visiting nurses to provide services to communities in Guatemala.
Stay tuned. Next week I will introduce you to the new Executive Director who will take Nursing Heart forward. At this moment, I am tremendously grateful and awed by your trust and for the opportunity to serve the people of Guatemala. For me, Nursing Heart has been a testament that the Divine Universe will not abandon the cries of those who suffer in any way.
Peace, HAPPY NEW YEAR!