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Sabrina was among a group of Taiwanese students who entered the PhD program at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 1995. When the group arrived, Min, a Taiwanese student I had befriended earlier, and I welcomed them by taking them out to a well-known barbecue place in town. One student, Li-Ling Yang, was a board member of Taiwan's Nurses Evangelical Fellowship, a sister organization of Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF)(R).

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Li-Ling and I began to pray together once a week; then we started a Bible study and invited the other international students. Although a Buddhist, Sabrina came. Perhaps her interest was piqued because her sister who lives in Texas had become a Christian. She had also been exposed to Christian faith through an American faculty member in her nursing school in Taiwan. They were no doubt links in the chain bringing Sabrina to faith. Our Bible study laid a further foundation for her.


When a fellow international student asked her to a local evangelical church, then invited her to trust Jesus as her Savior, she accepted. It was obvious to me that the Holy Spirit was at work in her. Each week I was encouraged by Sabrina's insights into Scripture. She shared how God's love attracted her and how amazed she was that God could love her.


Sabrina is one of a handful of international nursing students I've known these past ten years who chose to work in the U.S. after graduating. Most have left their husbands, children and teaching positions back in their home countries, so there is no question about whether they will go back home. Initially, Sabrina had planned to return to Taiwan. However, by the time she finished her studies, her sister's husband in Arlington was dying from lung cancer. Their children were only one and three years old at the time. Sabrina applied for a job here.


Sabrina accepted a research faculty position in the School of Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. I informed NCF National Director Mary Thompson, who sent word of Sabrina's coming to Christian faculty in Denver connected with NCF. Mary also provided a scholarship for Sabrina to attend the NCF Rocky Mountain regional retreat in September, shortly after her move. When I visited with Sabrina that December on her short visit to Austin, she was overflowing with gratitude for God's goodness to her. The NCF folk in Colorado, she shared, had welcomed her and treated her like family. Sabrina was doing well spiritually, and I was glad I'd played a small part. Little did we realize that evening how important this network of NCF would be in the next weeks and months of Sabrina's life.


Two weeks later, after an evening shift at the hospital, I was checking my e-mail and saw one from Li-Ling in Taiwan. I was shocked as I read her message. Sabrina was comatose on a ventilator in a Kansas hospital after a one-car accident. Her beloved dog, Indy, had died in the crash, and Sabrina was in critical condition from a severe head injury.


Sleep was slow in coming that night. I prayed that Sabrina's life would not be cut short, that Satan would not have the victory of taking out this vibrant young Christian who winsomely spoke of God's care for her. I prayed that someday Sabrina might understand that news of her accident had traveled far and wide to those who knew her (and eventually to complete strangers), and that an extensive cover of prayer had been spread over her. The next morning I was awakened by a call from Taiwan. Min wanted to see if I knew anyone in Kansas who could do something for Sabrina. I called Ruth Snapp, an NCF staff worker in Wichita, and then talked with Mary Thompson. NCF nurses in Kansas rapidly mobilized to pray and support Sabrina.


I next saw Sabrina in May, five months after the accident, when I flew to the rehab hospital in Denver. She was leaving for Taiwan at the end of the month. Her insurance coverage was running out, so she would have to finish her recovery in Taiwan. It was sad to see the devastation the accident had caused to her body and mind. I watched as this young woman, once so attractive and full of life, took her first steps again with legs that were uncoordinated and unsteady. But I was also relieved, because I could see that Sabrina's intelligence, personality and new-found faith in God remained intact.