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We first met Sabrina Kao at a kick-off NCF(R) meeting for Denver area nurses. We were struck by the joy and love for Jesus in Sabrina's demeanor, reflected in her sparkling eyes. She was excited about her new job at the University of Colorado School of Nursing. She was eager to get involved with other Christian nurses through NCF, and she was committed to her new-found faith.

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We enjoyed a wonderful Taiwanese dish Sabrina had prepared for the potluck. As everyone got to know each other, Sabrina told the story of how she had come to faith. She also shared pictures of her baby, as she called her dog. She treated her dog, Indiana Jones (Indy for short), like her child and greatly enjoyed the companionship they shared.


After the NCF meeting, we stayed in contact with Sabrina through e-mail. We invited her to the annual fall retreat at Bear Trap Ranch. She came, and we enjoyed getting to know an energetic, articulate young woman who was eager to share her faith and get involved in NCF and the lives of nursing students. The theme for the weekend was "Discovering Grace in the Midst of Suffering." At the last session, we released our fears and bondage to the Lord through the symbolic act of releasing balloons into the night sky. Only God knew what lay ahead in Sabrina's life.


The day we heard about Sabrina's accident, we felt numb. We had been together just a few days before, sharing and planning the coming year's activities. Now, we heard that she was intubated, on a ventilator with a critical head injury struggling for her life, alone, several hundred miles away. What could we do?


Our NCF community sprang into action to do what we do best in crisis-pray without ceasing. As the paralytic man in the story in Mark 2:1-12 could not get to Jesus on his own, but was brought by his determined and resourceful friends, lowering him down through the roof of the home where Jesus was teaching, so Sabrina's friends in the body of Christ became her bed-carriers in this crisis situation. As she lay comatose in the ICU, people throughout the country and the world began to pray. Through the NCF network and e-mail communication, we received updates on Sabrina's condition from Ty, a Christian nurse at the hospital, who visited her daily. It was heartwarming to know that Sabrina was not physically alone and that people who cared were with her.


We continued to pray and trust God with Sabrina's life. Then came the great news that Sabrina was awake, was stable, was doing well and ready to be transported back to Denver for rehabilitation. We were thrilled to be able to visit her in the rehab hospital. Despite all she had been through, her eyes sparkled, and we could see that her spirit was undaunted. Although her speech was slurred and she had difficulty with ambulation and vision, she still spoke with hope for the future. Sabrina referred to her condition in clinical terms, sounding more like the nurse than the patient.


All the while, she maintained her sense of humor. She had the gift to laugh at herself, despite her labile emotions from the head injury, concerns with insurance coverage, concern over maintaining her faculty position and uncertainty whether she could stay in the U.S. She appreciated all who had prayed for her and what God was doing in her life despite her ordeal.


After she returned to Taiwan, we didn't hear from Sabrina for over a year. Then she returned to the U.S. and settled into a Denver apartment near the medical center. When we met her for lunch in the summer of 2001, she walked with a slight limp but, otherwise, no one would guess what she had been through. As usual, her spirit was bright, and her sense of humor evident. We talked about her recovery, her current work at the school, her work writing manuscripts and articles, her frustration with not teaching or doing research and her eagerness to reengage in the academic world of nursing. We laughed, we cried, and we felt immense gratitude to the Lord for his healing touch on her life.


Sabrina continues to encourage us with her insight, her faith and her sense of humor. Her insight is reflected at the monthly Bible study as she shares what God lays on her heart from Scripture. Her faith is reflected in her response as we continue to pray for her job and the pursuit of her life work. She reminds us that God has a plan for her life, and he will provide. And her humor shows in her wit and quick responses to situations. At a recent retreat, she whispered to a friend late at night, "We must hurry and finish this conversation. My mind switches back to Chinese after midnight."


The most poignant moment in Sabrina's recovery came at the annual retreat at Bear Trap Ranch in Colorado Springs this past fall, which Sabrina attended once again. We gave God the praise and glory as we related how, just a year earlier, we were sending get-well cards to her in Taiwan and praying, as a group, for her recovery. Now we were able to welcome Sabrina back into our midst. It was a wonderful testimony to an awesome God, the undaunted spirit of a Christian sister, and the love and support of bed carriers across the country that brought Sabrina to Jesus over and over again during the long road to recovery.