April 2023 OTJ blog
On the Journey

The Plane Encounter

In May, we celebrate National Nurses Month. In preparation for the monthlong observance, let me encourage you to connect medical professionals with Baptist Nursing Fellowship, a WMU Compassion Ministry. Baptist Nursing Fellowship exists to empower, educate, and encourage nurses and medical workers to fulfill Christ’s mission through healing skills.

One Christmas break when Linda Gibson, a nurse anesthetist, was a student at Baylor University School of Nursing, she excitedly packed for a trip to visit family in Florida. She glanced down at a small white New Testament the Gideons had presented to student nurses and decided to toss it in her purse.

The 21-year-old found herself assigned the plane seat between a military soldier and a businessman. As the plane taxied, the businessman struck up a conversation by asking, “What kind of work do you do?” Linda responded, “I’m a senior nursing student, and this month, I am assigned to the oncology ward. You know, it’s interesting to hear from patients their views on death.” Linda secretly hoped that would end the conversation. She was not prepared for his next question. He asked, “So what’s your philosophy on death?”

Linda said, “Well, first I would have to tell you my philosophy on life!” She whispered an urgent prayer for the Lord to give her His words as she reached for that little white New Testament in her purse. After Linda read a few verses from the Book of Romans that explained all of us are sinners and Jesus came to reconcile us to God and thereby provide the gift of eternal life, the businessman began to cry and confess his sins. Linda became embarrassed as she felt all eyes on her. That’s when God took over. She said, “Literally, my mouth continued explaining the way of salvation through the Cross . . . without any conscious effort from me. A life was changed for all eternity. Praise be to God alone.”

When they disembarked in Atlanta, the businessman asked Linda for that little white New Testament. Then he said before turning to leave, “There are churches on every corner, but you have done more for me in this past hour than any of them.”

On the walk through the terminal, the young soldier tapped Linda on the shoulder. He told her he had been raised in a Catholic home and believed in Jesus Christ, but he had never heard the gospel explained so plainly that someone was so ready to accept it!

Baptist Nursing Fellowship equips you to integrate your faith and your vocation. Visit baptistnursingfellowhsip.org for more information.



May we look for divine appointments wherever You place us this day. Ready the hearts of those within our radius. Give us courage to proclaim You boldly.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as the executive director/treasurer for national WMU.