In India in the year 1950, an American missionary, Ms. Rebecca( Becky) Glanzer started a Fellowship for nurses at Pune, Maharashtra. At that time, Ms. Lily Bonner, a nurse, was working in Delhi. In the year 1958,Ms Lily felt the Lord’s call to serve Him full time. Influenced by her sister Winnie, a Youth for Christ worker, she took a Bible training at UBS, then joined Ms Becky Glanzer in the nurses’ Fellowship and worked together for one and half years. In the midst of much planning to expand the ministry in Maharashtra and the whole of India, the Lord took Ms Becky Glanzer to glory in 1963
ENFI is thus a movement born in 1964, with the firm belief that spiritual health care is an integral part of comprehensive nursing as man is essentially a biological, psycho-social and spiritual being
At this juncture, Mr. P.T. Chandapilla who was then General Secretary of UESI, and a nurse himself, with his expertise, planned a Consultative Conference in Chennai in Nov. 1964. Several nurses from national and overseas came together and worked among the nurses in their areas and hospitals. They felt the need of bringing their work united under the banner :
‘The Evangelical Nurses Fellowship of India, ENFI, based on Psalms: 60; 4 “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth”
God sent full time workers for ENFI work like Ms. Iris Cornish, Ms. Margret Hall, Ms. Mariamma Chacko, Ms. Mary Leu, Mrs. Dora Abraham, Ms. K. Koshy, Ms. Ann Frazer, S. Chellamma Onnie and Ms. Jessie Allen. The work spread throughout the nation. In July 1968 at the Annual Conference at Lucknow, an Executive Committee was formed with Mrs. J .R .Lance at the first ENFI President and Ms. Lily Bonner as the first General Secretary Ms. Lily Bonner continued with ENFI till 1988.
In the year 1984, the ENFI held the NCFI Conference at New Delhi. It was the 20th anniversary celebration of ENFI and 11th NCFI Conference.
Then Ms. Jessie Allen, a Tutor from Bhilai took over as General Secretary and served ENFI till 1995.
Ms. Chellamma Onnie compiled many Bible study guides such as Christian walk, Work shop Manual and Nursing related Bible studies, which are still used in the ENFI groups.
Sister C.Oonnie, also pioneered the ENFI work in Mumbai.
Mrs. Dora Abraham worked as the Editor of the ENFI magazine the” Nurses’Link”, which brings together the nurses in and outside the country. She was the first representative of ENFI to the Nurses’ Christian Fellowship International.
In the year 1993, ENFI was registered as a Trust in Tamil Nadu. ENFI is a professional associate of UESI and also a member of Nurses’ Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)The ENFI is now a Registered Trust and the National Office is in Chennai. The office is run with Mrs. Jebaseeli Emmanuel as Officiating Secretary, with 3 full time office staff. The present Executive Committee consists of Mrs Mabel Kuruvilla as President ,Mrs. Chinnamma Mathew as Vice president and Mr. Stanley Jones as Treasurer. There are 18 associate staff workers and three full time staff workers.
India has one billion plus people but there are hardly 3% Christians.Pray that Christian nurses of this vast nation will be a voice for the Lord, through their work. Pray that ENFI will carry on with the vision, and touch the lives of nurses and patients with the gospel.
Though there were ups and downs, the ENFI withstood all the pressures and marched ahead. The Lord raised leaders continuously and now the ENFI ministry is very active in many states of India. There are yet much more places we have to reach out.
National Conferences have brought together Christian nurses from different parts of our nation to worship the living God in one voice and spirit cutting across all cultural, linguistic and caste barriers. Many nurses from other faiths have also turned to Christ through the ENFI ministry