Each summer Fern Lodge has the opportunity to work with undergraduates and recent graduates in our internship program. This program has been a blessing to students and patients alike. This summer we were able to take five people into our internship program. We wanted to share with you some of their thoughts about working with us this summer. In addition to Sam and Noelia, who are featured here, we would like to thank Sousha Wexler, graduate, Malcom Scholz, graduate, and Ashley Alarcon, college senior, for being part of our family this summer. We deeply cherish what all our interns bring to the work being done at Fern Lodge.
SAM WILLIAMS, GRADUATE
Fern Lodge has been a great demonstration of supply to me. Upon moving to California, after graduating college, the Fern Lodge administration made everything simple. That proved true for the whole time I worked over the summer. Anything I had to say was heard. Any idea I had was considered. If nothing else, Fern Lodge is an understanding organization.
Fern Lodge is a good place for a young Christian Scientist to come and find out more about the world. I worked as a gardener and maintenance worker for Fern Lodge this summer. I gained a lot of know-how when it comes to the world outside of college. Coming to Fern Lodge gives you a wider understanding of life outside of school. It helped me learn this as well as getting some very practical skills, whether it was carpentry or brick work. Fern Lodge has been the right place for me. There is a good sense of brotherhood and sisterhood between the interns, helping to lift each other up during our time here.
NOELIA LEY, COLLEGE SENIOR
I have been an ongoing intern at Fern Lodge for about two years. Helping patients, people in general, is my passion. Over my time here, I have witnessed healings from multiple patients whom I had the pleasure to work with.
For two weeks I was assigned to help nurses feed some of the patients. I decided to give it a try and do it with a loving and unselfish attitude and put away my fears of trying something new. My mom, who is a Christian Science nurse at Fern Lodge, once told me that seeing patients with infinite love is a result of holding in thought: we treat one another as we would like to be treated.
One patient I worked with did not seem very responsive initially when I would ask him questions or talk to him while feeding him. One morning, Robin Barben, our activities director, asked me not only to feed him but also read the Christian Science Bible Lesson to him. I kept doing this every morning, also reading additional books like: Step by Step and the Christian Science Manual. Later on, he started to respond to what I was reading as I was feeding him in the morning and, little by little, he started making jokes too. This sense of humor helped me see the progress the patient was making.
I’ve appreciated learning from these amazing patients who have contributed to the Christian Science movement and to the world. I would like to conclude by expressing a huge sense of gratitude to God for all the experiences with the patients. What is being demonstrated is breath-taking. These experiences are the main reason why I come back to Fern Lodge. We are fortunate to have places like Fern Lodge that focus on true healing.
Here’s an additional comment from our activities director, Robin Barben, on the healing Noelia shared:
I witnessed such a blessing as one of our interns, Noelia Ley, was feeding breakfast to a patient, who was experiencing difficulty at times finding comfort. He was not relating to our attempts to include him in our Activities Program. As I walked by the table at which Noelia and this patient were seated, I heard the lesson being read by Noelia with a deep feeling of earnestness, patience, and compassion. I was suddenly aware of a deep silence, and a deep peace permeating the nursing floor. God’s presence and Love were so palpable that it touched me deeply.
Later in the morning, that same patient attended our movement class, and for the first time felt inclined to be a part of it. He moved with us cheerfully, that day and every day since. And in the Bible Study activity that followed, this patient listened deepfully, thoughtfully, expressing his own renewed understanding in applying Christian Science to his present challenges. In these activities, he no longer talks about getting back to a previous time or place, but has been listening to what is happening in the present moment. A few days later, he gave a testimony in church expressing an even deeper aspect of his true thinking, for which I am so grateful.
ASHLEY DOUGLASS WRIGHT, GRADUATE
This summer God guided me to take the Level 1 Christian Science Nursing Arts class at Fern Lodge. This was such a beautiful blessing! On a daily basis I got to be surrounded by the true spirit of Christian Science nursing. God showed me that this is a complete, spiritual idea of deep compassion.
The open, family-style atmosphere is so conducive to everyone at Fern Lodge being a healer. Patients, nurses, and other staff members may become friends and understand each other’s needs, and so each of these groups plays an active part in the healing. Fern Lodge views nursing as a natural expression of God and so never limits its expression to a job title or even a denomination.
The course was thoughtfully and prayerfully presented by their Director of Christian Science Nursing Education, Sharon Strong. From the first day of class I felt Sharon express those beautiful qualities of nursing and I felt soothed. I could feel fear I had about the experience draining away.
Something that is so special to me about Fern Lodge is the way the patients express that tender care of nursing to one another. I witnessed this expression daily as one individual would comfort another through words, food, companionship, and prayer. Cooks, housekeeping, maintenance, and office staff did the same. I was so humbled when I witnessed God expressing Christian Science nursing through those who did not even call themselves Christian Scientists.
One moment stands out especially when a long-time employee, Hilda, stopped cooking to read the Bible Lesson to a patient who was in distress. She was being so tender and infinitely patient with this individual and you could see the patient feeling loved and peaceful. It was so beautiful. The fact that Hilda can express this quality of the Christian Science nurse so perfectly, truly showed me the infinite nature of Christian Science nursing. It convinced me that this is not a skill I will learn in a classroom, instead it is something God is revealing in me as I humble myself and listen to His love.
I witnessed so many healings and some of the most precious moments in my life this summer at Fern Lodge. I saw healings of anger, seizures, bitterness, complaint, confusion, broken bones, poison oak, stubbornness, back pain, etc. And God blessed me with feeling these shifts in thought happen around me. I saw the look in people’s eyes when fear melted into the feeling of being unconditionally, eternally loved. I am profoundly grateful to have gotten to serve at Fern Lodge.