Nurse since 1970

My life
by Martha Voet

Let me introduce myself. My name is Martha Voet. I am 56 years old and single. I was raised in a Protestant religious family. However, about 38 years ago, during my training to become a nurse, I came to faith personally. Since then I know that Yeshua has died for my sins, and that the penalty that I deserved, has been paid by His death. It was not until 5 years ago that I, led by the Ruach haKodesh, have come to realize more and more what is written in Romans 11.

That I, as a wild shoot, have been grafted into the cultivated olive tree and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root. This awareness has been growing since the time I have attended the Messianic Congregation Beth Yeshua in Amsterdam. Since 1970, I used to be a nurse in daily life. I have worked at the Emergency Department of the VUmc (the Teaching Hospital of the Free University) in Amsterdam for 28 years.

In recent years I have become less involved in the direct care of patients and was able to focus more on the work-group for Child Abuse. In the mean time I have switched to an other position, and now I am official secretary of the employees council of the VUmc. After my nursing education, I worked at a hospital in Amsterdam and then went to Africa, to the South of Sudan, as a nurse. It has been one of the most impressive times of my life until now.

That native population lived in very primitive circumstances. I worked in a clinic with very few medical means, and so I did everything I could. I have been impressed by a population that was doing its utmost to survive in very difficult conditions. Looking back, I think I have learned more from them, than they did from me. It has changed the way I look at life for good and made me aware of my absolute dependence and the relativity of things.

I also had the opportunity to make several trips to believers who were persecuted behind the Iron and Bamboo curtain of that time. With some of them I have spent a longer period of time in refugee camps of Cambodia. All of these impressions, taken together, have given me more compassion for the people who are suffering, but also a feeling of injustice towards the suffering in this world. In me, a profound longing has risen for what the Torah could mean in my personal life.

At the same time I am conscious that, should we live according to the laws of the Torah, the world would know more equality and justice. I pray that the result of this may become increasingly visible in my life and that I may share it with you in the articles to come in the category ‘women under oppression’ and also in the poetry that I love to write.