Over the course of her career, Krista Pike, ’65, has done just about everything you can do in nursing. And then some. For the past 14 years, she has brought her considerable expertise to countries around the world as a volunteer with Missionary Ventures International.
These mission trips have enabled her to fulfill her passion for serving others and her dedication to spreading the Word of God.
And it seems as if God has had a hand in her ventures.
Shortly after 9/11, a friend contacted her about a mission trip that she was going on to Guatemala. One of two doctors who had planned to accompany the group was suddenly unable to go, and she was looking for someone to take his place. Because Krista had the experience they were looking for, she asked her to consider going on the trip.
Krista had always wanted to volunteer with a missionary group, but she had just purchased a house and did not have the $1,007 the trip would cost. However, her friend suggested that she wait until she received her tax refund before making a final decision.
Her refund was $1,012. “God arranges things,” Krista says.
Since then, she has gone on nearly 20 trips, many times serving as a doctor for the indigenous people of the countries she visits, as well as providing them with vital healthcare information. But what’s most important to her, she says, is being able to share the Word of God with them through her nursing.
“We take God as He is to them, to villages where they fear God, we hug and pray with them and for them, and when we hear from them again two or three years later, their lives have changed because of learning the truth about God,” she says. “Our national Catholic nursing honor sorority is Beta Chi Nu, which stands for ‘Bring Christ through Nursing.’ Appropriate, eh?” she adds.
Krista’s nursing background comes from her studies in Niagara’s College of Nursing, where she “learned the heart of nursing,” as well as her post-graduation work, first at a Navy hospital in San Diego, Calif., then at a hospital in Las Vegas, where she worked as a medical-surgical nurse before being named head nurse in the psychiatric unit. She later returned to New York state and settled in rural Columbia County, where a local doctor she had known while she was in high school taught her to become what was essentially a nurse practitioner.
“There’s so many kinds of nursing and I’ve been so privileged to do them all,” she says.
Today, she is semi-retired and lives in Vermont, where she educates her community on health-related topics when she is not traveling to places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru.
She is also working with Missionary Ventures Canada to organize its first medical mission. She notes that she never consciously chooses her destination, instead letting God pick for her.
“God puts you in interesting places,” she says. “I’ve been on amazing trips and I’ve seen a lot. I love what I do, and I want nurses to know that if you let God lead you, you can bring God (to people) through nursing.”
Additional alumni stories are available at www.niagara.edu/alumni-news/.