Dentistry, nursery, surgery, diabetes clinic, and general and obstetric wards are just a few of the physical ways we minister healing to patients at the hospital where we work. Along with physical care, we also offer emotional and spiritual care. Our aim is to pray for every patient admitted to the hospital. Doctors pray in clinics and before they perform surgery. We visit the wards every day and chat and pray with everyone we meet.
Recently a two-month-old baby with birth deformities was admitted to the hospital. As Michael held the precious child in his arms, and Connie put her arm around the mother to comfort her, she immediately began sobbing deeply on Connie’s shoulder. Connie has learned in chaplaincy training that ‘the power of presence’ is most effective when a person is in emotional distress. Simply sitting alongside the mother, hugging her, holding her baby, and showing love brought comfort. She was able to express her grief and deep concern for the future of her only son, and release her pent-up emotions. This woman only spoke the local language, which we do not understand. So we connected her with one of our female co-workers who could communicate on a deeper level and read to her.
This is just one story of many. It is a joy to be a part of a team that demonstrates wholistic care for patients. We are challenged by the patients’ lack of knowledge about basic physiology and health care, by their fatalistic outlook, and the high levels of illiteracy. Even so, persistent love and care can overcome all of these obstacles.
Please pray for the discernment we need for each situation. Some patients are in their final days, some are in deep distress having lost babies or loved ones, but most are sick or injured and just want to go home.
Michael and Connie* serve at a hospital in Pakistan.
*Names have been changed.