HOME BASED TREASURE
On the morning of Monday, 6th February 2017, our CBN SA team had the humbling opportunity to experience a day in the life of a Living Hope home-based care nurse in one of our Xhosa townships, Masiphumelele. The home-based care service falls under the Living Hope healthcare ministry in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. One of the main functions of the center is to send out qualified nurses in order to administer free health care, prayer support and health related advice to people in the community. Most of these patients do not have easy access to their very specific healthcare needs. Some health issues include diabetes, hypertension, low blood pressure, wound or burn care and many others.
After receiving a generous amount of donations from our supportive CBN SA partners, we have been able to bless the Living Hope home-based care ministry with the gift of new, sufficient medical supplies. These supplies are essential to the selfless work these nurses invest into the lives of people and especially their patients living within the community.
The carers spend their Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings walking to their patient’s homes around Masiphumelele, which is an isiXhosa word meaning “we will succeed”. Not only can weather conditions sometimes be tough, but the equipment is outdated and lacking in efficiency. Despite various obstacles, Living Hope nurses are always willing to go the extra mile in someone else’s shoes.
Here are a few highlights and lessons we learnt from our experience of the treasure to be found in a day in the life of a home-based carer.
LONG SUFFERING: PRAISE GOD IN THE WAIT
The word ‘patience’ struck me immediately as we entered the Living Hope daily devotions meeting. This idea of ‘long suffering’ with a beautiful Godward attitude is so evident in the way the nurses conduct themselves at Living Hope home-based care in Masiphumelele. They truly walk in the revelation of testimony each day, and the profound power of sharing stories about God’s goodness in everyday situations.
This particular day, clear, bright and warm, starts off as we arrive just in time for the Masiphumelele Living Hope team devotion, lead by Pastor Doug. Everybody is sitting quietly in a big circle in the hall of Masiphumelele Baptist Church (where the clinic is based). We are warmly welcomed and embraced as they nudge us to fill some of the empty seats in the circle. Pastor continues to encourage the nursing staff, and their visitors, in the unique sphere of influence we each have. He reminds his listeners how much of an honour it is that we get to serve the Most High God with what we bring to the table in life. Pastor Doug highlights the patience, or long suffering, of Abraham and how he would praise God while waiting for his promised child, Isaac, to be born. Praising God is an act of faith in Christ, knowing that He is a God who always keeps His promises. He then encourages us all for the day reminding us to praise God no matter what we find ourselves doing, as we should give this day to the Lord. It is amazing how we would soon learn that the word for the morning would so beautifully resonate with the work we were about to witness.
The donations channeled through the vessel of CBN SA into the Living Hope Healthcare ministry, came at the perfect time. A lady named Joy, who is the manager of the Living Hope community based service project in Masiphumelele, expresses that they had been praying for provision. New and functioning medical equipment would make the work they do a lot more effective. As Joy speaks, we find ourselves in awe of how God had orchestrated the right contributions at the right time. Joy explains some of the ways that the nurses would improvise in many different situations when supplies were lacking. These improvised techniques would help a lot with stabilising situations but at times also caused some pain for patients, which would be avoidable if the correct equipment was available to them. But even through seasons of prayer and waiting on God, the carers continue to administer incredible love to their patients because they know that medical supplies do not limit the grace of God.
OUTLOOK: JOY AND THANKFULNESS
We set off at this point to the first of our home visits for the day. At the doorstep, a gentle elderly lady by the name of Betina, welcomes us all into her cosy home, built for one. The nurses start by chatting to her about how she has been doing since their last visit. They ask questions about how well she has been looking after herself and add their advice as needed.
As nurse Klein checks Betina’s blood pressure the pump decides to pop in the middle of the reading. Right at this moment, the situation is buffered as the nurse is able to read the blood pressure through patience and perseverance, even with the poorly functional equipment. A potentially embarrassing situation for the patient turns into a grace-filled opportunity for the nursing team to radiate in their God-given ability to improvise and bring relief at any given opportunity. While their creative improvisation takes place, they continue to ensure that the patient is at peace and correctly attended to. It is enough to humble, uplift and remind us of how good and faithful our God is, that He shows up at the perfect time.
Bewildered by the fact that these highly skilled nurses, who are beautiful people, don’t give up and refuse to serve because of the limitations. Nurse Klein explained to us in the very beginning of the day that she had been offered a well paid nursing position at a government hospital, but turned it down to serve for a smaller pay at Living Hope, because she would be able to freely proclaim the gospel, pray for her patients and work alongside her sisters in faith. The attitude of all the staff is one of thankfulness. They serve because they feel they need to be there and will make use of whatever they are given to work with. As time goes on through our visits, we begin to realise that it didn’t matter how long they must have been serving without sufficient equipment, God had a plan to give them all they needed and more.
An attitude of gratefulness and joy is one that the nurses, whom we had the honour of spending time with, constantly express in the way that they work. There is nothing that can keep them down, and nothing that can prevent them from caring for, serving and deeply loving the various people within their community. Their spirits are constantly lifted and the joy of the Lord truly is their strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Each atmosphere we visit is changed just by their presence in the homes, and the people’s faces literally light up as they greet and welcome these serving hands into their homes.
A HEART AFTER GOD’S OWN: “THEN AFRICA WILL BE SAVED”
Each of the few houses we visited that day were totally open to the support, love and prayer that they are consistantly offered by the ladies who work at Living Hope. They listen to their advice and share their stories, homes and families with the carers. It also blew us away to witness how open people were to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the families were believers in the homes we visited, and they allowed us to pray over them and encourage them.
As the day drew to a close and we were all present in the Living Hope office once again, the nurses took the time to express their gratitude to CBN SA for being present that day as well as for the medical funding donations they had received. The pastor’s word rang so profoundly true as we concluded this indescribable day with a song of praise to the Lord Jesus. We all hold hands, each from very different walks of life, to sing these words, “The Holy Spirit must come down, then Africa will be saved.” As we sing these words, I really did feel complete joy in my heart as I was reminded once again that the Lord does not forget His people. He smiles down upon those who believe in a ‘living hope’, who believe that the Lord God is for us and not against us.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” – 1 Peter 1:3 -4
We are blessed and so thankful to partner with Living Hope in the God-ordained and deeply profound impact that they are already having on so many lives. We are immensely thankful to our partners for their consistent support, contributions and prayers. Nothing would be possible without their generous devotion to the mission of CBN SA in bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.
To become one of our valued CBN Partners and contribute towards more incredible projects like this one then please call us on (021) 701 1776 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org