After nursing for over 15 years in Canada, my husband and I joined the staff at Partners in Hope in Lilongwe to help them grow their outreach.
Sometimes it’s not always clear how to do that! I’ve journeyed with many of the nursing staff over the last 2.5 years as we have faced COVID together in tents, cared for increasingly complex patients with limited resources, and now as they have started to provide surgical care for the most vulnerable Malawians for free in partnership with another organization. As they continue to try and provide holistic care by meeting medical and spiritual needs they often need support in more practical ways through education, developing documentation, policies, and trainings. I had the joy to lead the nursing leadership to develop an orientation training program for care aids and a manual for future care aid hires. Care aides at Partners in Hope are heavily relied upon and often have no medical training so it all needs to be provided by Partners in Hope. As they continue to expand services, it is important that their staff are consistently trained in excellent care and challenged to see their work as a ministry. Many of the care aides we trained expressed how honoured they felt to have their own training and how much they felt encouraged to keep improving in their work to glorify God and serve their patients.
Similarly, my husband has been working with the leadership to identify all the technological needs of the centre to improve all their departments and strengthen their infrastructure. As an IT specialist and with his business administration gifting and education, he has been able to come alongside every department and help them see ways to improve.
Even more exciting has been the opportunity to preach at the chapel and support the chaplain at Partners in Hope by leading a bible study with a number of staff to strengthen their ability to witness.
Recently, one of the nurses in the Bible study felt challenged to apply what she had been learning. A surgical patient came whose blood pressure was too high for surgery. As the nurse spent time with her patient, the patient shared how terrified she was about the surgery. After praying with her and encouraging her to sing hymns and songs to God, the patient soon stated “the fear, it's gone!” By the next day her blood pressure was down and she was visibly at peace and the surgery was able to happen.
Without the spiritual and physical care of Partners in Hope she would have had no access to the surgical repairs she needed. Praise be to God!
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