Friday, November 25, 2011

2 more patients

This morning was busy and as exciting as it is to take in new patients, today broke my heart.

We arrived a the first home to find this tiny little shack, with tarps for walls and only big enough to fit the bed.  There was dirty water collected in several buckets, broken dishes, filth all around and a lingering stench.  Sitting in the middle of the bed was a young gal, very sick, with 3 little children of her own staring on.  As she gathered her things to come with us, my heart hurt for the things that must burden her; worry over her children, the need for food, sickness, unable to provide, a crumbling room.

The strength of these women to keep going in the midst of such obstacles and heartache just amazes me!  I pray that God would provide His joy and peace for these women in spite of the circumstances and that our hands would touch them with His love.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Battles

I sat in a team meeting this morning with three other women.  It was our prayer time and were sharing prayer requests and talking about our ministries in a small group.
I broke down in tears, the type of crying where you can't catch your breath or talk properly!
I was trying to explain that in spite of ministry going well, in spite of happy patients who are loving hearing the Word of God; I'm feeling pushed down, like something keeps pressing on my soul.  It is a feeling I've never experienced before and has been very overwhelming.  I have been begging God to reveal the reason for this "pressure".

Well, tonight when we got home from the team meeting, Patti said she needed to share some things that she found out today at the Care Home.  Come to find out, one of the "stand-by" workers is VERY upset about not being hired for a regular shift.  Out in the community, she's speaking poorly about the Care Home and other workers  AND has been seeing a witch doctor to cast curses on the workers, so that she can have their job.  Last night, one of the workers had a scary incident that they are contributing to a curse.  The power of Satan is seen very clearly here in the workings of the witch doctors.  It keeps the people in fear, and their hearts turned from God.

But, now that this has been exposed, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off me!  I don't think I quite expected this to reach the doors of the Care Home (how naive of me), but our God is greater!
Please pray for us as we handle this (quickly) and please pray for the protection of our family and workers.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I HATE dealing with conflict, just hate it.  It can make me ill and miserable.  But, working with people inevitably brings conflict.
Well, this week we had our first conflict between staff.  I got a call from the Care Home that one of the night shift wanted to sit down for a meeting because of some problems.  Patti said that if I wanted, she could handle it- that would be my easy way out :)  But, I needed to step up to the plate and be able to show that,  "yes, the buck stops here"!
So, I prayed over it, gathered my courage and headed in to sit down with the ladies.  I started the meeting explaining the Biblical way to handle conflict and our expectations at the Care Home for solving problems.
Amazingly, I was calm, not sick to my stomach and looking forward to solving any situations that bring a bad name to the Care Home or dishonor to God.  What a change from previous times that I've had to deal with conflict.  This is only the work of God, equipping me to do this job and manage the Care Home.  I'm so excited to see the other ways He will work in my life and change me through this ministry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our first patients!

November 1st we brought in our first patient.  Thursday brought us the second lady.  What a joy!  I couldn't believe it was actually happening- WE WERE OPEN!  I spent the whole week fighting back tears as I watched the care givers laughing with the ladies, reading to them from the Bible and giving compassionate care.
The first lady we admitted was someone we already knew.  My Dad and Jeff Chittenden had been out in the spring to help with some community projects.  Fixing this ladies home was one of their projects.  As she sat in the wheelchair answering some admittance questions, she asked about the two "babas"  (Dad and Jeff) that fixed her house.  Then she started to cry.  She told us she wasn't sad, just so grateful!  What an incredible opportunity to now be able to provide for her physically and offer her hope spiritually.
The picture below was taken with the patients' permission to be shared for our ministry.

Training Care givers

What a crazy couple weeks!  But, a lot of work was accomplished.  God has brought us some amazing ladies who love the Lord and want to provide compassionate care (basic nurse aid work).
We did have a few setbacks- one lady missed some of the training due to a situation out of her hands, and another lady we had to ask not to come back because of a bad attitude.  This was hard for me and conflict is not the part of the ministry that I like.  But, all in all was a joy to lead their training and get to know them a bit better.

Dedication Service

Sunday, Oct 2 was set aside for a special church service.  We wanted to gather as a congregation and lay the ministry at God's feet, asking for Him blessings, wisdom and provision.
The morning started in our sanctuary- Ron Washer (ABWE Africa Administrator) gave the morning message.  Then we all moved out to the front lawn of the Care Home where Kyle, Pastor Henry,  and the Zululand Hospice director spoke.  Following a time of prayer, everyone came inside for coffee and refreshments.

It was a beautiful time that focused our hearts and helped us look toward what God would do in the future.