Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Place of Peace

5:53 AM
This week my team visited patients at the Tapalogo Hospice/In-Patient Care Center. The hospice is specifically for patients with HIV/AIDS, although several had tuberculosis [TB] as well. I was a little intimidated on Monday, because I really didn’t know what to expect. We heard stories from the other half of our team who was there last week, and it just futhered my anxiety. We were going to be assigned a patient that was “ours” for the week. Ours to sit with, talking with, pray with, entertain and just care for. I had never done anything like this before. So when we got there Monday morning, and people started claiming patients, I just waited. I had prayed that God would match me up with the right patient. So I walk into a room, and there are 5 women in beds, all ages and all pretty sick. I couldn’t decide. Then 2 of my teammates joined me, Meghan and Morgan, and we decided to just adopt the whole room. Language was definitely the biggest obstacle of the week. Two women only spoke Xhosa, one only spoke Setswana, and two others spoke some English. We were overwhelmed, but we pushed through. We were overwhelmed, but we pushed through. We learned their names and prayed over them while they slept. We read Psalms and showed them pictures of America and our families. We brought makeup, nail polish, and lotion and we pampered them like royalty. As the week went on, familiarity and comfort set in and relationships began to form. We even had a dance party in our ward – much to the women’s amusement. Every day, we’d talk about God and Jesus and read from His word. At times it was frustrating, not knowing if they heard or understood, but we just had to trust the Holy Spirit to speak for us, and communicate where we could not.

Wednesday, we got 2 new patients, one that was very sick and not responsive at all. We took turns by her bed, holding her hand, praying, reading and singing. That night she passed away. We were thankful that she was no longer in pain. Friday, we planned a church service for the patients. We sang songs that we knew and they knew [crowd favorite – This Little Light of Mine!] I shared the salvation message, and Linnea shared about having hope for the future. We laughed and danced and a great time. I was actually pretty nervous about sharing the salvation message as a sermon, because that was new for me. But God had really put it on my heart that I needed to share it with them. We had nothing to lose and they had everything to gain. I was really believing God for salvations that morning, and was a little bummed that we didn’t get to pray with any of them.

After lunch, I went to visit one of our “room patients”, Donaro, that had been relocated. She couldn’t make it to church because she was too weak to get out of bed. Donaro is 25 years old, beautiful and bright, and infected with AIDS and TB. We were excited for her to join our room because she spoke great English. We had spent a lot of time talking to her, and discovered while she knew about God, she didn’t seem to be a Christian. I knew when I visited her after lunch on Friday that I was supposed to share my “sermon” with her. I wasked her and she let me share, and she nodded along with me. And when I asked if she wanted to be saved and become a follower of Jesus, she said YES! So we prayed together and Donaro gave her life to Jesus. I told her since we were now we’re both followers of Jesus, we were sisters – even when I’m back in America. She likes that part. I left her with a ring of mine that I got in Botswana so she will remember me, as she is forever imprinted on my heart.

It was a week that began with great struggle, but ended with great triumph. I am just so blown away with how God continues to use me. It’s such an incredible thing.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!