Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “initiative”

Volunteer Q&A: Hospital Ministry

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Name: Dean Kietzmann

Congregation: Rondebosch PM

Occupation: Assistance Compliance Officer at an investment company

What sparked your interest or drew you to this initiative?

I was drawn to the concept of Hospital or Hospice Ministry towards the end of 2011 while watching Di and Nathan Gernetzsky’s journey through Di’s terminal cancer. While it must have been an incredibly painful time for them and their family, I couldn’t help but notice how blessed they both were to know Jesus, and for the love and support they received as the community rallied around them. As Rigby Wallace put it in one of the meetings, “We are helping a young woman walk her final road to be with God.” I began to reflect on how many people facing death don’t know Jesus, or don’t have someone to walk this final road with them. After chatting it through with a few elders and friends, “Hospital Ministry”, for want of a better name, was born early last year.

Can you tell us a bit about how you serve in Hospital Ministry?

A group of us meet every Thursday at Booth Memorial Hospital in Oranjezicht, Cape Town. We then split up and go and meet patients in various wards. We try spend at least 20 minutes or so with each patient we see, chatting to them, sharing the gospel, praying for them if they allow and generally trying to love them the way Jesus does. We try see the same patients from week to week to build relationships with them. We pray for the staff too.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your experience?

To pick one particular experience is very difficult. A constant theme, though, that everyone who has done Hospital Ministry has picked up on, is that we always seem to walk out more blessed than when we walked in. Our intention is to pour ourselves spiritually into the patients we see, and yet we regularly emerge more spiritually filled than when we walked in. We have seen countless miracles, broken lives made new, the sick healed, and the wandering and lost reunited to the Father.

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Volunteer Q&A – Bedtime Reading

Full name: Christy Wheeler

Congregation: Bosch PM

Occupation: Business Manager, Graphic Design Agency

How long have you been a volunteer at Christine Revell Children’s Home? A little over 1 year

When do you go and for how long? I go on a Thursday evening for 1 hour from 6-7pm

Can you explain what you do while you’re there? We get the opportunity to read stories to the kids before they go to bed. There are about 30 kids and usually about 4-5 volunteers. So we each take the kids in pairs, choose a book and find somewhere to read to them in. We read for about 20 mins with each pair. That allows us to read to about 3 pairs in the hour. At the end we help to put the kids to bed. They all love it when we pray with them once they are all tucked in.

Can you tell us a bit about Christine Revell? CRCH is an amazing facility that is dedicated to caring for children who have been removed from their families for various reasons or abandoned. They care for the kids, feed, clothe and school them while they live in the home. There are 3 groups of kids: babies, toodlers and preschoolers. Unfortunately they don’t have the facilities to look after the kids once they go to Grade 1, so either they get reunited with their families or they get sent to another facility until they turn 18. CRCH relies on funding and volunteer help. And the kids really enjoy interacting with other people.

What are some of the challenges of volunteering with vulnerable children? These kids are hurt and broken. The symptoms of the injustices inflicted upon them range from lack of discipline and social skills to lack of empathy and attachment. Some of them don’t have long attention spans and often act out to get attention. After a year of building relationships with the kids, I find it much easier to know their unique traits and how to deal with each of them where they are at.

What do you appreciate the most about volunteering at Christine Revell? There are often days when I wish I didn’t have to go – its a long drive for me from town in the rush-hour traffic, especially when it’s raining. Most times I push through my selfish desires and go anyway and I am ALWAYS happy that I make that decision. I have so much fun with the kids and love having the opportunity to pray with them and build into their lives in some small way. Tickling them and making them laugh is the best.

I would really recommend this volunteer  opportunity to those who work during the day. I know a lot of the opportunities are during the day and this is one that only requires 1 hour of your week, after work. But beware – Once you get to know these kids, they crawl into your heart and never leave.

-If you would like to find about more about volunteering at Christine Revell, email info@commongood.org.za.

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