Oh what a wonderful day this has been for me, mainly because of one patient. I have always thought that the reason this hospital was created was to minister not only to physical needs but also to spiritual needs of our patients, as the founders thought back in 1953.
Last night I was called to see a patient that had consumed the poison used in the cotton fields as insecticide. She was in an altered state of consciousness. We put down a nasogastric tube (NGT) and evacuated the substance from her stomach and gave her charcoal and another medication. Unfortunately this is all we can do for poisonings; then we just treat the symptoms as they occur. She did well through the night. This morning when I was doing rounds she asked to have the NGT out. I have made it a habit to counsel all the patients with suicide attempts before letting them go hoping that they will not repeat the error. So I told her I would take it out after she talked to me in my office.
After rounds I found her waiting outside my office. First I wanted to know what her religious beliefs were to give me a base to start from. She was “pagan” as it was translated to me. Meaning animist. So I chose to tell her of my beliefs. “I believe in a God who cares about each one of us. He has called each one of us His children. And I believe my God was very sad last night when this happened to you and when you drank the poison. I believe my God cried! I believe my God is sad because He sent His only Son to die that we could be with Him someday. He died for our sins! He loves you whether you believe in Him or not."
I paused for a minute. She let a tear or two fall, then said “If there is a God who loves me then I want to become a Christian.” I was overjoyed. I led her in a simple prayer to accept God into her life. I don’t know if you are at that point in your life. If so pray this prayer as she did.
“God, I don’t know anything about you, except that you love me. Please come into my life and help me to follow you. I accept that Jesus died for me. I want to follow you. Please help me.” I am again overjoyed thinking about God using me to reach someone for Him.
Please pray that I/we would have more confidence to reach out more directly to lead people to God.
To connect with people in Manhattan, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a center of influence called Life Hope Center Bryant Park.
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