Emanuel Hospice - how it all began...
The following is taken from the most recent Emanuel Hospice prayer letter.
In it, Hospice Director Marinela Rotariu tells the story of a how a great work of God began. The location was Oradea, Western Romania, just over 25 years ago.
May these words inspire us to remember Emanuel Hospice in our prayers and giving, and also to recognise the Lord's call in our own lives!
Dr Mihaela Gligor and Hospice Director Marinela Rotariu, 1996
"We go back in time 25 years to February 1996.
Then, we were not even registered as an organization.
We had no building, no staff, and so therefore no payroll.
What we did have was a special calling from God and an unquenchable conviction that we should do whatever was necessary to assist the cancer patients that had been discharged from the hospital oncology department in Oradea.
The oncology doctors had sent them home to die.
They had been told “There is nothing more we can do for you. Your condition is beyond the scope of medical science.”
But there we were - two enthusiastic young women, one a medical intern, and the other a nurse with six years of experience at the County Hospital working with haematology patients.
We also had a stethoscope, a bag of medical supplies - syringes, needles, bandages, and a list of about thirty terminal cancer patients who had been sent home with a supply of morphine to be administered at home when they needed relief from the severe pain they experienced.
We also had God’s assurance that this was what He wanted us to do with our lives.
We established as a meeting place a tram station from which we travelled by public transport to the patients' homes, once we were able to establish the routes we could take to most efficiently reach the places we needed to be each day.
The purpose of the visits was very precise: we were to alleviate the suffering of the sick and comfort the relatives that were maintaining a bedside vigil, using as our care the model that we had observed and practiced in Brasov by our colleagues from House of Hope Hospice.
On the physical side our concern was to recognize, assess, evaluate and identify their worst type of pain and relieve it. When they were in severe physical pain, typically we could control it by adjusting the morphine dosage.
In some instances, however, their most severe pain was psychological, emotional or spiritual.
Think of the pain a mother experiences, knowing she will be leaving her children motherless, or of a young man stressed over the thought of his young wife being alone to raise their child without the income they had anticipated he would provide for their support. And then there would be the unsaved who had no comfort on their prospects for eternity.
While we did not have painkillers for this pain, we were prepared to listen and offer support and emotional or spiritual counselling.
From the very beginning, we always asked God to be with us in this work. We knew that without Him, we could not be effective.
We relied upon Him to provide the necessary resources – financial, emotional and spiritual, knowing there was no possibility of fulfilling what we knew to be our mission without this.
His goodness, generosity, faithfulness and blessings have constantly overwhelmed us over these past 25 years.
Words are inadequate to express how grateful we are for the way He has protected, cared for and provided for us over the past twenty-five years and we unconditionally trust that we will have His support for as long as we continue to serve Him.
Romanian Ministries has the privilege of sponsoring four members of staff at Emanuel Hospice. All staff are evangelical Christians. We thank the Lord for this opportunity, and warmly invite interest from any who may wish to help. Praise the Lord!