Hope and Joy in the Hospital
NORTH AMERICA—In early 2009, I was sent to a special hospital for multiple daily antibiotic infusions to fight a staph infection I had contracted after a surgery. I was also to undergo physical therapy. Realizing that every experience is an opportunity from God to bring His love to others, it occurred to me that I was an “Ambassador in Sheets.”
Having been trained by Center for Excellence in Missionars (CEIM) to use The Story of Hope and The Way to Joy, I requested multiple copies to give as gifts to some of the caregivers with whom I shared the Gospel, in appreciation for their services.
After a few weeks, a nurse prayed to receive Christ one night by my bedside, and began to study The Story of Hope as her first step of discipleship. After we studied that together I gave her The Way to Joy and she said “This is what I really need.” She agreed to use both manuals in her church with a mature Christian woman she planned to ask for continued mentoring and accountability.
By the time I left that hospital after six weeks’ residence, 15 nurses and other caregivers had accepted The Story of Hope for study and several had “graduated” to The Way to Joy. An orderly from Azerbaijan, with background influences from Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, came to me often late at night with questions about God. He found The Story of Hope helpful in clarifying his understanding of Scripture. Once again God blessed me with an intercultural ministry!
Mature Christians, new believers, skeptics and seekers all received both beautiful books with interest and appreciation. They welcomed a book, from a patient who had become a friend, which presented the key events and teachings of the Bible in chronological order with beautiful illustrations and concise clarification. One nurse was disappointed when I ran out of The Story of Hope since she wanted to give copies to several patients and colleagues!
These books have proved effective and are appreciated by many as I used them in a friendship-evangelism ministry with medical professionals who cared.