Building A Nation

Posted: 30 January 2017 in Haiti
Tags: , ,

hcbh-radiologyEveryone likes a party.  And Hospital Convention Baptist d’Haiti (HCBH) has just had one, 10 years old.  Sure – not as old as Barts in London (founded 1123).  But a milestone for the crippled who can now walk, or the mothers laughing at the crib, instead of crying at the grave.  I work to help the Hospital management, and I wish them well at this special  time.

But like Barts in London, it is a religious foundation.  Not staffed by monks, but by people with similar convictions.  The temptation is to think of places like this as having just two strands.

  1. People of religious or humanitarian persuasion, doing
  2. Doing humanitarian acts, in this case – desperately needed medicine.

This is true, but if that is only the case, then much is being left out.  The bigger picture is this:

  • Staff. We have to have faith, but also maintain it.  As hospitals move from being pioneer clinics to large institutions, the vision dilutes.  Sure – we all need employment, bills need paying.  But after a while, hospitals like HCBH, Kisiizi, Vellore, all of which I have been in – the work becomes just that – daily work.
  • Professional competence. As hospitals grow, that tends to improve, as the clinic moves away from make-d-and-mend, to distinct specialisms, and higher tech services.  But a pride in technical competence, on spiritual grounds, is less common.  To bring the two together is to bring together aspects that are too often kept apart.  As Christians, do we take pride in being an excellent surgeon, paediatrician, accountant?  We ought to.
  • Pastoral care. Chaplaincies – care for the patients as well as the staff.  Religious TV in the reception is probably counter productive.  It only gives a religious gloss.  Enough to irritate, but not enough to profoundly transform anyone.  But offering to listen and pray with the sick – that’s another matter.  Pastoral care will not be good for the soul.  As a respected colleague in HCBH reminded me the other day, it often helps the physical healing process too.
  • Building God’s Kingdom. Hospital like HCBH, Kisiizi, and Vellore, are big institutions in their localities.  They can have a powerful impact on their local churches.  The local pastors will often preach  a gospel that is orthodox, but narrow.  HCBH, Kisiizi, and Vellore Hospitals can model a gospel that is: [1] evangelistic, [2] genuinely humanitarian, [3] and a way of living for staff that combines genuine faith with genuine professional pride.

HIMG-20170129-WA0001[1].jpgow is this to be facilitated?  Just like in the Old Testament we saw a dynamic between God’s anointed King and God’s Prophet or Priest, so there needs to be similar in these hospitals.  Between the Chief Executive Officer and the Chaplaincy, or the Medical Executive and the Lead Chaplain.

Dear HCBH colleagues, I know huge patient needs, and financial constraints are driving you crazy.  See also – you can not only heal the sick, but help usher in The Kingdom of God in northern Haiti.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s