Tuesday, 8 July 2014


We have been running a hospital for the last 2 months now.  Yes. That is right.  A hospital.  A place where sick people are cared for 24 hours a day.  A place that does not shut down.  Ever.

Three years ago we shifted the Jeevan Sahara Kendra from our small clinic to a wonderful facility in the Lok Hospital building when our parent hospital shifted to the greenfield Bethany Hospital.  It took 2 years to refurbish the Lok Hospital building (big thanks to EMMS) and then another number of months to get the team together.

And now it is.

For the first few months of the year, we would admit a person.  And then look after them.  And then they would get better.  And the care centre would be empty again. 

10 new beds.  Gleaming floors.  No patients.

In early April we were joined by a wonderful doctor couple - Emmanuel and Mokshaa and a new nurse - and we thought that we would take off.

But we did not.  The same drip, dribble, drab of the odd person being cared for. And then being discharged.

Now, it must be said that those who were cared for during all this time have been deeply loved by our nurses and doctors.  Though the numbers were low, the care was not deficient by any way.  In fact, we are experiencing something that we have prayed about for a long time - that people get better.  That the Jeevan Sahara Kendra be a place of healing.  That just being admitted at our centre, and receiving love and prayer along with the appropriate medical care - our folks will improve.

We are seeing small signs that this has taken place.  Folks with long-term diahrrea which stops when they are here.  People who have not eaten properly for months, now digging into their food after a day or so of being looked after.

But the question has been, how long can we keep rooms empty?

And so we prayed.  Prayed for folks to come who need help.  Prayed for people who we know to need admission to soften their proud hearts and receive care.  Prayed that we would be bold and admit people who are hard to take care of.

Well, the prayers are being answered.

In May we admitted 9 people and had 48 bed-days of care  (up from 12 or so the previous number of months).

In June we admitted 12 people and our medical team gave 72 bed days of care.  Since may we have not had a single day with no patients.  And what patients.  The majority are suspected or confirmed TB sufferers - with two last month who had multi-drug resistant TB.

Tonight there are 4 people admitted and being cared for.  Sheba went at 9 PM to meet them for her night rounds.  One man had his diarrhea stop today.  A woman keeps vomitting, probably due to her body finding the ART medications hard to take.  Another woman has regained an appetite - but is full of complaints.  The other man - skin and bones and a deep alcoholic - is cheerful.  His fever is gone and he is eating well.  But the cough continues.  Each one is very precious.  Each one has a story and a future.  May we be able to keep caring and rebuilding these precious and complicated lives.

Sheba is the lynch-pin in all of this.  Her calm demeanour and compassionate heart, her medical skills and experience and desire for touching a person from within all work together to help our folks who are admitted take steps forward into wellness.  As her husband, I am in awe of this remarkable woman I have the privilege of having my life twined together with.

We are also so grateful for our nursing team.

Agnes has been our main stay.  Her devotion and hard, unthanked work, have made all the difference.  We are so grateful for her listening to God and serving here with us.

Yerusha has just joined.  Newly married to Daniel we are so glad she is on board.

Lydia, our German volunteer nurse, is doing her last week of care with us before she and her husband Sam move to the UK where she will continue her NHS job there.

Dipali and Sunita, our nurse aides, fill in the gaps. 

Do pray for each one of the JSK Care Centre Team.   Who would have ever thought we would be running a hospital - but here we are!

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