Learning to integrate spiritual ministry in healthcare
Kellen and Allan, a kiddo in the ward where Kellen works
“I received a training called ‘Saline Process’ training,” Kellen told us when we sat down with her. “This training is all about coaching the healthcare workers on how to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the healthcare system.”
Kellen has been working for CURE Kenya for the last 15 years and is currently the nurse manager in our general ward. Her sweet spirit and smile make her a joy to be around. She exudes Jesus in her everyday interactions, and the Saline Process training will help her be even more intentional in those everyday interactions.
“The word saline: this is water with salt, and as we know, salt has a lot of benefits to human beings,” Kellen said. “For one, it balances the electrolytes. It can rehydrate a patient. It can also revive someone who is dying, and so it transforms the life of a patient, physically. And spiritually, the Bible says we are the salt of the world. As healthcare workers, Christian healthcare workers, we must have this salt. It means we must have love, peace, joy, and hope to give these patients, and by doing this, we are able to transform their lives, and they can go home transformed both physically and spiritually.
“I enjoyed the training so much because, in the first place, I thought spiritual matters belonged to the spiritual department. Even though I participated, I did not participate as much as I will participate now after getting the training.”
During the training, the staff was challenged. “We kept on asking ourselves this question: is faith important in the healthcare?” Kellen shared. “Yes! It is very much important, because the deeper the faith the patient has, the better the outcome, and the patient has a hope of living again and so it quickens even the healing of a patient. So, it is really going to help us because we will have patient(s) spending fewer days in the hospital. They go back to the community where they come from.”
Kellen didn’t waste any time in making a plan to put her Saline Process training to good use: “What I want to do is … we talked about having barriers and opportunities, and I have told you that one of the barrier(s) is that I used to say that the spiritual matters belonged to the spiritual department, and I could not offer much but now, I want to spend each and every minute instilling words of hope so that we get a higher number of patients who want to spend eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ. That is what I am planning, and I have already started.
“I talked to some patients this week, and one of them went home yesterday after telling me: ‘I am able now to know that as the way you are talking to us we will be able to recover very quickly!’ And she went home rejoicing so much. She went home knowing that there’s a God in heaven.”
Kellen shared the story of a patient recovering from a spinal injury that affected her lower limbs, making it impossible to work. The woman felt hopeless and spent a lot of time crying. “I asked her if we could pray together, and if I could share just the Word of God with her,” said Kellen. The woman said yes. “She was very happy, and all the time she kept on calling out that she really wanted to speak to me, even when she on her way home. She went home smiling! The Word of God has been instilled in her by many of the healthcare workers, not just me.”
As CURE, we’re looking for ways to reach our patients from the moment they come through our gates. The Saline Process is one of the ways we do this. Kellen describes how even the security guards are an integral part of spiritual healing:
“We learned about something called patient mapping. This is when the patient comes right at the gate of the hospital, where they find a security officer. The security officer is also a health worker because he will start instilling a word of hope right at the gate. When the patient comes into reception, then we will find someone who knows who Jesus Christ is. We will be able again to instill a word of hope to them, and by the time they come to the ward, we spend more time with them and ask permission from them to speak a word about God. By the time they go home, they will have seen Jesus Christ in this hospital, because all of us—we are all participating.”
Kellen is just one example of a CURE Kenya staff member who went through the Saline Process training. Many others completed the training as well, and later this year, we’ll train even more! Let’s watch and see how God uses this to impact not only our patients but other staff members like Kellen, too!
Photos from the Saline Process training: