When I first came to CURE Kenya, the word ‘relationship’ meant a romantic kind of friendship. It never crossed my mind that it could be something even greater. When I think about it now, the word ‘relationship’ can be transformative. It was transformative in my life when I met John, a storyteller at CURE Kenya.
John took me around the hospital and showed me what he did on a daily basis with the hope that it would spark an interest in me. He was intentional about shaping my career path. The relationship we created, almost 7 years ago, is the foundation I have built my career on to date.
A few years later, I joined CURE Kenya as an intern. I experienced such a different environment from the one I had in film school and was appreciative that John took the time to show me this world and open up this opportunity. At CURE, everyone is focused on two things, healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God. Every day I saw staff members and volunteers filled with positive thoughts and energy trying to encourage the caregivers who had brought their kids to the hospital to be treated. They would take time just to say an encouraging word or to pray with the patients. I was deeply moved by these selfless acts.
Slowly, I began to look at the core values that CURE was built on. One of them being, Intentional Relationships. This is when I started to understand what I was seeing. Everyone who worked at CURE Kenya felt the need to build something more than a friendship, they were intentional about building relationships. I remember reporting to work one Monday morning and a colleague asking me, “Hey Elvis! How did the game go over the weekend.” I was surprised that someone I only mentioned this to maybe once or twice was actually interested in the results of a football game I had played. He even asked if he could come to the next game, and I said to him, “Why not!” This made me feel at home.
I could only imagine what this meant to our patients and their caregivers. I began to feel the need to help out with small tasks that would make them feel more comfortable. Someone would ask me for directions and instead of just pointing them in the right direction, I would actually take them there. Recently, one of the patients was discharged to go home. It was raining outside, and he didn’t have an umbrella. Nurse Grace and I were on lunch break, and Grace was carrying an umbrella. She decided to help the patient walk all the way to the vehicle taking them home just to make sure that his cast didn’t get wet. I don’t think the young man will ever forget that.
This is the culture that has been created at all CURE hospitals. With intentional relationships as a core value, the staff works to build lasting relationships with each other and with our patients and caregivers. It shows that we truly care for one another, and it is exciting to see patients come to CURE and form friendships among themselves as well.
Throughout Jesus’ mission, he formed relationships with people from all walks of life. Even before his death on the cross, he formed a relationship with the thief who asked Jesus to remember him. We as Christians are called to be intentional about the relationships we make by guiding people to the kingdom of God and sharing His word with them. At CURE, we believe that we have been called to serve others with the love of Christ and we work towards that goal every single day.