There’s an inherent duality in the nature of CURE. It’s written right into the mission statement: “heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
As Christians, we are called to care for both the physical and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. It’s no secret that our physical bodies will die one day, but as Christians, we believe that our souls will live on forever. So, if we’re ministering to someone’s physical needs at the neglect of their soul, we’re merely putting a band-aid on the problem. Conversely, if we were to minister to a person’s soul with no regard for their physical needs, we’d be missing a central part of the gospel we preach.
We need to do both.
This duality influences everything CURE does – how our patients experience our services, how our leaders make decisions, and how our core values influence our staff on a daily basis.
Restoring the Broken is one of CURE’s five core values, which we define as taking action in responding to the physical and emotional needs of those we serve. Rees-Jones Foundation (RJF) Ward Head Nurse Tizita Tesfaye is a prime example of how this core value is lived out daily by our staff.
Throughout her 12 years at CURE Ethiopia, Tizita has served in almost all aspects of CURE’s nursing programs. She has worked in the ward, where patients recover immediately after surgery. She has assisted in the outpatient clinic, where patients are both initially seen as well as return for follow up appointments. And currently, Tizita serves as the Head Nurse in the RJF long term patient ward, where patients that require ongoing, intimate care stay. In all these roles, her job has always been to nurse sick and struggling patients back to health. Her care has facilitated the restoration of literally thousands of suffering children over her time at CURE Ethiopia.
When asked about which area of CURE Ethiopia she prefers, a guilty smile lights her face and she admits her current posting leading the RJF ward is her favorite. “(In the RJF ward), we get to know the kids better since they stay with us for longer,” she explains. “We become like family.” You see, for Tizita, her passion extends far beyond handing out medication or taking vital signs. Her passion lies in developing a relationship with patients and families which speaks directly to our core value of restoring the broken.
In between her nursing duties, it’s common to find Tizita sitting and investing in a patient. “So many of the kids have been discriminated against because of their disabilities,” she tells us. Tizita takes the extra step to help our patients positively process their emotions and alleviate their emotional pain by developing a relationship with them. She sees this as just as important as helping to alleviate their physical pain.
Tizita is also heavily involved with the counseling team’s activities in the RJF ward. She’s an active participant in the games, songs, and stories. She has no hesitation in meeting the children where they are and joining them in their joy. For this, the children love her. Long term patient Meriyem explains it like, “I love Tizu for so many reasons. She plays with us. She laughs with us. She also gives me anything I ask her for. It can be hand sanitizer or anything!”
Restoring the Broken has a dual message here at CURE. We focus on restoring a patient’s physical body to health and meeting or restoring a patient’s emotional needs. Tizita understands this and has expanded her primary nursing role to care for patients holistically, addressing both their physical and emotional needs. She is a living and breathing example of healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God. She puts it simply, “If it wasn’t for this duality in treatment, CURE would be just like any other hospital. But it isn’t. Here, we also treat with compassion and love.”