Thursday, February 05, 2009

Office Alone

Today was the first day that I was in church office all morning without my 'boss'. It was actually good. I found that people quite happily accepted me as the minister in his absence (even though I'm white, female and still studying). And for once I got a feel for what happens in the life of this church.
I also got to do my first hospital visit. They had hoped that someone would take Communion to the patient, but I am not yet allowed to do that and Rev Mathiti was away. So I offered to just go and pray and that was accepted.
I found Settlers Hospital quite easily, surprisingly enough, as my instructions were vague and I had no idea where it was. It is being revamped so there is construction activity everywhere. Fortunately people are helpful and I found a door in and also someone to take me to the patient although he was not in the ward that I'd been told. Actually he was in a sort of enclosed veranda area - which would have been quite pleasant had he been not so obviously ill. Settlers hospital is a combined private/ public hospital (and the only hospital in Grahamstown). It seems like a good idea. But the lady helping me was momentarily taken aback to realise that I was visiting a black man in the public section of the hospital. This cross cultural posting thing is a good idea for changing people's attitudes.
The odd thing for me was that I tried to speak Xhosa to the patient. I normally stumble over greetings, but when I realised this man was conscious but unable to communicate I found myself attempting Xhosa. Amazing. I managed to tell him that I was a minister from his church and that I had come to pray for him. About a third of the prayer was in Xhosa too. I guess if anyone wants to be understood badly enough, they will make an effort.
So, I was glad to actually feel like a minister just for the morning!


Steven Jones said...

"So, I was glad to actually feel like a minister just for the morning!" Doesn't it just feel awesome?! THIS is what we are called to do!

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

you are an amazing woman. God bless you.

rebecca said...

What a great quote Jenny...