In marked contrast to the shoddy ramshackle construction of the buildings in the towns and nearby villages, the hospital is very well built. You can get a sense of the size of the hospital from the photos on their web site. But one or two from me may help.
But it’s not merely the construction that’s impressive. It’s what goes on within the walls that’s most worthy of comment. All the staff are Christians. And they share an unswerving commitment to their responsibility to care for the person in a holistic sense. And so they attend not only to the very real and serious physical needs that they encounter. But they also provide for the social needs through the Community Health Team. They deliver health education, vaccinations and instruction in water sanitation. But it’s perhaps in their provision of care for the spiritual needs that sets this mission hospital apart. I’ve not been to other mission hospitals so I need to be careful. But I’d be surprised if they’re as single minded about their responsibility before God to minister to their patients with the gospel. It is wonderfully encouraging to see and hear of what takes place.
The HVM web site will tell you most of what you need to know. But here’s what I remember from my Thursday morning tour with Peter.
- An evangelistic meeting is held every morning at 0730 in the outpatient department so that everyone gets to hear the gospel at least once.
- Twice daily an evangelistic meeting is held in the wards where there’s a captive audience!
- Gospel tracts in Malagasy and sermon tapes with accompanying booklets are available for inpatients.
- Doctors and Nurses take every opportunity to explain the gospel to their patients.
- With the agreement of the patient, the surgeon and operating theatre staff pray for the patient and commit the operation to God.
- The hospital employs at least one full time Malagasy evangelist who goes into the wards and helps answer people’s questions.
These are just some of the reasons why we’re so happy at CCB to support our mission partners, the Judkins, at HVM. This is a mission hospital that understands that its mission is much broader than attending to the serious medical needs that they encounter.