Monday mornings are generally busy at Patchwork. Now they’re even more so as Nurse John makes his rounds, catching up with people who are already clients of his Sozo Health Ministry and introducing himself to others who are hearing about it for the first time.
The Sozo Health Ministry (Sozo is a New Testament Greek word meaning both “to heal” and “to save”) has been in operation for less than three months, but in that time John has seen a significant need for its services. He’s met with over 40 individuals on over 70 occasions.
He’s done basic health screenings, he’s listened to individuals’ health concerns and educated them about their conditions, he’s referred them to other health care providers, he’s provided transportation so individuals can get to doctor’s appointments and the pharmacy, he’s accompanied individuals into doctor’s appointments and acted as their health advocate, he’s visited with and advocated for a client in the hospital, he’s prayed with clients who’ve asked for prayer, and he’s taught the children in Arts & Smarts how laughter makes you healthy.
Several Health Ministry clients are already seeing improved health outcomes and a better sense of holistic well-being, and several have been appreciative of having a health care professional who combines spiritual health care with physical and mental health care. John has had a medical provider refer a patient to him for Health Ministry services. To date, Sozo Health Ministry activities have resulted in over 60 instances of cost savings for other community health care organizations (i.e.: John’s early and simple interventions meant that conditions didn’t worsen and didn’t require more expensive interventions later).
While John’s interactions with his clients are confidential, all of us around Patchwork can see the impact that his care has had on the individuals with whom he’s meeting. Shawn tells the following story as an illustration:
“A gentleman came into my office today. He discussed his health issues and also some spiritual concerns he’d been having. I immediately thought of John and our new health ministry. I was able to introduce the man to John, and John spoke privately with him for a while. Afterward, the man told me that God had sent him to Patchwork today and that God was surrounding him with good people. He said that today was the best day he’d had in a long time. He thanked me over and over and told me he had shed a few tears while speaking with John, but he said tears can cleanse the soul. He said, ‘I may have made some mistakes in my life, but I’ve got a good heart, and when I get some money I want to give it to you all because I know you would use it to help people, especially the kids.’ As he left the building, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and shouted ‘I feel Happy!’ As he made his way down the sidewalk he continued to shout, ‘I feel Happy, I feel SO happy!!!'”