Stories from the Sozo Health Ministry

John Rich continues to be busy with his work as the Health Minister. He and Mary Damm, RN, are here every Monday morning to talk with people, take blood pressures, and answer a variety of health questions. Much of the rest of the week John spends driving clients to and from medical appointments and accompanying them into these appointments if they request it. ValentineIt is both rewarding work and emotionally draining work.

Below are two stories from John that illustrate the Sozo Health Ministry’s vision of holistic healing:

She opens the car door, plops down in the passenger seat and slams the door harder than usual. “What’s wrong?” I ask, almost afraid that I am opening a metaphorical door that I won’t be able to close again, no matter how much I will want to do so in the next few minutes. She launches into a vituperative tirade about her family situation. She is a client of the Sozo Health Ministry, and I am driving her to a doctor’s appointment. I have discovered that car rides to and from doctor’s offices can have their own sort of healing effect. She gets to vent. She gets to escape the stressful home environment for a brief amnesty while she travels to the next stressful environment—her doctor’s exam room. More than that, she gets to be HEARD. Someone really listens to her. It is hard to overestimate how healing that is. She also gets to have her driver—also a registered nurse–reassure her that she is not alone in handling all of her appointments, medications, tests, diagnoses, and uncertainties. She is heard and she is not alone. Healing cannot be far behind.

Around Patchwork, everybody knows his name. He is one of our regular guests during hospitality time, Monday through Thursday mornings. People would see him walking into the building and call out his name, loud in greeting. Most of the time, he would smile that charmingly dimpled smile and wave his hand in acknowledgement. A couple of weeks ago, though, he wasn’t smiling. He had lost a lot of weight. He just did not look healthy. Mary, one of the RN’s who volunteers with the Sozo Health Ministry, took his blood pressure. It was fine. Then she checked his pulse; it clocked in at over 130 beats per minute, significantly higher than it should have been. crocusWe advocated for him to get an earlier appointment with his primary care doctor. That appointment led to a hospital stay full of scans and tests to find out what was wrong. Unfortunately, our friend has a terminal illness. In the last few days, there have been tears shed, stories shared, phone calls made, and even bedside visits by multiple Patchwork volunteers and staff. If you pray, please keep our friend in your prayers.

Please keep all of the Sozo Health Ministry clients and volunteers in your prayers. Healing cannot be far behind…


Notes from 40 Years at Patchwork:


“Patchwork Central… a perfect name for the multifaceted, many-dimensional personalities which are its essence. It is a community of dedicated Christians who incorporate the message of Christianity in its simplest and truest form in every segment of their lives. These re not passive people. They are people who are actively engaged in giving their time and their energy and financial resources to the community of Evansville.”

 ~Katharine Van Ost; a lawyer who volunteered at Patchwork. 1979 Newsletter

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