Mozambique (MNN) — In rural areas of Mozambique, terminally ill people are pushed away. They’re isolated and alienated. Often times, they’re even put in mud or grass huts and don’t see anyone. Why?
“Because of fear of death, fear of the spirits after death; people don’t know how to deal with someone who’s at the end of life. Families don’t know how to care,” Audio Scripture Ministries (ASM) Chad Vanden Bosch says.
Misinformation and misunderstanding are leading families to separate themselves when sick loved ones need them most. But, ASM is changing this through a new compassionate care ministry project.
ASM staff are on the move, coming alongside rural families and their terminally ill loved ones with education and more. “They’re using hospice palliative methods, along with Audio Scripture materials to minister to those who are suffering from incurable diseases,” explains Vanden Bosch.
Wildlife Storytellers — stuffed animals containing ASM audio Bibles — are given to terminally ill patients by ASM staff. Along with the hope of Jesus, these Storytellers offer patients — especially children — a friend to hold at all times.
Furthermore, ASM provides medical supplies. “They will provide basic medical comfort care to those who are suffering from incurable diseases, many of whom have never stepped foot inside a hospital before.” The supplies are acts of love in and of themselves. Most patients would never be able to afford medicine or travel to clinics with supplies.
ASM has already seen the blessings of this project, and have even received favor from the local government and local hospital. But the program and ASM staff desperately need your prayers.
Most patients are AIDS and HIV-positive. Others have suffered from strokes or heart diseases, which have left them immobile. It’s not only hard for family members to see what their loved ones are going through, it’s also hard for ASM staff members.
“It’s very difficult for the staff. It’s very hard for them to see people that they’ve become so close to, visiting so often, coming to the end of their life.”
Each person involved in the program – a patient, a family member or friend, an ASM staff member – needs prayer for renewal and encouragement from God. Pray for patients to be surrounded by those he or she loves; pray patients will find hope in the Word of God.
In the near future, ASM hopes to build an office to store supplies and function as a place to train national workers. You can help them reach their goal through financial support.
I have worked in Hospice for many years, these end-of-life weeks, days, moments are so very important for those family members, to grieve in a healthy manner, and to go on in love and memory. Many individuals would say to me, “How can you do this job?” But once you have been with a patient/family, you know that you could be nowhere else. I was honored by them to share in that special time.Thank you for what you are doing!