If you ever find your way into the doors of Hope Clinic...
I read a book recently by Jamie George called “Poets and Saints”. A dear friend who knows I love learning about church history had given it to me. One of the most fascinating chapters was about the life of St. Patrick. Now I haven’t done all my research on this guy, and honestly I didn’t know much about him except there was a St. Patrick’s Day that seems to be set aside for parades and parties. This is the furthest from the truth of who this Saint of the old was. Even crazier, the information I read about this man’s life spoke volumes to what we were doing at our clinic!
During the same time, we were reviewing our patient flow, which means we were making sure our timing with patients was efficient and our approach was Christ-like. It has always been our goal to meet the girl where she is at in life and to come alongside her in her specific situation. So what does St. Patrick have to do with patient flow and our approach of reaching the girls at Hope Clinic? I would like to share with you his model of reaching people and the empathy that we must also possess.
Modeling after a Saint from the Old
His Story - St. Patrick was taken from his home in Britain and made to be a slave in Ireland (a rough barbaric society). Once he was finally free and home, he felt God call him back to the place that took his freedom. He spent two decades preparing for his trip back to Ireland. He could have returned in arrogance shouting, “This is the only way” and thinking himself much better than they. However, he returned with a much more humble approach.
His Approach – Learn the culture, come alongside of them, create relationships, and then share the gospel. He modeled a subtle and gentle spirit, yet was firm in his faith of Christ. Of St. Patrick, it was stated, “As such, he treated them as equals. His way was patient and subtle, and he allowed his listening to govern his talking. He modeled a way of love and then described Love’s origin.” (page number 38)
Much like St. Patrick, we desire to build relationships and approach each patient’s situation in a holistic way.
How does this look at Hope Clinic?
First, fellowship takes place when she is triaged by a nurse or other trained medical staff. We tell the patient, “I want to hear your story” to begin the relationship. In our setting this means to learn about the pregnancy and sexual health history of our patient.
Second, in order to minister and deepen the conversation, the care-coordinator will continue to build on the relationship through compassionate listening. This is accomplished as we engage empathetically and expose the patient to Jesus Christ.
Finally, we extend an invitation for her to make better lifestyle choices physically, relationally, emotionally and spiritually. We have been honored many times to witness the Holy Spirit work in the lives of these girls. They begin to make healthier life-style choices about abortion, parenting, adoption, and their sexual health and relationships.
So if you ever find your way into the doors of Hope Clinic you will hopefully experience a system that allows us to spend quality time with our patients. Jesus Christ is the greatest example for us in Philippians 2:5:
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God,
he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges (made Himself of no reputation) he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form.” (NLT, NASB, NKJV)