When the Patient is the Doctor

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There some days working at Samaritan Health Center where I receive lavish, yet simple gifts that fill me with joy. When that happens, it’s almost as if the patient makes the doctor feel better.

The other day, a six year old came in for a physical exam, equipped with his play doctor kit that he made from his "Thomas the Tank" box.  He had his play stethoscope around his neck as he greeted me, and he was so excited to show me his medical items as we talked. 

The blessing, of course, was that we actually had the time to talk. One of the things that makes SHC so special is that we get to spend time with our patients, forming these sweet relationships that forge a bond, and give us the opportunity, whenever needed, to pray and encourage a patient.  This time, though, it was the patient that absolutely made my day.

 

Greetings for a New Year

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Dear friends,
Happy New Year to you and yours! 
As we begin a new calendar year of ministry, we’re planning to run the next leg of this journey full of enthusiasm! Supported by regular and focused prayer, we are expectant that, with God’s leading and provision, the Jericho Partnership will increase its impact in the city of Danbury in 2018.

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Our commitment, as stressed so often by Chairman Emeritus Bill Beattie, is to “keep the mission the mission.” So, in 2018, we’ll sharpen our focus, and look at transformation through the lens of strengthened relationships – with those we serve, with our church partners, our ministry leaders & staff, our volunteers, and our gift partners - and discern how we can be even more effective together. Our role models remain, first and foremost, Jesus, who modeled love in relationship, and second, the Good Samaritan, who wouldn’t walk by anyone in need. 
We’re expectant that this year will be a significant year for our Partnership, and invite you to lock arms with us in our journey!

- With every blessing, Carrie L. Amos, President

Made in the Image of God: Treating the Homeless as Valuable

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Once, while walking down the street with someone from our homeless community, someone drove past shouting, “you bum, get a job!”  In an instant, I felt the dagger of disparagement in my own gut.  But how did Melvin feel?  When we talked about it, he said he hears that daily.  Imagine, hearing that every day! What impact that must have on a person.

The homeless often stand out as the lowest, the loneliest and the misfits of our communities. Some have been in homelessness for weeks, even years. They have lost jobs, families, and all sense of self-respect or worth.  It’s reinforced by every shout of “get a job, you bum.”

Genesis 1:26-27 declares that God created mankind in His image and likeness.  That alone places value on every human being, whether they have a home, or a job, or they don’t. That is why one of Jericho’s main objectives is to serve the homeless and needy of our city.

So, how do we let homeless people know they have value? How can we make a difference in their lives? The short answer: Get to know them.

Develop a relationship. Consider bringing someone meals on a regular basis. Talk with him or her and find out who they are and what led to their status. Ask about their hopes and dreams. Once you develop a relationship, trust the Holy Spirit to lead about whether this might flourish into a discipleship relationship.

Be brutally honest, but lead with understanding and love. This helps build trust in the relationship. When someone senses that you authentically care about them, so much so that you might have to say difficult things to them, they begin to feel a sense of self-worth -- that their life matters. That leads to a rebirth… and change.

Recognize changes. When someone makes genuine strides in his life, even makes small positive changes – recognize it, with the appropriate accolades.  This builds more self-confidence, bestows more value, and leads to more change.

We see this regularly at Jericho’s Good Samaritan Mission. Men arrive in all sorts of brokenness. But when the staff treats them as valued people, and gets to know them – and ascribes God’s love onto them - through the power of the gospel and the dedicated work of staff, a transformation takes place.  A healing begins. Hope is resurrected and opportunities begin to be revealed. 

We all can be part of this road to restoration. This journey that Jericho Partnership allows us to go on with a person of circumstance will be a long one. It will be tiresome, with ups and downs.  But we must become like the hound of heaven who walked and chased after us.  So, let’s chase the ones who have been left behind, and really invest in the worth and value of everyone within our city.  We can help be the change catalyst in someone’s life.

My prayer is that we will serve our city like Jesus did … as Pastor J. D. Greear said, “not by foraying into the community and sprinkling blessings in neat, hermetically sealed packages, but by incarnating ourselves in their lives.  We’ll never go as far with someone else as Jesus did for us.”  - Pastor Jim Wiley, First Assembly of God, Brookfield

The Baton of Leadership

I cherish the morning drive to school with my 12-year-old daughter, Grayce. Most days, we listen to a five-minute devotional, discuss it and then pray. The past couple of months, I’ve been praying that Grayce “experiences” the fullness of God’s truths - that the knowledge in her head would pierce her heart. During a recent drive, she asked me this: “Mom, when have you felt the presence of God the strongest?”

Fun Facts about Volunteering

1. In 2012, 64.5 million Americans (26.5% of the population) contributed 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $175 billion of service.

2. The estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Connecticut is $28 an hour.

3. Volunteers have a better chance of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.