Update from Marinela Murg, Executive Director, Emanuel Hospice, Romania
This year Emanuel Hospice celebrates 20 years of ministry, providing care, comfort and dignity to more than 2,500 adult and paediatric patients. The hospice work remains a ministry of Emanuel Baptist Church in Oradea.
Emanuel Hospice welcomes patients who are diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, when curative treatment is no longer effective and there is no hope for healing. Generally, people at end of their lives want to be cared for and allowed to die at home, surrounded by their family and friends. This was the motivation back in 1996 for myself along with a fellow doctor to start visiting patients at home after being discharged from the Department of Oncology.
The work of the hospice commenced without an office and no official registration. We simply had a list of 30 names and addresses of patients who were under treatment with morphine. In fact, a tram station became our early morning meeting place to organise the schedule of daily visits. Most important of all, however, was a calling from God to do something for the sick people who when discharged from hospital were receiving the verdict ‘unfortunately we can no longer do anything’.
At Emanuel Hospice we believe and affirm that there is always something that can be done for the patients whose disease is not responsive to treatment anymore. We can control pain and other overwhelming symptoms, we can alleviate their psychological and emotional pain and we can encourage them spiritually. Also we can support them and their loved ones at a difficult time of life and we can assure them that we will not abandon them, but will be with them until the end, by providing an optimal quality of life.
Indeed, at this stage of the disease, we cannot add days to the life of our patients, but we can add life to the days which remain. There is always something which can be done for the patient who is living out their last months or weeks of life. This challenge has been embraced by each member of our hospice team of Christian professionals; doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, chaplains and volunteers.
We thank the Lord for His faithfulness, provision and blessings upon the hospice work during all these years. Transform Europe Now represents one of the blessings of God for Emanuel Hospice ministry. Our hospice work would have not been possible without the consistent support received during our early years from Eurovangelism. Gladly others have joined TEN as our wider family of supporters has grown.
With 20 years of hospice ministry behind us, we do not only look to the past but also to the future. Our daring dream is to complete the construction of a new hospice centre with integrated services for adults and children. This facility will allow us to increase the number of patients and families assisted and also provide the range of care in the environment preferred by the patient; whether at home, in a day care centre or in the unit beds. The style and design of the new building will differ from the institutional model, to help patients feel more at home than being in a medical facility.
So far we have managed to finish the basement of the centre and are now at the stage where we literally need bricks to build the ground floor. Currently, through our Buy a brick for Hospice campaign we are inviting businesses, organizations, churches and individuals, to join us as partners in this innovative project. Thanking God for the past, we entrust the future of Emanuel Hospice in His arms.