Worth the wait

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Mon, 14 Dec 2015 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

The following is adapted from an article in CMSI’s ‘Summer Snippets’ publication from 2013.

SDSS was established in 2005 by one of CMSI’s Global Partners in Nepal, SD Church. Since its inception almost 25 years ago, the church has sought to respond to the needs of the poor, the marginalised and those with disabilities.

The most prominent of SDSS’s initiatives is the Patient Navigator Programme. This provides support to patients from rural areas who come to Kathmandu for medical procedures. The patients are referred to SDSS by mission hospitals and rural clinics.

As the Patient Navigator Programme grew, the main obstacle to the work became the limited size, unsuitable space and uncertain tenancy of the SDSS compound in Kathmandu. This was a former carpet factory – but in reality it was little more than a small building and some brick and corrugated iron outhouses. In 2007, SDSS shared their dream to build a more suitable centre for the work of SDSS.

Within a year, thanks to the generous support of a few individuals, a Church of Ireland Trust fund and a parish (St Patrick’s, Ballymena), CMSI had raised over £40,000 towards the purchase of land – not enough to buy all the land required and certainly not enough to commence building, but it was a start. And then, the waiting began.

As SDSS sought suitable land and additional donors, and as they negotiated various stages of bureaucracy, the money sat in an account, untouched for over two years.

Occasionally, CMSI’s approach to partnership means that things can seem to move quite slowly. Working collaboratively means that we don’t make decisions on behalf of our partners, nor do we dictate the pace of progress.This can be frustrating for churches or individuals who are looking for a ‘quick-fix’ engagement in mission. That’s not how we work – and as I was reminded on my last visit to Nepal, there’s much value in Godly patience.

On 14th May 2013, SDSS officially opened its new Patient Navigator Centre. It’s an impressive building, with spaces for 50 beds, a modern, professional kitchen, a large multi-purpose hall (which is ‘rented’ to SD Church for services and meetings), a counselling room, office space and a state of the art water filtration system (which CMSI helped to fund). There’s also a wheelchair ramp running round the outside of the building to the first floor.

This new building has doubled the capacity for the Patient Navigator Programme and has improved the quality of care that can be offered across all of the SDSS programmes. It also provides a much-needed increase in space for SD Church services – with well over 200 people attending each week.

I represented CMSI at the opening event and met with the other main donors for the building project. A Canadian organisation and a Canadian church provided the bulk of the money, but one of their representatives impressed upon me the significance of CMSI’s initial ‘seed money’:

You showed confidence in SDSS by giving those funds before any other money was committed. In turn, they showed that they were trustworthy by leaving the funds untouched. These two things were crucial in our decision to support this project. Without your role, we couldn’t have played our part.

SDSS – as part of the Church in Nepal – is helping people find their way and showing them a different path. Their story – and this story – act as reminders to all of us to trust the God who, in His perfect time, takes what we offer and multiplies it beyond our imagination.

Sometimes, God asks us to pause, to trust Him in the waiting and to allow Him to reveal His perfect plan. We don’t always understand what He’s doing, but we can be sure that He’s at work, bringing many blessings.

Roger

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