Last night the entire team arrived in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Pictured are Revs. Collver and Hernandez and Dr. Indira Rodriquez. Below are some reflections by Carlos Hernandez.
Reflections by Rev. Carlos Hernandez, Director, Districts and Congregations, LCMS WR-HC
"Care for the Caregiver"
Jimani, Dominican Republic, January 23, 2010 -
Today we refocused our pastoral care attention from only Haitian earthquake victim to also include earthquake care providers--doctors, nurses and other medical providers coming in from night shifts and needing to debrief emotionally and spiritually.
Pastor Matthew Harrison used the "interview" process for making these medical staff folks feel more comfortable in sharing deeply felt issues. Several doctors cried as they vented feelings they had been holding back.
I turned my attention to Spanish-speaking doctors and nurses. One doctor, Indira Rodriquez, wanted us to remember the long-term needs of those who lost legs and/or arms and legs and will need prothesis.
She also wanted to know how to reunite her adopted daughter, Rosalina, with her nartural mother and also how to obtain a birth certificate for her so she can attend the university. While this was her way of opening doors to a debriefing, pastoral, conversation ("So many adults and children lost limbs!" she cried explaining the need for prothesis), nonetheless I also received her concerns at face value and connected her with Pastors Krey and Ryes who saw no problem making that happen.
Our cumulative total of 44 years as parish pastors (the three of us who stayed behind to provide pastoral care) was again heavily used by the medical staff--those caregivers who are only as good at giving care as they themselves are given access to self-care, including pastoral care.
Pastor Hernandez can be reached by cell phone (314-956-2005) and receive email (firstname.lastname@example.org) even while in Haiti/Dominican Republic.