Header image  
Berkeley/Los Angeles/Ireland  
home | newsletter archive | previous newsletter

Newsletter July 2013

Marda Enjoying Sun  

About the National Health Service and about answers

It's not the weather we like, but the people, the community, and the NHS.  When we got here in April 2008, the minister took us to meet his General Practitioner (GP).  We were enrolled into the GP's practice and with the National Health Service. 

Ward had several pre-existing conditions and had several surgeries.  The doctor shockingly asked if we believe in faith healing.  We wondered whether he was of the religious belief that people bring on their own illness.  This is not something we believe. 

We have since found Dr. Corrie to be a very caring and sensible GP.  He enrolled us into the local hospital's diabetic clinic and they call us in 3 or 4 times a year for a thorough exam.  They provided a 6 week nutrition class counting carbs and balancing insulin.  Ward's Parkinson's diagnosis in 2010, was made after three weeks residential at the Royal Victoria (teaching) Hospital with reflex tests, spinal taps, and a DAT scan.

Upon our return to Belfast this past April the

doorbell rings and it is Derek, our carer's assistant.  Also at the door is Sharon, who says she is the speech therapist, and for 45 minutes she works with Ward to project and exercise his voice.  The social worker arranged the speech therapist unbeknownst to us.  She came for three sessions.

The NHS social services provide 16.5 hours a week of salary for a carer's assistant including the bookkeeping and the insurance reimbursement.  The providence of God has provided two people to help us, who could not be better.  One comes for 45 minutes six days a week at 6:30 a.m.  Derek comes three times a week to coach and exercise Ward and do some of the housework.  Wonderful! Hallelujah.

The day we returned home when released from the hospital in 2010, an OT called and said he wanted to come to the house to see what modification were needed.  The agency installed extra banisters, handrails at the entrances, and rails and a bench for the tub.  They also coordinated with the landlord to approve the modifications.  All free and they come to your home!  Despite the bombed out state of the British economy after WWII they decided they wanted universal health care for everyone.  No one begrudges this benefit to us.  They think of it as a human right in a civilized society.  America, please wise up and bring on health reform.

In the spiritual economy we work and we rest until we transition into our eternal home.  It is a good thing we no longer depend on a worldly employer.  We have an manager in the minister we work with.  He understands and appreciates our limitations and our gifts.  We have an employer in EBM, the agency that sponsors us, but they say just do what you do working in the community.  Reverend Jack Lamb often says "Ward you are a breath of sanity." 

After five years we realize our prayer life is the most significant work we do.  We have said that our home, The Loom is where relationships are woven.  We pray with whomever comes at 730 a.m. on Mondays and we pray together every day at 9 a.m.  Our "work" at the Townsend Street Church is to staff the pre-worship prayer and to publish a Prayer Bulletin.  We pray for the church and the community around it.

Watch this space as the Charis Bible College is moving into our Outreach Centre next door and they teach faith healing.  Our church's long term tenant is the Divine Healing Ministry run by a much respected Church of Ireland brother David Jardin.  A couple moving into the church apartment is an Anglican vicar and his wife who is attending the Bible College.  Just in the last month a whole clutter of new relationships have materialized around the church.  We've prayed and now we are thankful.

Next week we go to Armagh where the John Hewitt International Summer School is held.  Ward and Jon will be with 100 Irish writers.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

To view the .pdf version with all the photos. Print or email our newsletter