“God is present. God cares. God provides,” say medical staff working with “no fear, no reservation”
Gracia Lee // February 6, 2020, 10:01 pm
Alice Phua, the director of nursing at St Luke's Hospital, volunteered to be a screener at the hospital over the Chinese New Year weekend so that her staff would not have to return for their duties. Photo courtesy of St Luke's Hospital.
Dr Linus Chua, an associate consultant at St Luke’s Hospital, had plans to get married in mid-February.
But, with the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus situation, he is now unsure if he and his fiancée will still be able to go through with their wedding plans.
“I discharge my duty without fear nor reservation … a Christ follower must speak words of hope and life to those who despair.”
Dr Chua is just one of the many healthcare workers in the frontlines whose responsibilities have burgeoned as they face longer work hours, enforce infection control measures, allay fears and monitor patients and staff members, all the while exposing themselves to the risk of infection.
Yet the Christian healthcare workers that Salt&Light spoke to are soldiering on in faith.
Dr Chua told Salt&Light his “heart and prayers go out to the many who are struggling in Wuhan and the medical teams fighting to care for them in crowded medical facilities”, but “I have peace knowing that God is in control”.
Dr Tan Poh Kiang, a general practitioner at PJ Clinic, who was also in the frontlines during the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, said that even in the face of uncertainties, “God is present. God cares. God provides. The Lord is heartbroken that His people suffer.
“With that foundation, I discharge my duty without fear nor reservation. Moreover, I sense that it is precisely such a time as this that a Christ follower like me must speak words of hope and life to those who despair.
“Therefore those of us who know Him must share His heartbeat and desire to rescue and redeem.
“My work as a doctor is an outflow of my faith. It is not a job to me, it is a calling,” he added quietly.
“He will see us through”
Many healthcare workers have made personal sacrifices.
Dr Chua’s colleague at St Luke’s Hospital, Ms Alice Phua, who is the director of nursing, has burned her weekends working tirelessly to come up with infection control measures. She even volunteered to be a screener at the hospital over the Chinese New Year weekend so that her staff would not have to return for their duties.
With 238 nurses under her care, Phua feels that she has a responsibility to do her part.
“This is a battle that God will fight alongside the world … My trust and faith in Him will not waver.”
“My nurses already work very hard on the ground. They deserve a good rest to recharge over the Chinese New Year weekend. They are far more important to my patients than I am,” she reasoned.
During this hectic and uncertain time, Phua is standing firm in her faith in God, trusting that He remains in control.
She clings on tightly to Psalm 91:3, which reminds her that God will save.
“God is always kind, compassionate and loving towards His creations. This is a battle that God will fight alongside the world. He will always be victorious as He is the creator of this world.
“He will see us through. My trust and faith in Him will not waver.”
Sharing the same sentiment is Dr Chia Tee Hien, medical director at St Luke’s Hospital. He said: “God is able to provide all our needs, and His peace that transcends above all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Him (Philippians 4:7).”
As the team at St Luke’s Hospital perseveres through longer hours, even on weekends and public holidays, they are “trusting in God’s direction and wisdom to help us plan ahead”, he added.
“This is an opportunity for us to draw close to Him, knowing that the current situation is so uncertain. Despite all the unpredictability, God is still holding our hands and leading us every step of our journey with Him.”
Four ways to pray for our healthcare workers in the frontlines
- That they will be diligent not only to serve but also to protect themselves.
- That God will protect them and their families from harm.
- That they will help to allay fears and exemplify kindness and compassion.
- For the energy to sustain them throughout the duration of the crisis.