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Joseph serves as a chaplain at St. Vincent’s hospital in Darlinghurst. He works mostly in the Intensive Care Unit, but also visits the Drug and Alcohol Detox Unit and recently began visiting the Palliative Care Unit. “When I realize that I am an instrument in the Father’s hand as he brings about his loving purposes for someone, I am so grateful.”
Before becoming a chaplain, I was serving as a home missionary in Sydney’s southwest.
A seed of interest in chaplaincy was planted through watching ABC Compass series on hospital chaplaincy. It was a fascinating series that offered “a unique bedside view of the daily life and death drama of hospital life through the chaplains’ eyes”(YouTube, ABC Compass series on hospital chaplains series). I was caught with the ways the chaplains regardless of their faith all meet the same challenges – “to help make sense of the mystery of illness, pain, suffering and despair” (YouTube, ABC Compass series on hospital chaplains series). Then in 2015, I received an offer to join the chaplaincy team, and the rest is history!
There is always someone to talk to in the hospital; patients young and old, families, nurses, doctors, social workers as well as other chaplains. They can be people from all faiths, no faith and everything in between. There are people from diverse cultures and experiences and they all come with stories – stories of love, faith, hope, suffering, joy, grief, loss, and more.
I am always surprised by the providence of God – the way God works through good and bad for His purposes. I am taken aback by how God leads my footsteps towards someone in need of caring presence, a warm smile, even a prayer or two, to assure that God has not abandoned them, and confidently say in faith, “you are not alone”. When this happens it usually happens just at the right time, never too late or too early for the person in need of the assurance. When I realize that I am an instrument in the Father’s hand as he brings about his loving purposes for someone, I am so grateful.
In NSW, the government provides funding for chaplaincy roles like Joseph’s, acknowledging the benefits of chaplains in hospitals and correctional centres. However, this only covers part of a chaplain’s wage. To ensure we can sustain our chaplaincy ministry, we need your help. To find out more about how you can support chaplains financially as an individual or as a church, click here.
Don’t forget: You can sign up to receive prayer points, or support Joseph financially and with prayer.