Karen serves as a chaplain at Westmead Children’s Hospital, supporting children and their families in the cardiac ward and the liver and kidney disease ward.
I’d been a case manager for children and adults with disabilities, and have also done pastoral work with women and children in our local church. I decided to take on the role as a chaplain with the desire to provide spiritual, as well as physical and emotional, support to children and families in need.
When I arrive at the hospital, I firstly have some time spent reading the Bible and praying with my fellow chaplains before I check my ward lists and begin my visits.
I find it really satisfying being able to generously give time to really build relationships with children and parents going through the very stressful event of an often prolonged hospital stay. One of the most challenging aspects of my work is in situations where I’m meeting a family for the first time to provide spiritual support because they have just lost their child in a tragedy.
I see my role as walking alongside people in times like this. I try to connect with people in a way that helps them understand that God is with them and truly cares for them as they go through this hard time.
In NSW, the government provides funding for chaplaincy roles like Karen’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 support Karen financially and with prayer by becoming a sponsor.