Testimonies from Africa
Working as a nurse is a challenging job. It needs a heart with passion, patience and love. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw the hand of God in my life as he protected me. There were times when I despaired with anxiety, but when I remembered how King David in the Bible hoped in the Lord and encouraged himself, I would be revived.
I was pregnant when the coronavirus pandemic started. I’m also asthmatic. My gynecologist stressed how I should be careful not to catch COVID-19 because it would be too risky for both me and the child. I wondered how I would fare working at the biggest hospital in the country, Parirenyatwa, that was also treating COVID-19 patients.
One time at work, a difficult patient was admitted. He was frustrated and agitated. Worse still, he showed quite an attitude and did not want anything to do with nurses, doctors and being in the hospital. He was coughing so badly. Many of my colleagues were fed up with his antics. I then offered to nurse him, trying to create a nurse-to-patient relationship, chatting kindly and giving him his medication, and coaxing him to wear a mask. He was impossible, but eventually complied after 20-30 minutes of persuasion. I was happy too as I tucked him in.
As I was leaving, I saw two people in full PPE (personal protective equipment) running toward the cubicle. They said the patient I was nursing was COVID-positive and that he should be changed to the COVID ward.
I was filled with great fear when I thought of all the time I was chatting with him closely while he did not have a mask on. I worried. But I reminded myself that worry is like a rocking chair. I’d keep rocking in one place and get nowhere. I prayed.
I drew on my hope in the Lord. I remembered that those who hope in the Lord keep flying high like eagles, they run and do not become weary; they walk and do not faint. I mustered all my hope in the Lord and believed I would be well. Days went by, I continued with my work and felt strong. I had no COVID-19 symptoms.
On another vivid occasion when my baby was three months old, I nursed a patient who had been admitted the previous night. I bathed and dressed the patient’s wounds only to be told she had to be transferred to a COVID-19 ward. I worried about how I would quarantine with or without my breastfeeding baby. I just had faith and hoped God would continue to protect me. He did, because up until today I haven’t suffered from COVID, despite being highly exposed countless times. Yes, I am very cautious, but I do believe God protected me and I’m very grateful. I shall keep hoping in Jesus. Jesus is my true hope.
— Hazel Nenguke, Brethren in Christ Church, Zimbabwe