HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The pandemic continues to affect families across the world and hospitals are in need of chaplains who are focused on helping families get through those difficult times.
“This is about how to walk with people who are hurting and struggling,” said Joe Perez, Vice President of the Mission and Ministry at Valley Baptist Health System.
Chaplains have played a critical role during the pandemic offering spiritual guidance and support to families, Perez said, their help continues to be needed, with many families sharing their appreciation for them.
“They’re just appreciative that somebody cares and talks to them and is with them, a lot of times were trying to pray for healing and those kinds of things,” said Perez.
Now, two years into the pandemic, Perez said they are looking for more chaplains to be a part of their community. Many, have already begun training and they share why they have decided to step in and help.
“Individuals always need some kind of ministry, consolation, being there with them and so I want meaningfully to contribute to the comfort and the ministry,” said Seanell Williams, a chaplain trainee.
Williams who is in the process of becoming a chaplain adds that he felt right now was the time to do it, even in the midst of death and sorrow.
“A lot of people have been traumatized by this pandemic, a lot of individuals have lost their family members in that they were not even there to say goodbye,” said Williams.
Since many families weren’t able to say their goodbyes, Williams said he feels a responsibility to help these families get through such painful times. Meanwhile, Perez adds that the goal of pastoral care ministry is not to change someone’s religious beliefs.
“We also have to be very much available to people who are not Christian because a professional spiritual caregiver is open and respectful to all traditions,” said Perez.
Perez and Williams hope that with the help of chaplains, families are able to get through these devastating times.