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Churchwomen put smiles on patients’ faces (UM News)

July 11, 2022

United Methodist Women in Maun recently celebrated Women’s Month by donating food and toiletries worth $500 U.S. to female patients at Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital, a district facility in Botswana.

Tsisti Mabambe, United Methodist Women chair, and a team of representatives presented the items on behalf of the women’s ministry. Donations were sourced from members, friends, associates and church families.

Monica Mberi, a nurse, explained that the women brought sanitary pads, which are not available at the hospital; toiletries for patients who are admitted unexpectedly; and fruits and drinks for the patients.    

“Each patient received a fruit hamper and toiletries,” Mberi said. “The Mazoe drinks were given to nurses so they would dilute [them] for patients and give them during mealtimes.” 

“We found it necessary as women in the church to stand in the gap and share the little we have,” Tsisti said. “The church has to uphold the fourfold ministry of Jesus Christ through giving emotionally, spiritual and material support, and (extending) the love of Jesus Christ.”

The Rev. Tafadzwa Mabambe, Maun Mission Area pastor-in-charge, said most members of his congregation of around 30 are women.

“The women marketed The United Methodist Church,” he said, “by doing works of charity and sharing the word of God with the sick and workers. Some of the patients asked for contact details and where they can find the church.

“In The United Methodist Church,” he continued, “we strongly believe in recognizing and supporting the contribution of women. We believe in the value of women in all aspects of ministry without any exception.”

The Rev. Alan Gurupira, administrative assistant to Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, called women’s ministry one of the most vital arms of the church. “Women in The United Methodist Church,” Gurupira said, “are the vanguard, offering service in different committees. They raise funding to support their programs.”

Jesus cared for everyone, including the vulnerable and the sick, Tsisti said, and the women’s ministry should emulate Christ by putting smiles on the faces of vulnerable people.

Dr. Lebogang Mokotedi, hospital superintendent, expressed appreciation on behalf of the hospital. Thanking the church, he called on other corporate bodies to emulate the women’s kind gesture.  

COVID-19, Tsisti lamented, has caused economic havoc in society, and the government cannot deal with the situation alone.  

“The opportunity was an eye-opener and a great wake-up call,” she said. “We need to be there for each other in times of need and distress.”

Future endeavors for the women’s ministry include corporate partnerships to help the needy and spread the Gospel.