Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Trip to the Mental Hospital

I just returned from a mental hospital in the West Bank. I went with a couple of friends who live and work in Bethlehem. We visited with the women there--some suffer from non-psychiatric problems such as epilepsy or past abuse, and others suffer from various mental disorders. As I walked through silent halls with paint-peeling walls and entered the first room in the women's chronic ward, I was greeted by nine surprised women, all in beds lined against the walls. Some were sleeping, but several woke up when we entered. They were so excited to have some company! We sat with them on their beds and tried to communicate with them in "Arabish" (Arabic/English), held their hands, sang songs, laughed, and prayed with them. When we first entered I was so shocked by their condition that I felt kind of awkward and unsure of what to do, but then I started thinking about how beautiful these women are in God's eyes. They are created in His image and are valuable to Him, so they are valuable to me. By the end I was reluctant to leave, and now I'm looking forward to visiting them again.

1 comment:

letterstoelijah said...

You are just awesome! I'm sure they loved having you visit.