‘I Feel Love Through Your Eyes’

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35, ESV

 

Ambulance sirens pierced vacant cobblestone streets and an eerie calm settled over the small town of Cremona, Italy. But inside the local hospital, the atmosphere was anything but calm as hundreds of coronavirus patients filled every spare room and lined the hallways.

Early in 2020, as the virus spread around the globe, Northern Italy became an epicentre of COVID-19 infections. Local hospital infrastructure was incapacitated by the volume of patients, leaving medical staff with a lack of space and resources. At Cremona Hospital, 500 of the 600 patient beds had been converted to care for the influx of COVID-19 patients and the doctors and nurses could no longer meet the critical needs on their own.

On 17 March, Samaritan’s Purse airlifted a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to Cremona to help support the local hospital. The mobile hospital was outfitted with a specialised respiratory care unit and a ten-bed intensive care unit (ICU) for critical patients.

Francesco was the first person admitted to our ICU, where doctors and nurses provided round-the-clock care as Francesco fought for his life. Nurse Shannon Wood prayed that Francesco and the other patients at the Emergency Field Hospital would feel the love of Jesus while receiving care within the tents.

“When we are covered in personal protective equipment and all they can see is my eyes, I’m able to love these patients and stroke their hair and hold their hand,” Shannon said. Their compassion and care opened doors to share the Gospel. “They are curious about the Jesus that we say that we love.”

Though Francesco never saw Shannon’s face, or the faces of the other doctors and nurses who cared for him, he told them. “I feel love through your eyes.” Thanks be to God, Francesco was removed from a ventilator after several days in intensive care and transitioned to step-down medical care.

24

Countries visited to meet the needs of vulnerable communities and prevent the spread of the virus

878,643

People trained in virus prevention

392,145

Protective supplies distributed

147,440

Hygiene kits distributed

28,000

Food baskets given to families whose livelihoods were threatened by the economic impacts of the coronavirus

119,700

People were presented with the Gospel

He prayed to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, and returned home to his family with a testimony of all that God has done.

In addition to the physical healing he experienced, Francesco made the decision to trust in Christ for his spiritual healing. He prayed to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and returned home with a testimony of all that God has done. Over the course of two months, we treated 281 COVID-19 patients in Cremona.

Samaritan’s Purse also deployed an Emergency Field Hospital to Central Park in New York City. “These are uncertain times,” said Franklin Graham during a visit to thank medical staff serving in the field hospital. “I want the people of New York to know that God made us and created us and loves us. He hasn’t forgotten us.” Through our partnership with the Mount Sinai Health System, we treated more than 300 coronavirus patients in New York, including 190 at our Central Park site.

We deployed a third field hospital to Nassau, Bahamas—where the number of the coronavirus patients had overwhelmed the local healthcare system—and sent medical teams to King Salmon, Alaska, and Navajo Nation, Arizona.

In addition to our medical response, Samaritan’s Purse worked in 24 countries to meet the needs of vulnerable communities and prevent the spread of the virus. We trained 878,643 people in prevention measures, and distributed 392,145 protective supplies and 147,440 hygiene kits. Our teams also provided more than 28,000 food baskets to families whose livelihoods were threatened by the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Through these efforts, more than 119,700 people were presented with the Gospel.

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