Introducing Yvonne Woods, and what better way than in her own words. Well sort of anyway…
Greetings from South Africa. This is Yvonne’s June newsletter, written by her friend, who is staying briefly to rest a short while. Why I am doing this? Because Yvonne is unbelievably busy, doing a wonderful job here, and has NO spare time to write you a newsletter. She leaves each day for work at 7:15am and if it is a relatively easy day, she may get back to the house by 6:30pm. Often work also spills over to Saturdays, especially now since one of the other key nursing trainers has left South Africa for medical treatment, so that the two remaining heroes are currently trying to cover the work of three people. Thus right now for Yvonne, life is just comprised of long work hours, time for the Lord, eating, sleeping and a few little extra challenges here like dealing with blackouts and water cuts. (If you have forgotten what Yvonne looks like, you can see her in the photo, rushing out the door this morning…..)
As you know, Yvonne works at the African school of Missions, teaching and training young South African Christian nurses, as well as supervising and testing their practical work skills, and seeing many local patients. Where the Lord leads, she also takes every opportunity to evangelize or encourage those struggling in their faith, with an every ready mountain of Zulu tracts lying on her kitchen shelf.
Perhaps some of you don’t understand the full importance and impact of Yvonne’s nursing ministry in this country, during the first few decades since apartheid was dismantled. I am sure we all agree that this shocking system and ideology had to be totally removed and replaced by a new society promoting complete racial equality and justice in all areas of life. But, because the majority of South Africans are black, recent governments have been making an all-out effort to ensure that all black South Africans have access to better education, training and rapid promotion into managerial and professional positions. Wonderful in theory. However, in their eagerness to do this, often the promotions have come far too rapidly, without adequate training, experience and follow-up. The growing pains in many areas of society are very severe and actually slowing the development of the nation and the assimilation process. I have particularly observed this recently in the medical and hospital system since my arrival.
I am here now, trying to recover from both an illness and the South African hospital system! It is not nice to be sick of course anywhere, but when you end up in a hospital system so full of mistakes and incompetence, it robs your confidence and increases your prayer life considerably. (For example 10!!! spelling mistakes, transferring the information on my hospital entrance form, to the computer, the loss of my file and medical history every time, (4Xs) I had to see a new specialist…. and generally the bedside of the nurses could only be described as surly, unhelpful and unsympathetic….) This newsletter is not meant to be about me, but I use these recent examples of what I have gone through to show you the still urgent need in this country of competent, loving nurse educators and trainers like Yvonne, who are also instilling in their students a strong Christian ethos.
So please keep supporting Yvonne with both your finances and prayer, as she is really still fulfilling a very VITAL role in the development and progress of South Africa and the extension of God’s kingdom here as well. Please pray for continued health, stamina, wisdom and for the Lord to provide extra staff in the area of training great, new nurses so Yvonne’s workload can be reduced slightly to a more reasonable level.
Thanks again for participating and partnering with what God is continuing to do in the great nation of South Africa. Many blessings, Yvonne’s friend, writing on behalf of His choice servant, Yvonne Woods.
Yvonne Woods /Deputy Director of Nursing