An eye surgeon from the united Church of Pakistan’s Diocese of Peshawar, Khushbakht Peters, celebrates the work of a Christian hospital in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A few days ago I had the privilege of attending the commemoration of the 150 years of service of Christian Hospital Tank, what an occasion it was! They had invited the people of Pakistan Army, Police, heads of Christian institutions, delegates, as well as people from different hospitals. Thanksgiving prayers, performances by the children of the Dr Ulla Schmitz Memorial school, releasing pigeons as a sign of peace, fireworks, and cutting of a 15 storey cake were amongst the many wonderful events that took place that day.
It was a day of celebration after the years of conflicts in this region of the world. Tank is a city in the south of our province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In and around this city war against terrorism had been going on for a long time. Many people both soldiers and civilians have lost their lives during the war.
Yet even when the state of events were at their worst, the staff at the Christian Hospital Tank persisted, and was dedicated in providing health care services despite the highly dangerous conditions. For the past 150 years the hospital has been following the footsteps of the Good Samaritan, providing a healing touch for those in need.
The staff has a passion to serve, and have chosen to dedicate their existence in making the lives of those around them better. They have been helping the poorest of the poor, the underprivileged of the society, giving them a chance to better health. This would otherwise not be possible in this remote region.
A few years ago, even the Taliban refused to attack the hospital, as this is where all their women and children go for treatment. The people of Tank and the surrounding area have great reverence for this hospital, which has been serving the people despite all the challenges in this terrain. Christian Hospital Tank is a great witness of the living Gospel in the true sense.
The discernment of the persistence, passion and the courage that we as Christians should have, is reflected through the spirit of the Christian Hospital in Tank for the past 150 years. Following the living example of the hospital, let us be obedient to our calling to the Lord, become a blessings for many even in the hostile environment with an implicit faith in Him even when hope seems to be bleak.
For it is written in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”