There’s an inherent duality in the nature of CURE. It’s written right into the mission statement: “heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
As Christians, we are called to care for both the physical and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. It’s no secret that our physical bodies will die one day, but as Christians, we believe our souls will live on forever. So, if we’re ministering to someone’s physical needs at the neglect of their soul, we’re merely putting a band-aid on the problem. Conversely, if we were to minister to a person’s soul without regard for their physical needs, we’d be missing a central part of the gospel we preach.
We need to do both.
This duality influences everything CURE does – how our patients experience our services, how our leaders make decisions, and how our core values influence our staff daily.
Restoring the Broken is one of CURE’s five core values, which we define as taking action in responding to the physical and emotional needs of those we serve. Rees-Jones Foundation (RJF) Ward Head Nurse Tizita Tesfaye is a prime example of how our staff lives this core value daily.
Throughout her 12 years at CURE Ethiopia, Tizita has served in almost all aspects of CURE’s nursing programs. She has worked in the ward, where patients recover immediately after surgery. She has assisted in the outpatient clinic, where patients are initially seen and returned for follow-up appointments. And currently, Tizita serves as the Head Nurse in the RJF long-term patient ward, where patients that require ongoing, personal care stay. Her job has always been to nurse sick and struggling patients back to health in all these roles. Her care has facilitated the restoration of thousands of suffering children over her time at CURE Ethiopia.
When asked which area of CURE Ethiopia she prefers, a guilty smile lights her face, and she admits her current posting leading the RJF ward is her favorite. “(In the RJF ward), we get to know the kids better since they stay with us for longer,” she explains. “We become like family.” For Tizita, her passion extends far beyond handing out medication or taking vital signs. Her passion lies in developing a relationship with patients and families, which speaks directly to our core value of restoring the broken.
Between her nursing duties, it’s common to find Tizita sitting and investing in a patient. “So many of the kids have been discriminated against because of their disabilities,” she tells us. Tizita takes the extra step to help our patients positively process their emotions and alleviate their emotional pain by developing a relationship with them. She sees this as just as necessary as helping to relieve their physical pain.
Tizita is also heavily involved with the counseling team’s activities in the RJF ward. She’s an active participant in the games, songs, and stories. She has no hesitation in meeting the children where they are and joining them in their joy. For this, the children love her. Long-term patient Meriyem says, “I love Tizu for so many reasons. She plays with us. She laughs with us. She also gives me anything I ask her for. It can be hand sanitizer or anything!”
Restoring the Broken has a dual message here at CURE. We focus on restoring a patient’s physical body to health and meeting or restoring a patient’s emotional needs. Tizita understands this and has expanded her primary nursing role to care for patients holistically, addressing their physical and emotional needs. She is a living and breathing example of healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God. She puts it simply, “If it wasn’t for this duality in treatment, CURE would be just like any other hospital. But it isn’t. Here, we also treat with compassion and love.”
About the CURE Children’s Hospital of Ethiopia
Established in 2008, CURE Ethiopia performs over 2,500 life-changing reconstructive and orthopedic surgeries every year for children suffering from treatable disabilities. Strategically located in the capital city of Addis Ababa, the teaching hospital has 70 beds and four operating rooms. CURE International uses this facility to multiply its efforts by partnering with The College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA) to serve as a regional learning institution by implementing an orthopedic pediatric training program at the residency and fellowship levels. In addition to world-class clinical service, CURE Ethiopia ministers to the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their communities.