Happenings, News

The journey of hospice care

Methodist Hospice Fellowship conducts training sessions for caregivers and volunteers

WHEN faced with a diagnosis of an incurable illness like cancer that is life threatening, the patient, his family and friends embark on what is described as “the journey of hospice care”.

The journey of hospice care is often a roller-coaster experience and the patient and loved ones need to understand the illness so as to weather the storm.

The Methodist Hospice Fellowship (MHF) is conducting education and training sessions for family caregivers and volunteers at Bethany Methodist Nursing Home, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, on the 4th Saturday of each month from 3 to 5 pm. The sessions, which began in July, will end in October 2004. The MHF is a ministry of the Methodist Welfare Services of The Methodist Church in Singapore.

From experience, it has been found that there are five “checkpoints” in this journey. They are: Checkpoint 1: “First Encounter” – this is the stage in which the patient and family members struggle to come to terms with the diagnosis. Issues to be addressed include the sharing of the bad news and coping with the diagnosis of an incurable and life threatening illness.

Checkpoint 2: “Fighting The Battle” – in this stage, the patient and family members have to struggle with decisions with regard to the various forms of treatment

such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc. They are often overwhelmed with all kinds of information and need help to sort out the information that is useful for deciding on the choice of therapy.

Checkpoint 3: “The Adventure of Dying” — there comes a time when curative treatment is no longer an option and the patient and the family have to face the reality of death. The focus also shifts from curative treatment to symptomatic treatment or palliative care. The challenge is to help the patient and family members find hope even though there is no cure available.

Checkpoint 4: “See You in Heaven” — this is the stage when the patient is “actively dying” and the family needs support as well as skills to handle the issues arising from end-of-life care.

Checkpoint 5: “Recharging Our Batteries” — this is the time when the caregivers need to come to terms with their bereavement.


MMS appoints key personnel

MMS-Sept 2004

THE Methodist Missions Society (MMS) has announced the appointments of several senior staff members, the resignations of several personnel and some staff movements. The Rev Ajit Hazra was appointed Field Director of the MMS from July 1, 2004 by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon upon the unanimous

recommendations of the MMS Executive Committee and the Search Committee, and with the concurrence of the Rev Dr Vinson Samuel, President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference.

From Aug 1, the Rev Hazra has also become the Acting Country Coordinator for Cambodia. He will be assisted by Miss Doris Chan and the Rev Philip Lim.

The Rev Hazra graduated with a Master in Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver, Canada, in 1986, and later obtained a Master in Theology from New College, University of Edinburgh in 1998. He and his wife, Kim Hong, served in Zambia since 1988 as missionaries sent from Kampong Kapor Methodist Church. After 15 years of mission work, they returned to Singapore early this year.

Bishop Dr Solomon has also appointed Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng as the Home Director-designate from Aug 1, 2004. He will take over from the current Home Director, the Rev Juliette Arulrajah, from Nov 1, 2004.

Col Quek (Ret) served MINDEF/ Singapore Armed Forces with distinction for almost 32 years. Among his various appointments, he had served as Division Commander, HQ 6 Division from 1989 to 1992.

Currently the Chairman of the Local Church Executive Committee of Charis Methodist Church, he felt God leading him to serve with a Christian mission.

The MMS has also appointed Mr Kam Leong Heng as its new Church Relations and Communications Executive. He was an architect for seven years before he joined the MMS.

Meanwhile, the MMS announced the resignations of two staff members – Ms Ong Bee Eng, who was the Deputy Field Director, and Ms Jaime Ng, the Church Relations and Communications Executive. It said that both of them had rendered valuable services and made great contributions towards the ministry and mission of the MMS.

The MMS has also announced that the Rev Kevin Lowe, Missionary Pastor to Cambodia, has ceased his service with the organisation upon his new appointment as an Interim Pastor at Trinity Methodist Church.

His wife, Claire, has requested to terminate her service with the MMS upon completing her Home Assignment on July 31, 2004.

The MMS has expressed its appreciation to both of them for their valuable services, pastoral care and leadership in building, discipling and nurturing the Cambodian Christians, Church, School and various ministries since Jan 1, 1998.