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Unable to Visit Patient Bedsides, Adventist Health Hanford Chaplains Get Creative
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By Jim Jakobs, Digital Producer
Published 4 years ago on
August 19, 2020

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Chaplains across Adventist Health in the Central Valley are usually quick to rush to the bedside of patients to share God’s word. That’s no longer possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erika Valenzuela, chaplain for Adventist Health Hanford, came up with an idea. She reached out to a local design vendor, “Truth and Words,” to have cards created specifically for COVID-19 patients.

“I had a burning desire in my heart to do something for our COVID-19 patients since we’re not going room-to-room, providing visits like we normally would.”Erika Valenzuela, chaplain for Adventist Health Hanford

Burning Desire

“I had a burning desire in my heart to do something for our COVID-19 patients since we’re not going room-to-room, providing visits like we normally would,” says Valenzuela.

The end result was a heart-warming card that reads “You are not forgotten” on the front, and on the inside, “Psalm 46:1: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help… With love and big hugs, your spiritual care team.”

Adventist Health Hanford chaplains deliver specially designed cards to COVID-19 patients. (Courtesy/Adventist Health Hanford)

“Truth and Words”

“Erika shared with me some of the emotions and issues COVID-19 patients were experiencing, such as isolation, suffering, pain, loneliness and fear,” says Andrea Gruen, owner and CEO of “Truth and Words.”

“I took that information back to my office and started to pray, ‘Lord, we have no idea how to meet this need with words and a card, but you do. Show us.’ So, I started to create, hand-letter and place words.”

First Day After Receiving Cards

On the very day of receiving the printed cards, Valenzuela received a call from a COVID-19 patient who said she feared dying and was unsure of the purpose God had for her life.

“I listened and ministered to her from scripture,” says Valenzuela. “We ended our conversation with a prayer, and I as soon as I hung up the phone, I took the elevator up to the floor where the patient was receiving care and delivered the ‘You are not forgotten’ card and a sunflower to the nurse to help brighten the patient’s day.”

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