It was a weekend of joy and special thanksgiving to God for nine indigent persons, including a cancer patient whose medical bills were paid by the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru under its “Care and Charity Outreach”.
The event was its annual “St Luke's Day” celebration, a programme designed to alleviate the pains and sufferings of indigent members of the society, irrespective of clan, creed or faith who could not pay their hospital bills.
St Luke was a gifted medical doctor during the apostolic era whose ministry touched many lives, especially the indigent ones, hence Ikeduru Diocese adopted his credo as a way of assisting the less-privileged in the society.
To date, Ikeduru Diocese have spent the sum of N3,153,250. (Three Million, One hundred and fifty-three thousand, two hundred and fifty naira) on 58 indigent members of the society.
According to hospital sources, these indigent members of the society include those who could not pay their bills at all, and those who were held back in the hospital after they were discharged because they could pay their bills or complete their payments.This year's outing was very spectacular with bountiful physical and spiritual blessings.
The annual care-outreach which normally begins with a thanksgiving service saw the Bishop of Ikeduru Diocese, The Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP presiding.
At the Chapel of St. Luke's in St David's Hospital Ikenegbu Owerri during the pre-visitation thanksgiving service, the prelate called on the less-privileged persons in the society not to lose hope no matter the situation.
In a homily entitled “Don't Give Up” (1 Chr. 4:10), Bishop Maduwike said that what stays with a person is what he or she tolerates, and that what one rejects always leaves him or her.
Drawing from Biblical teaching, the Diocesan said that the name “Jabez” symbolized pains and sorrow (1 Chr. 4:9), but according to him, the man, Jabez prayed to God to change his situation for good and honour, and that God invariably answered his prayer and made him great and honouralbe among his people.
Bishop Maduwike who described God as a verilable situation changer said that He was ever ready to change any situation, no matter how ugly, adding that his steadfast love endures for those who put their trust in him.
He said that Ikeduru Diocese came in conjunction with St. Luke's chapel, St. David's Hospital, to put smiles on those who have been weighed down due to negative instances of life.
He enjoined all to have faith in God, and have belief that it would be well.
The service which according to our reporter also witnessed spiritual rejuvenation and power, saw many hospital patients receiving instant heeling and deliverance.
At St. David's Hospital Owerri where some indigent patients bills were defrayed, one of the matrons, Mrs Uchenna C. Nwosu said that some of the discharged indigent patients whose bills had been taken by the Diocese had gone out to perform some menial jobs to enable them get some money to pay their bills.
Christian Voice Newspaper was reliable informed that some had absconded fearing that they would be detained if they could not pay their medical bills. Such patients had since been informed that their bills had been paid for.
One of the glaring issues Christian Voice Newspaper also learnt was the case of a breast cancer patient whose one injection costs as much as N48,000. (Forty-eight thousand naira). The breast cancer patient received the sum of N50,000 (Fifty thousand naira) as assistance.