We recently had Alex lead our office in devotions.

He spoke to us about the power of communication and its importance, whether it is to God, our colleagues, or in the case of our projects in South East Europe, our patients.

Psalm 27: 7-8 says

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.

A few examples of the power of communication come from our projects. Often families find it difficult to talk about the situations they find themselves in and therefore choose not to, but there are some real differences in places like Brasov where, over time, the patients being looked after by the teams feel able to talk about things in a way that others in different areas don’t. Our patients have begun to see the power in talking and the communication is much more open. As a result, the care that is given can be much more effective.

Bucharest is a little different, but signs are that the patients are beginning to change in this respect. Alex recalled several patients who had been in contact with the teams over the years, who were both very aware of their situations and to death itself- they just wanted help to deal with things. Our teams stepped in to support them on their journey when they were asked to.

In Albania though, patients and their families don’t really communicate with one another or the teams about the help they need and this provides real challenges for the teams who are trying to support them. One of the doctors recently said that unless patients talk to them they won’t be able to help and support them properly. Staff know what they need to do, but unless patients communicate with them the support will not be the best it can be.

Hopefully in time all the patients we work with will feel able to communicate openly with our colleagues to enable them to be the best support they can be.