During the current pandemic, many brothers and sisters are striving to comfort their neighbors by writing encouraging letters to them. Brother Josué Laporta and his wife, Vanesa, wrote letters of consolation to medical personnel and COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain. They received a positive reply from one nurse. Below is her letter, which she consented to being published with redactions.*
I am a nurse . . . writing on behalf of [name redacted], a 97-year-old grandmother. We read your letter to her this morning. Letters to patients are delivered at random by our staff, but I am sure that this letter is not the result of a coincidence. This letter made at least two people, [the patient] and me . . . , see that it is possible to have hope. [The patient] is in palliative care, and she told me that she did not want to leave this world without asking you, Josué, this question: “Even at the age of 97, can I still benefit from the promises that are foretold in the Bible?”
I was able to take ten minutes of my time this morning to read to [her] a bit from the web page that you referred to. Her eyes lit up, filled with emotion, and her face showed joy and peace, something that she had lacked. Then we watched the video “Why Did Jesus Die?”
I also read the [“Awake!”] magazine on stressand it helped me to cope with our current situation. It is not easy, you know.
The healthcare workers here do not have psychologists to talk to, but the information you offered us is available 24 hours a day and is something on which we can meditate. When this is all over, I will want to know more and I hope that you will continue to be available to teach me what I need to know, to assure me that a real world is possible. I do not have words to thank God that your letter arrived on that day, at the exact time of my shift, and that I could deliver it to [the patient’s] room.
I hope that you and your family are in good health, and I am sure that your hope helps you to cope with the current situation better than a lot of us. Thank you for the time you dedicate to people like [the patient] and me. Though we are strangers, you have brought us the biggest smiles we have had in the past six weeks.
Thank you from my heart.
Appreciative expressions like this one encourage us to continue preaching during the current health crisis. We pray that the words we choose to use in our ministry will bring comfort to others.—Proverbs 15:23.
^ par. 2 The original letter was written in Spanish.