Responding to a plea for prayers, and inspired by a video of people praying outside a hospital in Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, a local group across the country in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, is also lifting spirits with prayer outside hospitals in their area… and encourages others to do the same around the country. It helps the healthcare workers, battling the second wave of Covid-19 infections, know they are appreciated. They are not forgotten.
The Ladies of Our Life group from Harvest Church in Umhlanga responded to a heartfelt plea from local cardiologist Dr Dirk Pretorius for prayers for patients and medical staff at Gateway Hospital who are under strain. Dr Pretorius’ voice mail to his male prayer group went viral, and the “ladies in our group felt led to physically go and pray at our local hospitals – being Busamed Gateway and Netcare Umhlanga”, one of the members, Cheryl Marriott, told SAPeople.
She says it has been such a special experience – on Day One staff waved to them from windows and displayed big ‘Thank You’ signs. The staff manning protocol tables outside also came over to thank the group.
On Day Two they received amazing feedback from Dr Pretorius who said what a difference their presence had made to all the staff who saw them. The staff told Dr Pretorius how the “atmosphere shifted” after their prayers, and wanted to know when “those girls” were coming back.
In fact, one of the ICU nurses sent Cheryl this message: “Just wanted to let you know that it was the COVID ICU girls at Gateway Hospital with the thank you sign. ♥ We cannot begin to explain how much we appreciated it. Everyone was so emotional afterwards… So again, THANK YOU from all of us ?”
We have all felt that we’ve been forgotten, so seeing you all just gave us so much hope
Gateway Hospital’s ICU manager Anne also sent this heartfelt message: “I want to personally thank you and your group of prayer angels. We are having a difficult time. The unit stays full. We lose so many patients and when we saw you all downstairs the tears just ran. We have all felt that we’ve been forgotten, so seeing you all just gave us so much hope. Please thank everyone for me. You are appreciated. Please take care of yourselves. Oh we so pleased you saw our sign, we were not sure you would. God bless ???? Anne”. Anne also sent a photo of her and her girls for Cheryl and her ‘prayer angels’:
Addressing her Christian friends on Facebook, Cheryl said: “I cannot encourage you enough to gather a group of praying friends and pray at a hospital closest to you. It’s not just numbers now – they’re people we all know. You will be blessed, patients and staff will be blessed, and miracles do still happen.”
Cheryl is quick to point out that it’s not just her – she is joined by “a wonderful bunch of prayer warrior friends, but it’s God who led us all to this point”. Others in the group include Sandy Sutton (Life Group Leader), Glynnis Hartwig, Marina van Biljon, Lesley van Straten, Susan Jones, Lyn Luyt and many other lovely ladies as the group grows.
Cheryl says good times to gather and pray are at 07h30 and 19h30 when new shifts have just started. She says unfortunately not all hospitals are built in a way where the staff can see those praying.
In Cape Town, there have been goosebumps as South Africans of both the Muslim and Christian faith have gathered outside hospitals like Melomed in Tokai to pray together for those they have lost, and for those who are fighting the Covid-19 virus.
WATCH VIDEO South Africans pray at Melomed Hospital, Cape Town (early January 2021)
Watch as someone waves from hospital:
Watch this tear jerker moment of followers of the Muslim and Christian faiths chanting prayers outside a hospital of #COVID19 patients in Cape Town . Link to the full 30 mins footage ???? https://t.co/zcSl2SKMac pic.twitter.com/9eASiPngwp
— Ashraf Garda (@AshrafGarda) January 8, 2021
Family members from all religions came out to pray for their love ones and frontline workers outside Melomed Hospital in Tokai, #COVIDSecondWave #COVID2019 #Covid19SA @CapeTown @TimesLIVE @HeraldPE @SundayTimesZA @COVID_19_ZA @HealthZA pic.twitter.com/nQJOfA0SGv