PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his wifeEmmy have to forego their family Christmas celebration this year to allow their children accomplish their ambition of spending Christmas Day sharing God’s message of love and hope with the sick at the National Referral Hospital.
Christina, Dr Sheena, Brandt, Shannon, Lilly-Rose and Meredith and their mother Emmy arrived at the hospital on the morning of the Christmas Day completely unannounced to the patients and delighted them by spending quality time in their respective wards, cheering them up with scriptural readings, singing and presenting gifts to them.
“We are so touched by this surprise visit by the Sogavare family,” Clement Kuki said on his brother’s behalf who was too sick to speak.
“They have demonstrated to us that they have a heart for those in pain and despair.
“The message of God’s love and hope is manifested to us today in both words and deed,” Mr Kuki said.
“Words cannot express how thankful I am to Mrs Sogavare and her children for deciding to spend their Christmas with us,” said a teaeful Joseph Maru.
“Spending Christmas on a sickbed in hospital and without the comfort of all my loved ones is heartbreaking,” he added.
Other patients expressed similar sentiments to those of Mr Kuki and Mr Maru.
A few others found themselves lost for words and only shed tears as expression of gratitude.
Medical Superintendent Acting, Dr Carol Titiulu acknowledged the Sogavares for doing away with their family Christmas celebration to allow them make a quality hospital visit.
“Thank you very much the Sogavares for your visit. Having a visit, especially from the Prime Minister’s wife and children, to each and every ward of the hospital shows that you have heart for the sick,” Dr Titiulu said.
“One could tell by the expression on our patients’ faces that they were uplifted by the scriptural readings and the beautiful singing.
“Spiritual and emotional upliftment is very important part of the healing process and we are grateful for the visit.
“It is the wish of every one to spend Christmas at home but the Sogavares have given our patients a memorable Christmas celebration despite being in hospital.”
Dr Titiulu also acknowledged the Sogavares for their gift of money to all patients.
“Many of the patients find it difficult to even buy basic necessities as soap and giving them some money will really help them buy what they need,” she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Sogavare’s, Mrs Sogavare said the visit was initiated by her children.
“My children wanted to have a fulfilling Christmas celebration this year and as they were thinking of how they can accomplish that ambition they came up with the idea of visiting the sick children at the National Referral Hospital to pray with them and give them presents,” Mrs Sogavare said.
“Understanding that their father having taken up the prime ministership again would be so busy, the children planned the visit themselves.
“It was only early this morning when the kids were wrapping up the presents for their hospital visit when their father learnt of their visitation programme and requested them to change it to include all patients.
“He gave them some money to equally distribute into envelopes for all other patients.
“Their father was of the view that giving presents to some patients only would not be proper.”
Mrs Sogavare said it was a fulfilling experience for her children and herself to see the expressions of joy on the faces of the patients when they visited.
“My children felt so blessed to have spent the Christmas cheering up the sick with God’s message of love and hope through scriptural readings and songs and sharing the little we have with all of them in their time of pain and despair and I am happy for them.”