Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Health Clinic

How wonderful to be with Mrs. Jewell Moncure, widow of the late Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr., and daughter Roxanne, and to see the joy when they learned that the scholarship fund would be named in memory of Bishop Moncure.

As the ribbons were cut and the plaques unveiled, the team was invited to tour the new facility. The building of the facility represented two firsts for Africa University: the shortest amount of time a building had been constructed (nine months) and the shortest time frame an annual conference had completed their pledge drive.

I was pleased to see that the health clinic was constructed around a garden and gathering place. This reminded me of my late brother, Kelley Oliphint, Founding CEO of St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange, Texas. Kelley’s vision of a healing garden at the center of the hospital facility has inspired many with its theme of spiritual healing as central to all healing. The Bishop Norris Health Clinic provides a similar venue that I believe will indeed promote health and healing.

The room that created the greatest curiosity had a sign on the door: Laughter Room. Our tour guide said, “We’ve heard the saying, ‘ laughter is the best medicine,’ and we’ve read the scriptures about joy. The ‘laughter room’ is available for students who might leave a counseling session sad. They can come in here and watch funny videos, read comic books. Then they will leave laughing.”

A poster in the Laughter Room reads:


I know that my dad, known for his sense of humor, would have loved the “Laughter Room.” Perhaps we can learn a lesson from our African brothers and sisters and remember that “laughter is the best medicine.”

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