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.”