Pabitra Bhatta, a young Hindu woman, wanted to care for sick people. She was working at the TEAM hospital in her hometown of Chaujahari in Rukum, Nepal. The staff saw potential in her, so TEAM gave her a scholarship to train as a staff nurse and then earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Things were going well – until she failed the nursing exam.
Bhatta was obviously hurt and disappointed. A Christian friend told her, “We are praying for you,” and supported her during this trying time. Because of that love, Bhatta went to church, began to study the Bible, and came to Christ. Encouraged by her friend, Bhatta took the test again and passed.
Now, eight years later, she works as a nursing supervisor in the obstetrics department at HDCS-TEAM Hospital in Dadeldhura, Nepal. She also supervises the SBA (Skilled Birthing Attendant) training and trains rural midwives. Nurses and nurse midwives come to the hospital to receive training from Bhatta and her staff during an extensive eight-week training course. When they complete the course, they return to their villages to serve their people with this valuable knowledge.
Bhatta enjoys teaching the training courses, and she loves working in the labor room. “I most enjoy the labor room because of the new babies delivered,” she said. She also enjoys the team atmosphere at the hospital. When the staff is frustrated, they know they can go to Dr. Doug Lindberg for encouragement. “He supports all his staff,” Bhatta said. “He listens.”
The staff know that Bhatta cares about them, too. “She is very capable and looks out for the needs of her fellow workers,” Dr. Jeremy LaMotte said.
One of the most difficult aspects of Bhatta’s job is that there isn’t enough nursing staff. Although everyone works hard, they don’t have enough people to care for all the patients. But that doesn’t stop her from giving quality service to her patients and sharing the love of Jesus with them, too. As she goes through her day, she listens to her patients and gives them support. They often begin to think of her as a friend. “She tries to demonstrate God’s love toward her patients and prays with them,” LaMotte said. Bhatta tells her patients that Jesus loves them.
Before the pastoral care department was started at the hospital, people would find physical healing at the hospital. But now Bhatta sees a change. “Many people find Jesus at our hospital,” she said.
Bhatta sees God’s many blessings in her life, including her family. Before she became a believer, she was unmarried. “Now, I have one daughter and one son. My husband is also a believer. My whole family is Christian,” she said. Her father even works in the lab at the hospital.
A friend showed her the love of Jesus by simply praying for her during a difficult time. She now passes on the love of Jesus to the patients she serves every day.
-Written by Deborah Christensen
-Photography by Robert Johnson
[Originally published in TEAMHorizons, October 2012]