On a cold day in late January, members of The Bolingbrook Church, a Seventh-day Adventist church, gathered outside AMITA Health Bolingbrook for a drive-up hospital blessing to honor hospital workers for their service to the community during the pandemic.
“We parked in the first row of the parking lot facing the hospital, and got out of our cars holding signs of encouragement and prayed over the hospital workers,” said David Oceguera, lead pastor for the church and also a chaplain for the hospital. “About 35 people were praying and sending our best vibes to them.” Assistant pastor David Quilatan was inside the hospital, praying over the intercom while the people outside watched on Zoom and prayed along.
Many associates and patients came to the windows to acknowledge the blessing and join in prayer. The support of the church and the community lifted spirits and provided support.
“It has been a challenging couple of years,” said Samantha Sagrado, manager of Volunteer Services at the hospital. “It was encouraging to see members of our community lined up in our parking lot to lift us up in prayer.”
Oceguera said the church held similar events in the summer of 2020 and fall of 2021; there is another hospital blessing planned for June 25. These blessings are part of the church’s efforts to build relationships with the Bolingbrook community and, additionally, to show thanks for everything the hospital workers have done during the pandemic.
“We wanted to tell our healthcare workers that they are seen, they are appreciated, and we acknowledge their sacrifice,” he said.
Oceguera said he has witnessed this sacrifice firsthand as a chaplain for the hospital. “I have seen the long hours people are working, their compassion,” he said. “They are heroes. They are saving people’s lives.”
Julie Busch, associate vice president, Internal Communication, AMITA Health