Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor;
I have never taken time to write and offer comments on subjects within the community or region that I see in the newspaper, so this is a first for me. 
Interestingly enough I write, not to comment on an event or topic, but to raise to light a subject that is very important to me. 
I am the Administrator of Mtn. View Healthcare. I have a nursing degree as well as a BS degree in Biblical Studies and an MS in Pulpit Communications from Trinity Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. 
I offer that information to give insight to the story that I am going to attempt to tell about some wonderful, dedicated people in the Mtn View Community. 
A review of a biblical story will help us get a glimpse of the analogy I attempt to share. 
Once Jesus was being questioned about what was the greatest commandment. Jesus gave a very simple and clear answer as noted in the following verses from Mark 22 NIV translation: 
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
 You might be puzzled what this has to do with the community and the nursing home. It has everything to do with us. 
I would ask you to consider the concept of the second commandment commitment of loving our neighbors as ourselves and to consider it in the following context:  
In late February of 2020 our facility and our community got attacked by an unforeseen enemy called COVID 19. This hidden and unseen enemy attacked many people and stole many people throughout the state, and in particular, in our area to its dreadful harm.
We were unfortunate and greatly challenged that the illness was particularly virulent to the elderly. So, when it struck in the area nursing facilities it was the beginning of a life and industry transforming battle which we are still engaged in today. 
On a daily basis, new rules and regulations came out. There were governmental mandated new restrictions put into place, isolation and separation of loved ones and neighbors from family and friends.  This virus had, what I like to think of, a legion of devastating weapons in a battle that we had to withstand. 
But I want to tell you that in attempting to beat us down, the virus ran into a battalion of what I like to refer to as “Second greatest commandment infantry men and women.”
Those who work in the facility showed themselves to be people truly dedicated to loving their neighbor as themselves. Sacrificially, they loved their patients, which were your family members, who we care for; and your neighbors, who live within one of the Mountain View Healthcare facilities buildings.  All the while knowing they were at a great risk for becoming sick themselves.  But, they showed up day after day to care for the sick and infirm. Recall that for months these great healthcare heroes worked during a period of months with no known treatment and no preventive vaccine during the vast majority of the time this battle was continuing.
In this battle, we had many battalions:  housekeepers, laundry workers, dietary workers, therapists, maintenance men, and business officer workers working behind the scenes. But in front of all of us were the courageous battle division of dedicated nursing assistants and licensed nurses ministering to and encouraging those who they cared for under such great pressures. All the while having to be close enough that it would be quite easy for them to catch this dreaded illness. 
For a while, a period of 6 weeks or so, on a daily basis we had one to multiple residents succumb to the virus’s attack with some not able to defeat the infection. These second commandment infantrymen stood strong and battled for your friends and family members. 
In my 35 years as a nurse and an administrator, I have never seen a group of people challenged so harshly, but most importantly I have never seen any group respond so nobly, and Christ-like. 
The wonderful staff members lived out the second greatest commandment for several months of extreme challenge and tribulation and even today continue to deal with the after effects of the battle that they helped us weather through. They have been tired and wearied but they have not faltered and they have not given up. 
My request of you is that if you know someone, or are related to someone who works at the Mountain View Healthcare Facility, or you see someone out in the community wearing  a Mtn View Healthcare name tag, or T shirt, would you please make an attempt to stop and tell them thank you for the extraordinary job they have done and continue to do for the community. 
The employees work diligently and with commitment each day that they come in to meet the needs of our elderly residents, some of the tasks are difficult but they do them without complaining and with pride. Why would they do that? I propose to you it is because they truly understand the answer Jesus gave when questioned about what is the greatest commandment. They loved their neighbors and were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to win the battle over COVID 19 in our facility.
To the employees of the facility, I raise my hand in saluting you for all that you have done over the last few months. My admiration goes out to you as I like to call you:  “the Second Commandment Battalion”, not a group of individuals,  but a great team that cares genuinely  for each other and for our residents.
In closing consider this. Matthew 23:11, The greatest among you will be your servant.
To all of you, I believe it can be said you are the greatest, I see it daily as you live out a life of service to the elders in your care. I try to pray for you daily for the strength to continue to minister.
“Thank You” for all you do each day!
George Colbert, Administrator

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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