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Necessity or Convenience by Steve Hemphill

My hosts said let's eat before going to the Baptist Nursing Home near Havana, and I'm always happy to oblige when eating is involved!  As we waited for the food to be served, I asked lots of questions about how we (The Missouri Baptist Home) could help.  I had been sent there as a board member of the Home's sister organization: The Future Leadership Foundation.  Their responses perplexed me.

Me:  What do you need?

Cuban Hosts:  We could really use a sphygmometer to check blood pressure.

Me:  Well, that is no problems...think bigger, please.

Cuban Hosts:  Well, we could really use hot water.

Me:  What do you mean?

Cuban Hosts:  We have no hot water, never have.  Our residents take cold showers, and we boil water for cooking...we wash clothes in cold water. 

There are approximately 40-50 souls living in this nursing home built 50+ years ago with an addition built in the 70's.  A lot of Cubans live without what we consider necessities but, in trying to keep diseases at bay in a nursing home...hygiene is not a luxury.

After lunch, I toured the Home and fell in love with the caring staff and residents.  I'm happy the Missouri Baptist Home followed my recommendation and sent money to help.  Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what I saw.

Male Room a 5 x 8 space.
Women's toilet shared by four residents.
Cold water shower shared by four residents.
Resident meal.
Kitchen entrance.
Doctor's office.
Cold water laundry for fifty residents.

I'm happy Second Baptist cares about people beyond our city limits...beyond our borders.  I hope that

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