We are in a season of change as our Houston’s First family gathers online on Sundays, instead of in-person at one of our campuses, due to the coronavirus. Even though how we connect as a church has changed during this season, one thing has remained constant. God continues to use Houston’s First to make a difference – including at a hospital in Montana.
Serene Cusack, a social worker on the crisis psychiatric unit of Providence Hospital in Missoula, Montana, was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video clip from one of Houston's First’s online worship services. It was a clip of Nikki Moss, a worship leader at Houston's First, singing ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’ to an empty Worship Center as it was the first service where we gathered online instead of in-person.
She was so moved by it that she decided to show the video to a patient of hers.
Cusack shared the video clip with a female patient with complex medical and psychiatric complications who has been in the crisis psychiatric unit for two months. The typical length of stay is 5-7 days on the unit. Cusack explains the effect that the video had on the patient.
“She laid in bed quietly, which is a miracle, and tears flowed out of her eyes. The song played on repeat, and for a few minutes, she felt peace,” Cusack says.
Cusack explains how music helps the patient connect with others.
“Most of her days, she is confused and unable to have lucid conversation. For weeks, she has been sitting at the piano playing and singing ‘The Old Rugged Cross,’” Cusack explains. “I am not a person with vocal talent. However, I like to sit and sing with her. We have been singing this hymn over and over.”
Cusack explains the impact of our Houston's First family connecting virtually on Sundays during these difficult times.
“It’s a challenging time in our communities,” Cusack says. “As a healthcare worker in the hospital, I cannot stress the importance of taking the Center for Disease Control seriously. It was a tough choice of moving forward with service without the congregation physically present. However, through that, a woman in small town Montana was touched, and for just a few moments there was peace in a chaotic place. Even when you don’t have people in the room, you are still making a difference.”