SERVE Nazareth

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Cheryl Gentle

A reflection about her time in Nazareth

Memories from Cheryl Gentle

My family connection to the Nazareth Hospital began in the 1950’s when my grandparents served there. My grandfather, Rev. Forest Eisenbise, was the hospital chaplain and my grandmother, Grace, worked with mothers and babies. She also supported student nurses. They lived in the lower level of what is still known as the Old Doctors House. When my parents and other family members first visited on a tour in 1993, it was one of the first places we wanted to see. At that time, there were still people in the Hospital who remembered my grandparents and their work there.

In 2012 I was able to return to Nazareth as part of the SERVE program under Christine Farah. I was blessed to work with the chaplaincy program, in the nursery, and in the sterile supply area. It really connected me to the work my grandparents had done so many years before. When I walked by the old house or spent time in the chapel, it had special meaning.

In 2018 I did the Jesus Trail which was challenging but very rewarding. There’s nothing like walking in the steps of our Lord. Back then, I was able to stay in the doctors house for the first time. Plans for the renovations were already underway.

It was a blessing for me to travel to the Holy Land for a fourth time. The first trip in 1993 had a very similar itinerary to the one last month and included my parents, aunt and uncle and husband. It was very special on this recent trip to remember my Dad looking out from Masada and my Mom going up to the Jericho tell. On that trip we read scripture and sang hymns while on our boat on the Sea of Galilee.

On my recent trip in October of this year it was exciting to see the beautiful work that has been done to modernize the old house. It is wonderful to know that current and future SERVE participants will enjoy staying there, just as I have. I love visiting the Holy Land, but being at the Hospital, School of Nursing and seeing old friends from my SERVE experience will always be the best part for me. It was wonderful to meet some of the same special people ten years later — they are still working there! It speaks to their dedication to teach and heal in the name of Christ.

Seeing the expansion of the School of Nursing was a highlight. As a retired nurse and one who called Nancy Martin a friend, it was very emotional to know that her legacy lives on. Bob and Nancy are so loved at the hospital and all of us can understand why. After waiting for two years for this tour to happen because of Covid delays, it exceeded my wildest dreams.

The living examples of service that we saw at the Nazareth Hospital, the School of Nursing and SERVE gave me precious memories that will last for years to come.

I can’t wait to see it all again!

Cheryl Gentle

South Jordan, Utah USA

December 2022