Senior Couples Missionaries Give Service at a Children's Hospital in Durban

  By Sister Tina Murdock

  • 9 April 2013

Senior couple missionaries painting the badly weathered temporary fence

Article Highlights

  • The vision for the project was to restore the Children’s Hospital and also create a provincial ‘first’ health precinct as part of a proposed inner-city regeneration project that will address adult and child health and welfare issues.

Service is an important part of the Church as the couples follow Jesus Christ, who was the greatest example of service.  

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo launched a project on July 15, 2010, to restore the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital (formerly the Addington Children’s Hospital) at the Durban beachfront.

The hospital was originally opened in 1931 and became the first children’s hospital on the African continent. It was closed down during the apartheid era due to serving children of all races.

On March 30, 2013, Elder James C. Von Stetten, president of the South Africa Durban Mission, asked the senior missionary couples serving in the Durban mission to gather as part of their Annual Couples Conference and give service at the hospital. The couples painted the badly weathered temporary fence surrounding the building. The fence will stand approximately two more years until the project of restoration is complete.  

As the couples painted, many people who were passing by stopped to ask why the couples were out on a Saturday morning painting the old fence. This gave several opportunities to share information about the Church, including giving away the Book of Mormon and several pass-along cards. Some asked where our Church is located and said they would like to visit our services. A woman stopped and asked if she could help paint for a while, and many people thanked the senior missionary couples for helping to make the beach front a little more beautiful.

The vision for the project was to restore the Children’s Hospital and also create a provincial ‘first’ health precinct as part of a proposed inner-city regeneration project that will address adult and child health and welfare issues. 

The project will address these needs by restoring and redeveloping this site in line with the needs of today’s infants, children, and adolescents. It will cater to the needs of children and their caregivers, including HIV-affected children, children with mental health challenges, children who need special rehabilitative care and services, and children with nutritional challenges.

There are 15 missionary couples who serve in the Durban mission, and their age does not slow them down as they share joy in giving their time and energy to a good cause. Service is an important part of the Church as the couples follow Jesus Christ, who was the greatest example of service.