We are very blessed to have a chapel here at Vista Clinic where the patients and employees can go to meet with the Lord in their time of need. For David encourages us with these words: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:17 – 18).
A Bit of History
No doubt you are aware of the transformation taking place between admissions and the staff dining area as our new chapel takes shape. As you may have noticed the design is very different from the rest of the buildings, and that is because there is a bit of inspirational history behind the design.
Tthe motivation behind the look of the new chapel – from the gabled walls, the windows, the sharp pitched roof, the raised ceiling to the corrugated iron roof – comes from the design of the first Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) churches that were built in South Africa.
When Seventh-Day Adventist missionaries came to South Africa in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s they used one plan for the design of all the churches they built. Many of these features are now incorporated in our new chapel. The chapel really does tell a wonderful story and will be a focal point here at Vista Clinic.
Below is a picture of the very first SDA church built in Kimberly and the third one in Eastern Cape.
Pieter Wessels – a Dutch Reformed Christian – living in Kimberly studied the Bible and became convinced of the truth of the Seventh-day Sabbath. As a result, he was disfellowshipped by the local church.
Unaware of any other people believing as he did, Pieter was startled to discover that his neighbor, Henry van Druten, had recently begun keeping the Bible Sabbath also. Thrilled at this discovery, the two families began keeping it together.
On hearing from William Hunt, who lived in Beaconsfield, that there were Sabbath-keepers in America they asked him to help them draft a letter to these people requesting them to send a Dutch Reformed minister. They included £50 to help pay travelling expenses. It took two years for their request to be answered and on 28 July 1887 a party of six arrived in Cape Town on the Hawarden Castle. One of the party of six was C. L. Boyd who travelled to Kimberley to meet with Pieter Wessels and the first SDA church was established in South Africa with twenty-one members.
The first SDA Sanitarium (hospital) was opened in Claremont (Cape Town) in 1897 with 51 beds and Pieter Wessels provided the funds for the building.
Today there are 9,591 churches, 69 hospital and clinics, and a church membership of 3,227,104 in Southern Africa. And Vista Clinic is adding to this history with our new chapel.
Something else that is very interesting regarding our chapel is that when the building project got underway it was discovered that there were some structural problems which necessitated the removal of the entire roof. This problem made it possible to construct the new sharp pitched roof that you now see, and which was typical of the first church that was built.
This is truly a very exciting project for it once again emphasises the value Vista Clinic places on Spirituality and God’s act of salvation in the treatment plan of the “whole” person.
PART OF THE GLOBAL ADVENTIST HEALTHCARE NETWORK,
WHICH IS THE SECOND LARGEST PRIVATE HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IN THE WORLD.
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