Thank You, Chaplain Howard

There was a quiet dependability to Chaplain Howard Chen’s ministry at Simi Valley Hospital. For more than four years, he was a faithful volunteer in the Spiritual Care Services Department. He not only loved interacting with patients and their families but he was passionate about the hope of his own strong personal faith. He believed in the power of prayer and the medicinal effect of friendship.

On Friday afternoons, I would see Howard approaching the entrance to the hospital from the parking lot. A smile would grow on my face as I anticipated his heartfelt greeting, accompanied by the firm grip of his hand.

The expression on his face, the light in his eyes and the softness of his voice warmed my soul, no matter what mood I was in. His manner, his accent and his kindness always left me feeling more hopeful. I know, too, that the patients, their families and the staff at our hospital were lifted by his friendship and strengthened by his prayers.

The memory of the pain I feel at Howard’s sudden passing will diminish over time, but the impact of his friendship and ministry at Simi Valley Hospital will never be forgotten. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

In a moving service, his wonderful church community at Thousand Oaks Chinese Christian Church celebrated his life and ministry, expressed their love for this wonderful man and reaffirmed their faith in Jesus Christ and their anticipation of a reunion with Howard in heaven. The church has also surrounded Howard’s family with love and support.

Thank you, God, for blessing Simi Valley Hospital with Howard.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

October 11, 2007