One of the things I maintain ever since becoming Divisional Cadet Officer for the Peterlee St John Ambulance Division is a First Aid kit. It contains all the usual bits and pieces – plasters, bandages, scissors, antiseptic, sling, plastic gloves, etc. In fact just about every basic item needed to deal with countless different injuries encountered around the home. I used to teach young Ambulance and Nursing Cadets the fundamentals of First Aid and Home Nursing. I remember the first mixed team I coached for their first Area competition, they didn’t win but it was an interesting challenge.
The Cadets had 2 mottoes they needed to know – ‘Pro fidae’ (for the faith) and ‘Pro utilitate hominum’ (for the good of humanity). It has stood many an ex-St John Cadet in good stead during their lives and more than one has entered medicine or nursing as a profession. I often wonder how many still remember their training right through adult life? My family were all St John members – my father as Divisional Sergeant drove the ambulance and taught First Aid in local schools. My mother was a Badger Leader, the elder of my 2 sisters became Cadet Leader, the younger a Nursing Cadet and my younger brother an Ambulance Cadet.
Although I have not been an active St John member for some years now the work of First Aid continues. For most of my ministry I have run around trying to bring aid to those who have been hurt, spiritually speaking. Sometimes it has felt like I have been putting a plaster onto a major hurt but hoping I have been able to encourage people to turn to the greatest of healers in Jesus Christ. As a very young minister my dream was that I could be more of a body builder than a First Aider, however God uses what skills we have best.
Primarily I am certain God calls us all to be spiritual First Aiders, to go where the hurt is and offer help and support. We need to make sure that we are ultimately prepared for whatever we may face. This means to be fully aware of the instruction manual (i.e. know His word), make sure you know the drill (pray for help) and know who to refer the injured soul onto afterwards. May the mottoes of the St John Ambulance Cadets inspire you to do His will for the good of all.
John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist