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Dan Henderson

Chaplain

“We get to do this”

            We get to do this. Every day. We get to be with these wonderful people we serve both on hospice and transitions and hear their life stories. Sometimes, we are the only family these people have. I’ve had the honor of being the Chaplain at Hospice of Redmond since 2015, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Like many others, I never anticipated working as a chaplain for a hospice, however I’ve always been a servant of God and follow the path he guides me on.

            After serving in the Navy for four years as a Boiler Tender on ships, my brother and I decided to move to Springfield, Oregon and open the Springfield Christian Center in 1975 where I served as a pastor for 16 years. We had a community of over 800 people and serving those people was my favorite part of being a pastor. I was also the principal of a private Christian kindergarten through 12th grade school for 13 years.

            My wife and I decided to move to Portland where I became an account manager for a pharmacy responsible for all the medical equipment and supplies which originally got me interested in the health world. It was a winding road that brought me to where I am today; in 2015 when my wife was a receptionist at a dentist’s office in Redmond she heard that Hospice of Redmond needed a chaplain. I had desired to get back into serving our community in that manner and was lucky enough to be offered the job. It’s wonderful to be part of people’s lives during this time, unfortunately there are not a lot of family around for many of our patients, so we become their family, we become their support and seeing their smiles makes every day worth the challenges.

            Not everyone on hospice wants a chaplain, but those who do we sit together, pray, and I mostly listen, I listen to their life stories. While serving as the chaplain at Hospice of Redmond, I also have the opportunity to serve as a pastor in the Bend Christian Fellowship where I do a great deal of counseling for the community. It was our church in Springfield, Oregon that established the Bend Christian Fellowship in 1989 where the son of the original family who started it is the lead pastor. Being a pastor in a local church I can meet many members of the community and serve many families, but my time at Hospice of Redmond is the most rewarding aspect of this service.

            I don’t believe you could get better or more sincere care than from the team here. It’s refreshing to work with a group of individuals who come together to truly support one another. If I get to that point in my life, I want to have Hospice of Redmond support me because I know that they will care for not only me, but also my loved ones, and treat us like we are part of their family.