Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV)
ESTEEMING OTHERS DAILY
DALLAS — As if being an accomplished Mid-South-area evangelist isn’t enough to help advance the kingdom, Rhonda Hodges is a beloved, big-hearted medical professional in her own right.
Hodges, in fact, boasts a stellar licensed practical nursing career that spans a little more than two-and-a-half decades. During an interview this week with Making Headline News, the longtime medical professional deemed it essential to share of her awe-inspiring journey in her profession, particularly during the coronavirus outbreak.
For Hodges, an occupational health nurse at Big River Steel in Osceola, Arkansas, servicing individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic is something by which she will recall for the rest of her life.
“For such a time as this, God is allowing me to use my calling, taking all of my skills and everything that I have learned, and giving unselfishly to others,” Hodges, who resides in Blytheville, Arkansas, said. “(I’m blessed in) being able to pray with them, educate them on COVID-19, alleviate fears or doubts by teaching precautionary measures, and simply being on the front end of change and helping to shape our new normal. That not only makes it special, but a blessing.”
At the time this story was released, Making Headline News had learned that 5,612 confirmed Arkansas cases for coronavirus have been reported, according to data compiled by the Arkansas Department of Health.
In that report, 3,739 of those Arkansans had recovered from COVID-19, while 113 died from the virus.
To date, Arkansas’ Lincoln County has garnered the most confirmed and recovered coronavirus cases with 955 and 867, respectively. Pulaski County has 23 reported COVID-19 deaths, the most amongst any county in the state.
While such figures, by all accounts, are indeed daunting, Hodges, meanwhile, emphasized the essentialness of medical professionals during arguably the most crucial times in our world since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“God positioned me exactly where I needed to be,” Hodges said. “My job provided information on a daily basis concerning COVID-19 with meetings, webinars, and seminars that helped me to educate family friends and even businesses in my community.”
The wife of Monte Hodges, who’s held the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 55 seat since January 2013, Rhonda Hodges has also managed to establish a solid rapport with a host of local and well-known medical experts and clergymen as a strategic, effective way to bring about awareness of a dreaded virus that has resulted in a reported 1.64 million cases and 96,370 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by the Texas Department of Health.
“My husband has been very supportive and has helped me to pack boxes and the ministry bags that I would deliver. He would pick up numerous items at the stores from Walmart to Sam’s and Dollar General. We were everywhere! And we always wear a mask.” — Rhonda Hodges, on the fervent support displayed by her husband, Monte Hodges
“I’ve been able to work very closely with one of our local physicians, Dr. Sherita Willis of Willis Clinic, who I was able to order different PPE supplies from and another friend, Pastor Dwayne Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas, who also helped me to get PPE supplies,” Rhonda Hodges, who also garnered support from Arkansas Governor William Asa Hutchinson, explained. “Working with the both of them, I was able to deliver and mail PPE to postal workers, UPS workers, local businesses while also providing funds, toiletries and household items to single-parent moms, self-employed families, and a few elderly men and women.”
Hodges, in fact, said she has been “working tirelessly” since as early as March 18 in efforts to help flatten the curve of what has been dubbed the “new coronavirus.”
For what it’s worth, she’s been nothing short of remarkable in the wake of what undoubtedly seems to be the most critical time of her nursing career.
“Starting out as an LPN prepared for my RN (registered nursing) role,” Hodges said. “I am very well-rounded, having worked many areas of nursing the past 26 years. I love being a nurse. I felt that it enhanced the ministry within me. Serving and caring go hand-in-hand.”
A 1988 graduate of Wilson, Arkansas’ Rivercrest High School, Hodges served in the United States Army Reserve for six years before graduating from LPN school in 1994. Consequently, she acquired an RN Degree from Arkansas State University in 2007.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The visionary of Rhonda Hodges Ministries — a Blytheville, Arkansas-based nonprofit organization/outreach ministry she organized largely as a strategic, effective way to empower this generation of women who, in turn, will empower other women — Hodges has been a licensed evangelist since April 2000.
She recently celebrated 20 years in ministry and, according to the Arkansas State University alumna, “I’m very grateful to God for the calling He has placed on my life.”
Especially during an era in which this ongoing dreaded pandemic has shaped the overall landscape of our world.
“My mom is a high-risk (for attracting COVID-19) due to her age and past heart issues,” said Hodges, explaining her passion for her profession for such a critical time as now. “I have an elderly aunt, who is a cancer survivor, a sister who is a diabetic, and another elderly aunt who is on dialysis and has CHF (congestive heart failure).
“It is not only serious, but just that important to me,” Hodges continued. “I do drive-by visits by saying hello, blowing kisses and telling them, ‘I love you’ while sitting in my vehicle and they’re standing on the porch.”
As if being an accomplished Mid-South-area minister wasn’t enough to help advance the kingdom, she’s undoubtedly a beloved, big-hearted medical professional in her own right.
Now we know why.
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Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist or Instagram at @makingheadlinenews.