By Peg Schmitz
One thing the pandemic has taught us is the vital importance of healthcare workers. There are three individuals in our sister parish in Haiti who were called to become healers. Amilien and Franckel are the doctors our Haiti mission put through medical school; Talita is a nurse who we have come to know through our mission trips. All have family living in Notre Dame de Lourdes parish, and all attended primary school in Ducrabon.
These three share many similarities in their drive to achieve their dreams. Their families managed to provide a secondary education in Port au Prince. But they did not have the ability to fund a college education. So, these young people cultivated relationships with people who could assist them in their education.
Amilien and Franckel connected with our travel teams and maintained regular communication with our committee. They persisted in doing what they needed to do to convince our committee of their commitment to pursue medical degrees and we in turn provided funds for tuition and housing.
To me, Amilien has always illustrated the characteristic of perseverance, he pursued a calling despite the number of obstacles in his path. He took advanced English classes and helped as an additional translator for our mission trips. He volunteered to work with us during our medical mission. He continues to assist us in many capacities including helping voluntarily with medical issues in our sister parish. Amilien is working at a medical clinic in Port au Prince area.
Talita, in her words, wants to “help the most vulnerable of Haiti.” Sr. Maria, a Spanish nun and surgeon who came to Ducrabon to build a hospital in conjunction with her order and Rotary International, took notice of Talita. Sr. Maria encouraged Talita to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. Talita’s parents assisted as much as they could and friends living in the United States also offered financial support. From 2012 to 2015, she studied nursing at the National School of Nurses in Port-au-Prince. She is currently working at a hospital. During one of our trips Talita was in Ducrabon, a young boy with cholera came to the hospital suffering from severe dehydration. Local nurses, not as experienced with IVs, could not get the needle inserted due to the boy’s level of dehydration. They called for Talita who was able to insert the IV and get treatment started. To me, Talita has illustrated the characteristic of mercy. She has a heart for the suffering and has answered God’s call to share her gift of mercy with others.
Franckel is looking for a permanent assignment. This past fall he volunteered in Jeremie for six months to help care for earthquake victims. He was able to take with him a suitcase of medical supplies sent on our sea crate shipment last year. While traveling, his bus was stopped by an armed gang intent on robbing passengers. He was held at gunpoint but managed to escape in the crowd and confusion with the medical supplies. A motorcyclist offered to take him the rest of the way. In Frankel’s words “God saved me from these armed gangs.” To me, Franckel has illustrated the characteristic of courage.
All three individuals have displayed a deep faith in following their call to serve others as healers. All are intent on giving back to others, paying forward what has been given to them. They are humble servants willing to take risks to improve the lives of others and share the dream of improving the quality of life in Haiti.
Your contributions to our Lenten Alms for Haiti sustain the chapel schools in Notre Dame de Lourdes where disciples like Amilien, Franckel and Talita are formed. Your donation of $150 or whatever you can offer helps give the children of Notre Dame de Lourdes an education and hope for a better future.
Please Give Generously To Our 2022 Haiti Lenten Fundraiser
Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.