Licensed Practical Nurse
I had my first exposure to mission trips with opportunities in Peru and Guatemala. Then I made my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic almost 12 years. To see a child under 2 years old eat a bug and find out he was abandoned and there was no food in that particular village changed my life forever. Since then my husband and I have organized medical mission trips for a month each year. We also started a sponsorship program in that village where children as young as 2 were abandoned. There is now a school there and about 400 children are being educated and fed. Previous to this many children were used in child prostitution to get food.
We work in about 60 different villages. We do 23 clinics while there for 4 weeks. We only take Sunday off. We hold clinics in villages where there are no clinics. We hire 4-6 local doctors who are paid a very minimal amount of 60 dollars per day, we have an HIV doctor to test and treat all females over 16, we have 2 dentists who do extractions and also a nurse practitioner. All of those are local persons. We also have as many as 26 volunteers who come with us without them there would be no mission. We have people from many parts of Canada as well as Maine (USA) who join our team. Every one including ourselves pay their own way and help with fundraising. All children are given tooth brushes, clothes as necessary, small toys and a treat. Through us several schools have been built. We work all year fundraising as we have no sponsors and need about $60,000 to pay for the clinics. We did 2 clinics at the maximum security penitentiary for men where there are 600 inmates - the response and respect we received there was incredible. There is a job for everyone. Many people have as many as 12 different prescriptions. In 23 clinics we see between 6 and 7 thousand patients each year. A lot of work for everyone. This is a Christian mission and we work through local pastors to get to the most needy villages.
We are also trying to build a small technical school and teach useful trades as the unemployment rate is very high as much as 60%. There is a lot of work but God is good. We also send 1-2 sea containers each year with hospital and medical supplies even dialysis machines , X-ray machines, beds , school supplies, clothes and food.
At home we are involved in meals for the homeless and a men’s shelter. Having 5 children and for a period of time 5 foster children I have always been aware of the needs of others and will continue to help both here and abroad as long as I am able.
What are you most proud of professionally?
The service I can render through my training and my husband who supports and encourages me.
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
Shelter for the homeless. More jobs. Reaching street people with love and acceptance.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
My first mission trip 15 years ago. Realizing I an unknown person could actually help people who were needy. I could save lives for example treating people for Chagas and helping people learn simple trades.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
People working together can accomplish the impossible. If God can use an old nobody like me I tell people what can He do with you if you cooperate.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
My husband. He and I work together but the volunteers are extremely supportive. This mission could not be accomplished without them.
What would you have done differently?
Started much younger.
What are the principles you live by?
My priority is helping others. People volunteering to work with us helps overcome the struggles. The support we receive in helping with fundraisers. The miracles I have seen and needs provided that only come from prayer.
What uncomfortable truths have you learned about yourself in those experiences?
I have learned it would be easy to be a quitter but never give up. Something positive will happen.
Licensed Practical Nurse, pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother