Wednesday, June 09, 2010

You Can Always Pray

Yesterday, John taught a clinical lesson at the Missionaries of Charity compound to the nurse practitioner students. One hundred or so children live here some temporarily and some permanently. One of the sisters was holding a three-year-old who was understandable sad: she came to the sisters after the earthquake and no one knows anything about her family. She must feel so incomplete and empty, as if an important part of her is missing.

I described the Missionaries of Charity to a couple of people in Haiti as the Marines of Catholic nuns: they can only go home once every ten years; they are never seen eating or drinking; and they wear these habits that I hardly see how they keep from passing out in. It is hot and humid in Haiti now; it seems like 30 seconds after you take a shower, you need another one and this is without wearing a couple of layers of head to toe clothing. Despite these hardships (or perhaps because of them?) the sisters are productive and do very difficult work caring for the poorest of the poor.
On our way home, our hostess Beth Newton asked me what I thought of the Sisters' place. I said that I had been to their building in Port-au-Prince, but, still, it was a shock to see so many children without parents. On the wall of the building, sayings from Mother Teresa, the founder of the order, are painted in Haitian Kreyol including, "Every child is precious and a gift from God." I wish the world's priorities reflected this truth. As we go about our busy days, it's never a waste to offer up a prayer for the abandoned children of the world.

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