At 23 years old, after obtaining my nursing degree, I left my family and profession to dedicate myself to God as a missionary.
I have been serving for several years in Ivory Coast, where I coordinate the medical centers opened by our Community for the benefit of the most disadvantaged segments of the population.
Since my childhood, I felt a great sensitivity towards those who suffer. I watched with interest the work of healthcare workers, who have the precious task of being close to sick people or those with health concerns. I thought of the hospital as a privileged place to establish deep and sincere relationships with patients who sometimes also find in the medical staff someone to share questions, deep fears, receive strength, hope and a friendly presence.
I love living the fact of being a missionary in the medical centers of my community, because they are a crossroads, a privileged place of encounter for many people who need care, attention, and gestures of love. It is for me a concrete way to affirm their dignity as children of God, loved and precious in His eyes, beyond their religion, ethnicity, and history.
I spend my days, several times a week, in close contact with our doctors and nurses, trying to organize and facilitate their work. There are about forty people at work, who offer quality medical care with a fraternal and welcoming face, an expression of the charism of the Villaregia Missionary Community. With them, we also experience moments of training so that beyond the daily challenges, our Center stands out for its attention to the person.
We are often called upon to do much more than the skills of a health center. A few days ago, for example, one of the doctors called me because he had noticed that a young mother was not following the instructions given to care for her 6-month-old baby, and the situation was becoming very serious. It was therefore necessary to involve and sensitize family members as well and proceed with hospitalization of the child in a hospital in the city, also providing financial assistance. We got to work immediately and were able to contact the family of origin, obtain rapid hospitalization, and save the child’s life.
As a missionary, I pray for and celebrate the Eucharist with my community, carrying the people I meet daily in my heart.
People are very grateful for our service and often come to thank us. Viviane is one of them: after giving birth, she came to show us the beautiful baby girl born a few days earlier. She tried to express her gratitude in a thousand ways to the gynecologist who helped her through a difficult pregnancy and wanted to hand the long-awaited baby over to our doctor’s arms.
The joys and sorrows, the challenges and discoveries are the daily life of our medical centers, a crossroad of lives where we can meet Jesus and love him in those who suffer.