Bringing Life-Changing Care to Haiti

My ultimate goal is not to train people to give injections or change dressings. It is to train and equip every student to be able to reach Haitian people with the life-changing and priority-rearranging Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that MAF allows me extra time and energy as I work for the Kingdom on the little island of La Gonave, Haiti.” —Janice Cotrone, Dean, Wesleyan University of Haiti School of Nursing Sciences

Traveling from her home in Missouri to Haiti every month, for two weeks at a time, Janice Cotrone relies heavily on MAF to get her to La Gonave island quickly and safely. In this way, she can have more time to spend training nurses so they can give compassionate care and be the hands and feet of Jesus to people with desperate needs. IMG_3362

The Wesleyan Mission Hospital on the island of La Gonave, Haiti, provides healthcare to a population of 120,000. It’s also home to the Wesleyan University of Haiti, College of Nursing Studies. When the hospital’s former two-year nursing school closed in 2007, it was forced to hire nurses trained elsewhere. Skill sets and knowledge levels were not the same, and patient care began to plummet. Janice, who had been a nurse there for over 20 years, and taught classes at the first school, had returned to the United States by this time. But it wasn’t long before God began to call her back to the hospital, putting in her heart a desire to open a four-year university-level school. She pursued advanced degrees and began making frequent visits between the U.S. and Haiti. And the College of Nursing Studies opened its doors in October of 2014.IMG_4422

Today the student body consists of 48. Graduates will receive a Bachelor of Science in nursing and they’ll be able to sit for RN state board exams. Bible studies and discipleship classes are integrated into the curriculum so that nurses are prepared to care for the spiritual needs of patients as well.

While she’s in Haiti, Janice teaches at the school every day, and then when she’s home in Missouri, she teaches via Skype. Haitian professors teach most of the general education courses. Because her time is Haiti is so limited, Janice says she tries to squeeze every second out of every day. Traveling to the island can take up precious time, as Janice explains here:

We can travel by land 90 minutes out of Port-au-Prince to where our mission has a boat dock. Then, we cross the sea in our wooden sailboat. That is close to two hours. To reach La Gonave this way takes half a day of time that I just don’t have, not to mention energy! For this reason, I prefer to fly MAF to and from the island. From the Port-au-Prince runway out to the dirt airstrip on the island is about 25 minutes. It is a nice ride, and I arrive without the level of exhaustion that comes from land and sea travel. I so appreciate the wonderful Christian pilots who pray before every trip, and who are attentive to my every need. They truly make it possible for me to do what I do.”

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Janice’s former mode of transportation to La Gonave.

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“For my 20 years on the island we had no airstrip,” said Janice. “Believe me, I’ve more than paid my dues on rough waters!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAF has had the privilege of serving La Gonave Wesleyan Hospital since 1992, including during its rebuilding efforts after the Haiti earthquake. Flights brought in work teams and supplies, as well as dignitaries for the reopening ceremony in 2013. Your gifts make flights to La Gonave possible, allowing Janice more time to answer God’s calling and use her talents and education for God’s glory. Thank you!

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Currently Janice is searching for more instructors for the nursing courses. Would you please join her in praying that God would bring the right people? Opportunities are also available for nurses who want to volunteer their time. If interested, please email Janice.  

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