When Gertrude Cene’s stomach growls during class at nursing school, she recalls the blessings of the Kobonal Haiti Mission with a spirit of gratitude. Though she only attended the mission school for one year during her teens, she fondly remembers the way daily nutritious meals kept her satisfied and alert. Without a meal program, the neediest students have no choice but to work on an empty stomach – a problem that stunts them both physically and mentally. As Gertrude puts it, “You are sitting in the class, but you are out of the class.”
Another fond memory for Gertrude is a teacher the children called “Father Good-Heart.” She recalls how Father Good-Heart treated the students like his own sons and daughters, and how he would play with them and strive to ensure they always understood their lessons.
In 2010, Gertrude was living in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck. Upon her return to the Central province as a displaced survivor, she and her family were blessed by the Mission with a house and a plot of land. More recently, the Mission has also supported Gertrude’s medical studies. Despite her hard life, she is excited about her career prospects. She says, “I praise God my dream will become a reality. If you are a nurse, you can help people who are suffering. Because of all the help I received from the Mission, that is a way I can help people too.”
Gertrude is one example of the human impact of Catholic poverty relief ministries. She says, “There is a lot of difficulty in the world, but with prayer anything is possible.”
May many more lives be touched by the work of our friends at the Kobonal Haiti Mission!