The Medical Outreach Program (MOPs) allows people who are physically incapable of traveling to a clinic or have chronic illnesses or conditions to receive necessary medical care via teams of medical professionals who travel from village to village. Learn more about Mission of Hope’s healthcare programs.
I am often challenged by the joy seen in the Haitian communities. As a medical intern, there are moments where I can’t escape the reality of the living conditions and situations in Haiti. It is then that my soul is burdened because I cannot reconcile their joy in the midst of (what I consider to be) their suffering, and it is hard to describe the conflict. Our Medical Outreach Program shines a light on just how limited the resources are for healthcare—but despite their circumstances, the Haitian people are some of the happiest people I’ve ever encountered.
The story of Frankel is one that shows just what happens when limited resources meet incredible need.
Frankel and his wife Mary lived in the village of Minoterie in a beautifully colored house that was one many that dotted the hill that overlooked the Caribbean. It happened to be the last stop of the day for our MOP team. Amire, our nurse practitioner, had been here with teams many times before. When we arrived, Mary excitedly showed us around the home and made sure we saw the changes she had made since the last visit.
Their spirit of joy was inescapable.
As Amire performed the routine examination, we were reminded of what brought us here. Frankel was, unfortunately, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A few years back, he had been in the crossfire of a conflict that didn’t even include him. The bullet paralyzed him from the torso down. He was blessed to receive life-saving care but was left with little access to long-term healthcare and therapy. Above his bed hung a crossbar and beside it sat a wheelchair. Outside of his own limited strength or his wife’s ability to get him out of bed into the chair, there was little activity for Frankel. Because of MOPs sponsors, Frankel was able to receive routine medical care, supplies, and medications. Despite these circumstances, every MOP team tells of Mary’s and Frankel’s consistent joy.
As we ended our visit, we gathered around the bed and prayed for Frankel and his family and reminded them that God loved them. As I think back on that time, I realize the life-changing impact this family has had on me. My encounter with Frankel has pushed me to work more consciously to be grateful in any and all situations.
Frankel passed away on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 due to complications caused by an aggressive liver cancer found only two weeks prior to his death. Though we prayed for recovery and healing, God had a different plan. Once again, despite his circumstances, Frankel was at peace when he received the news of the cancer. He was able to treasure the last weeks with his wife and family, and when the time came he passed away peacefully in his home.
I was able to visit Mary on MOPs just before my internship ended, and though she was grieving, the same joy I saw in her before Frankel’s passing was still there. Her trust in the Lord and knowing how much He loved her gave her the peace and joy to carry on and show others His love.
I hope to never forget that God is good. Period.
I am thankful that I got the honor of meeting Frankel and his family. The Lord used their joy to encourage and challenge me to rest fully in the arms of the Father, despite my circumstances.
Would you like to be used by God to bring hope to families like Frankel’s and experience the incredible joy of the Haitian people firsthand? Learn more about how you can volunteer for a medical mission trip or apply for an internship in Haiti.