Nearly 25 years ago, Dr. Robert Johnson and his wife/nurse, Betty, of Hartford, KY, purposed it in their hearts that they would serve The Lord through their gifts, talents and careers in the rural Artibonites of Haiti along the Les Trois Rivieres. Although they began their humble mission providing medical care and sleeping outdoors while on brief mission trips, within a few years, along with the support and generosity of others, they had acquired land and built a metal building to house Jolivert’s own Missions Of Love Medical Clinic.
In 1992, a young man named Christophe Velcine had been touched by the love, dedication, and hard work of The Johnson’s and became a member of Missions Of Love staff. “Dr. Bob and Miss Betty inspired me to become a missionary,” said Christophe Velcine as to why he began working at the then-newly developing Christian medical mission. By 2000, Christophe had completed his studies and began working full-time at the MOL Medical Clinic as a Medical Lab Technician.
As more American medical teams continued to visit the MOL campus bringing with them advanced medical education, technology and supplies, and sharing the love of Jesus, the Haitian community began to trust and respect Dr. Bob and Miz Betty, the visiting missionaries, and Missions Of Love.
The Mission continued to grow…
As did Christophe’s responsibilities. In addition to being a Lab Tech, Christophe also began helping MOL Director, Blaud Mondesir, earning the title of Assistant Director. When the Mission grew to include many more programs, ministries and mission teams, Dr. Bob offered the position of MOL Clinic Director to a now-experienced Christophe. “I was so pleased to receive it!” Christophe recalled, “I had been well-training and had been helping Blaud for a long time, so I was ready.”
“My role changed,” explained Christophe. “When I was a working as a Lab Tech, I just focused on lab works. But, now as Administrator of the Medical Clinic I supervise all the sections, Consultation, Lab, Pharmacy, oversee equipment, perform weekly inventories, control the Clinic finances, conduct staff meetings, maintain constant relationship with community leaders, the MSPP (government health minister) and others who intend to work with MOL. Now, I must be open to in order to make it all work effective.”
Five reasons Christophe loves his job…
“The Medical Clinic has made a huge difference in Jolivert, because of these reasons,” said Christophe.
1.) Physical: Now, the community is healthier. No children die at age three or before because of lack of medical care or no education on preventable diseases.
2.) Education: More children go to school and university. That helps them to be independent and to help themselves and their families.
3.) Socially: Because of the years of working with the government, Jolivert is well known by the government and the International Community, which it was not before. (It is good to work with the government in Haiti.)
4.) Spiritually: Because of the gospel (brought through Missions Of Love and its missionaries), more people get out of the darkness (of Voodoo) and superstition and now have freedom to experience the life and hope that Jesus give.
5.) But, for me, I work for Missions Of Love because as the primary mission of MOL is to serve and show the love of Jesus Christ, so MOL gives me the opportunity to serve and show the love of Jesus Christ.
24 Years of Positive Change
“When we first started working full-time at the Jolivert Clinic in 2000, we saw an average of 70 – 80 patients a day,” recalled Christophe. “The studies showed that most of the patients had preventable diseases, so we began to start prevention programs like Safe Water, daily health education, and home visits for follow up care. That reduced completely the number of our patients. Today, we average about 20 patients a day, treating common things like thyphoid, malaria, parasites, high blood pressure, blood sugar, anemia, UTI, STD’s, HIV testing, counseling and care. And, we only charge a small fee for those who can pay, to help us to maintain the clinic and keep it sustainable.”
“I hope in the future to be able to give better care to community,” said Christophe as he shared his wish list. “We hope to one day have X-ray available, be able to perform all lab tests, have a full-time dentist, equipment to keep the yard clean and safe, an incinerator to properly dispose of medical waste, an ambulance for emergencies, and to have medical and dental teams come in frequently to continue to share their knowledge, love and wisdom. And, I know that with God all this is possible.”