MY EXPERIENCE IN LISUNGI’S HOSPITAL
After spending my holidays with my family and integrating myself to the novice community, I started my missionary experience in the Lisungi hospital. I found it a little bit strange to work among these people, who have plenty of experience in the field of medicine. What I worried most about was to know what my contribution would be. What could I contribute to the mission I was trusted? By the way, I felt very small in comparison with the work I should be doing.
However, in the health field, it is not only necessary the medical profession. It is also necessary the administrative staff and here is where I worked, specifically in the reception. All the good things I learned about hospitality in the first two stages of my formation -as you know postulancy and novitiate- have been helpful throughout my experience. Welcome those who are sick, sick guards, those who come to get information, everybody. In the reception I learned to feel real empathy for others’ suffering. For some sick people I had to accompany them until they got medical attention. For other people, I had to encourage them for bearing the pain. For other people I just had to be there to say something, but also listening their complains and sometimes their cry.
Very rapidly bonds were made with some patients. Some of them asked me to help them during their labor and to pray for them, other patients asked me to be with them during their operations, of course after receiving the doctor’s permission. In relation to those who passed away during my experience, nobody asked me to be there, but by chance I could see a person dying, even though this person had money…it was hard for me. After some time, I learned to accept and to coincide with the psalmist in “however, it does not matter how much you can pay, all life must end.”
Working along with patients, I felt human being’s fragility. While life smiles at us, it is worth living. Finally, referring to Pope Francis’ phrase “where there are religious people, there is joy” in a world where everything escapes, joy remains strong because it characterizes Jesus Christ’s disciples, for whom we are part of.