Using common language to connect and care

Nurses and Spanish-speakers from Logos Hope have volunteered at a clinic that treats Venezuelan migrants to the Caribbean. 

Emilie Jelger (France), serves in the ship's medical team. She explains: “We learnt that Venezuelan refugees are streaming into Trinidad and Tobago, and those caring for them need help communicating in Spanish.” The team brought medical supplies to a centre that serves as a clinic one evening per week and a classroom the rest of the time. 

“Four 'aunties' – an affectionate term for women in the Caribbean – help at the clinic. Some are nurses, the others simply want to assist those in need. Gem Antoine, a pharmacist, volunteers her time as the clinic’s medical lead. They visit pharmacies and ask for donations,” says Emilie, who was impressed by the volunteers’ kindness and dedication: “They told me that not everyone has the resources to see a doctor, so this is an opportunity for them to receive the care they need.”

Jessica Campos (El Salvador) says, “A man kept asking me why we were there. I told him that we could be at home with our families, but we want to share our faith and we want to help.” She also told the man, “Whatever situation you are in, you can have hope. God is in control.”

Jessica was glad her mother tongue could come in useful and Venezuelan people were excited to meet her. “They would ask, ‘Where are you from?’ Speaking the same language helped us connect quickly,” she says.

“They were very interested in the reason we were there. Because of the humanitarian crisis in their country, many don’t have hope; but seeing people come to help impacted them. It doesn’t matter how much free time we have; we should take up any opportunity to help others and share our faith,” Jessica concludes.

The director of the clinic, Gemma Malchan-Benny, says, “Receiving the crewmembers was heart-warming. They were all eager and focussed on the cause.” She adds: “The crewmembers seemed to be appreciative of the clinic's nurses. I was encouraged by their general dedication and professionalism. The crewmembers filled the mandate of Christ’s servants!”

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